New Mothers Back to Work
- 11 Months ago
Somebody rightly said, "Of all the rights of women, the greatest is to be a mother". Motherhood brings its own joys and surprises. Even so returning to work is a huge transition for any mother.
After a short or a long break and an enormous life-change, work is bound to seem different from how you previously saw it. You may be anxious about it, or you may be excited about it; but you can be sure that it will, in some way, surprise you. Here are a few important things to keep in mind for to-be mothers and new mothers getting back to work...
Child Care Arrangements:
A major factor of stress while getting back to work, post childbirth is Child care arrangements. Make arrangements for this well in advance, preferably during pregnancy itself. Find a few options and keep them open. Once you are preparing to get back to work, you may also want to prepare to leave your child at a day care centre or with a family member to care for the child when you are away. Do some research and be confident before you leave your child behind; it will only save you from worrying about your toddler all day long at work.
Going back full-blown may be difficult:
No matter how short or long your maternity leave is, returning to work is going to be an adjustment. Give yourself time to settle down; do not rush to take up a huge workload. If possible, return mid-week; this gives you a short first week at work and for your baby, a short first week of staying away from you. If suitable to your work role and finances and permitted by your employer, choose to work part-time for a few weeks or months.
Take help, it helps:
While you are trying to be a great mother and an efficient employee all at the same time; do not forget that you can achieve this goal even as you ask for help. In fact, you're more likely to find a happy balance as a working mother if you admit you have needs and require assistance. Trying doing it alone might only push you over the edge of exhaustion and frustration. Accept support from family and friends. And if you are raising your child with a partner, make sure it's a true partnership, discuss and share responsibilities.
Self-care is top priority:
Whilst you are busy juggling between work and home, keep in mind that your health is top priority. Because, when you're in your best health with good energy levels, you're able to perform better - as a mother & as an employee! Allot a short duration of the day solely for yourself; meditate or exercise in this duration; as less as 15 minutes of this on a daily basis will help with your relaxation. Pamper yourself occasionally for you have been doing great as a working new mother. Spend a few hours in the spa or have the Sunday brunch with your girlfriends while your baby gets some quality time with another family member.
Stress and Sleep Deprivation Make You Fat:
Maintain a healthy diet and try to get the necessary sleep; having assistance for child care during the night hours will help you with this. As you're away from the child during the day, you may feel obliged to do all the child care chores by yourself at night. But understand that this isn't necessary. You will require quality sleep and rest in order to function adequately the following day. Moreover, studies show that sleep deprivation can lead to changes in appetite and metabolism and resulting in weight gain. Now, you don't want that happening, do you?
Breastfeeding and Working:
Breastfeeding and working isn't easy. Employment is possibly the biggest obstacle to a long-term breastfeeding relationship between a new mother and her baby.
Lactation consultants recommend that you pump once for every feeding your baby has while you're apart. For most mothers, that means three or four times during a workday.
Before you panic, remember, this is just a rule. It doesn't apply to everyone. All our bodies are different, and respond differently to the breast pump. If you can take three or four breaks during the day, start with that. See how much milk you get. If you can take only one or two breaks, that'll have to be good enough.
Don't Exhaust Yourself
The worst thing you could do in a quest to extend breastfeeding would be to become obsessed with your milk supply and feel miserable. Give yourself a break. Maybe you end up supplementing with formula. It is a perfectly healthy way to feed your child. Any amount of breast milk you're able to make is better than nothing, and will give your baby wonderful nutrition and immunity protections.
In the end, how much milk you pump doesn't determine your worth as a mother. Your child will be better off with you as a happy, responsive, loving mother than the world's most productive wet nurse.