Going Back To Work After Baby

I think one of the hardest things about being a working mom is that initial time of going back to work after your baby is born.  Maternal instinct is a powerful thing, and it can be pretty stressful leaving your baby for the first time.

I have gone back to work after baby three different times now, and it was always important to me to make that day as easy as possible on myself and my new little one.  There are a few things I would suggest if you are planning on going back to work after having a baby.

1. Take full advantage of your maternity leave.  I think there can be a lot of pressure on new moms to go back to work as soon as they can after baby, but I recommend taking your time.  You are never going to get these new days with your baby back.  Take as much time as you can to just get used to this new person in your family and bond with your baby.

2. Get your baby used to a bottle.  Unless you are able to dive out of work every few hours to nurse your baby, your little one will have to be given a bottle.  It can be hard on some babies to get used to taking a bottle when all they have done is nurse, so it's good to start trying to get them used to taking an occasional bottle before you plan on returning to work.

3.  Do a trial run.  One of the hardest things about leaving your baby is . . . well, leaving your baby!  The first time is always the hardest, so I think it is a good idea to make sure that first time is not on your first day back to work.  Ask your caregiver if you can bring your child over for a trial run for a couple hours - this way you can make sure both your baby and you are comfortable with the care situation before that first day.

4.  Work out pumping time.  If you plan on continuing to breastfeed after you start work, you will need to work out some time to pump at work.  In some jobs it might not be a problem to take a fifteen minute break every few hours, but jobs where you are scheduled may require a bit more planning - so make sure a plan is in place well in advance!

5.  Prepare the night before.  You don't want to spend your first morning back at work rushing around, trying to gather everything you and your baby need for the day.  Get everything ready the night before you go back.  Make sure your pump is charged and all pieces are accounted for, make sure the diaper bag is packed, set out clothes for you and your baby.  I still do this every work night, and it makes our mornings go so much smoother!

6.  Give yourself a little grace, and trust God with your baby.  Some mothers may be able to transition seamlessly back into a work environment, but for others it can be an emotional experience, especially if it is your goal to someday stay home with your child.  It's okay if you feel like crying!  Bring your mascara for touchups, and spend some time in prayer on your way to work, putting your baby in God's hands.

Going back to work after baby can be difficult logistically and emotionally, but it is easier when we can give the Lord all our worries.  This isn't the last time you will need to trust Him to take care of your child.  Get all the emotions out, give Him all your anxieties, work out all the details in advance. Then rest in His peace and represent Him well where He has you right now!  Show His love and grace to all those your encounter as you go about your work, because He has you working right now for a reason.


For more reading for working moms, check out my post on Tommy Nelson today - I'm sharing a letter and prayer for working moms!
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Unknown said...

This is great! Thanks for sharing - they were all good reminders for me! I also remember someone telling me that - if possible - I should start back to work on a Wednesday so the first week is a short one. I liked that idea and did it when Sam was born!!

Heather Forcey said...

These are all good tips! It's been a few years since going back to work after baby, but the trial run was really helpful. I did the ugly cry that day rather than on the actual going back to work day.

Elizabeth said...

Those seem like good tips, though I'd love to hear more about how you dealt with it personally, like what a typical working day combined with home life would look like for you, or how it affects your journey as a mother. Maybe that is too personal, though. I'll go check out the link.

Jessica said...

What an excellent post! I especially LOVE the last paragraph. Great job!!! Thanks for sharing this with us for Tuesday Talk! I'll be pinning it to our Features Pinterest board for sure. :) - Jess

Lauren said...

Great list...and I'm thankful that I have already done all these things as I prepare to go back tomorrow! I know I'm still going to have a nice sob session as I leave the girls with my mom...but I'm as ready as I can be!

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