The transition back to work after having a baby can be both exciting and challenging–and everyone is on a different timeline. Whenever you’re ready to return to work, it can help to have a gameplan to make the transition as easy as possible.
Ask for flexibility in your work schedule and workload
It can be helpful to communicate your circumstances with your employer in advance. Don’t be afraid to ask for flexibility, even if it’s just temporary, so that you can take care of your new family member and yourself. Here are some great talking points to cover with your employer:
- Working reduced or flexible hours to account for time you might be spending feeding your baby and/or recovering from pregnancy
- Ensuring you’re allowed to have unrestricted access to water and the restroom while at work
- Permission to leave in time to pick up your children from childcare
- Working remotely
- Reasonable excusal from travel or post-working hours social events
Find childcare options that work for you
When searching for a childcare provider or day care center, of course you’ll want to ensure the provider is trustworthy, experienced, and aligned with your parenting values, but also keep in mind that finding somewhere easy and/or convenient to get to will be very helpful. The last thing you need with a newborn is to make your commute longer than it needs to be!
Prepare for pumping at work
If you plan to breastfeed, consider when and where you might want to use your pump. It can help to discuss your pumping schedule and needs with your employer to ensure you have a comfortable and private space.
Curate your maternity wardrobe
When it comes to maternity fashion, curating a wardrobe that makes you feel comfortable and confident is the name of the game. When curating your post-pregnancy maternity wardrobe, focus on pieces that offer comfort, versatility, and ease of movement. Look for items like stretchy leggings, flowy tops, and nursing-friendly dresses that can be dressed up or down. Check out our Pinterest for more inspiration!
Take care of yourself
Returning to work after pregnancy can be physically and emotionally demanding, but taking good care of yourself can make a huge difference
Rest: It can’t be emphasized enough–getting plenty of rest is one of the best things you can do for yourself especially while you’re recovering from pregnancy. Even if you feel like you’re ready to get back into the action, your body is still physically and physiologically recovering from pregnancy, so don’t hesitate to take a moment or take a nap if you need one!
Nutrition: Eating a healthy and balanced diet can help keep your energy levels up and provide your body with the materials it needs to recover from pregnancy–plus if you’re breastfeeding, you eating healthy will help your baby eat healthy! Ask your doctor about taking multivitamins like Enfamom, which can help provide you with many essential nutrients before and after pregnancy.
Exercise: you might not be ready to run a marathon right away, but moderate exercise or stretching can be great ways to get moving again and help your body adjust. Just be sure to check with your doctor about what sort of exercise would be safe for you.
Mental health: the baby blues are real, and more common than you might think. Don’t hesitate to consider therapy or counseling if you could benefit from mental health support, especially if you experience indicators of postpartum depression. Whatever you’re going through, just remember you don’t have to face it alone.
Let friends and family know how to help: the people closest to you can be your best support network. Whether it’s cooking dinner or taking care of chores, watching your older kids, or just being a good listener, chances are the people who love you want to help in any way that they can. Don’t be afraid to let them know exactly what you need!
Enjoy returning to work!
Sometimes it’s nice to get back in the swing of things, isn’t it? Plus, every day you can look forward to spending quality time with your newborn after work. The tips we covered in this article aren’t just about surviving the transition, we want to help you thrive throughout your parenthood journey and are here to support you however we can every step of the way. If you haven’t already, feel free to join Enfamil Family Beginnings for more parenting tips and exclusive perks for formula, baby gear, and more!