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7 Tips for Transitioning Back to Work After Having a Baby

Alt-tag: Woman in a black dress holding a "Like a boss" mug making a smooth transition back to  work after having a baby
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The decision to return to work after maternity leave may have seemed simple when you were

pregnant. However, now that your baby is here and your return to work is getting closer, the

transition may not be as easy as it first seemed. Even in the best of circumstances, returning to

work can be a challenge for many women. You'll need to arrange for childcare, coordinate your schedule with your partner, and devise a strategy for breastfeeding. Anxiety, excitement, and even guilt are all valid emotions to be feeling during this time. At times, the onslaught of information and emotions can be overwhelming and even push you towards proper parental burnout. From this perspective, it probably seems close to impossible to have a smooth transition back to work after having a baby.

How to have a smooth transition back to work after having a baby?

But take a deep breath and relax; we didn't mean to scare you. Quite the opposite, were here to

help you go back to your work life easier and guilt-free. Having a smooth transition back to work

after having a baby is definitely possible if you follow tips we've gathered from maternal mental

health experts.

#1 Learn how to cope with your emotions

Returning to work can make you feel as if you're making a decision between your child and your

career. Feelings you've never felt before may come to you as your hormones are out of control.

Postpartum emotions can really cause chaos in your mind and make your return to work that

much more difficult.

Woman in a blue sweater holding a baby next to a window with white curtains in a  nursery
It's not uncommon for new moms to feel guilty about returning to work and have difficulty coping with being separated from their babies.

That's why it's important to know how to understand your feelings and how to channel and

control them. For example, it's very common for new moms to feel guilty about returning to

work. To cope with this, try talking to your loved one or a maternal mental health specialist.

Most importantly, stay away from toxic people whose main job is to point out what you're doing

and how you should be doing it.

#2 Finding reliable childcare is crucial

Finding reliable and trustworthy childcare is one of the most challenging aspects of returning to

work. So, the sooner you start looking, the better. It can seem ridiculous to start looking for a

babysitter before your child is born, but if you ask your friends for references, it can make the

process much simpler. That way, you'll have more time for interviews and fully focus on finding

someone that's an ideal fit.

Once you find a good idea to go through a few practice sessions before going back

to work. It will help you feel less stressed and anxious about leaving your child in their care.

#3 Create a feeding plan

One of the most important things to do before going back to work is to create a feeding plan.

First, decide on whether you will breastfeed your child full-time, partially, or if you will use

formula. If you plan to continue breastfeeding, keep in mind you'll need to pump at work in

order to keep your milk production consistent. Plus, you'll need to provide your child with milk

while you are away.

Because breastfeeding requires a lot of energy from you, it is essential to schedule your meals

ahead of time. Preparing your meals ahead of time will help you keep your energy levels and

milk supply up. It goes without saying that the key to a smooth transition back to work after

having a baby is thorough preparation.

#4 Negotiate flexibility

If going back to your pre-pregnancy work schedule is too overwhelming for you, talk to your

manager about available alternatives. For instance, you might be able to work flexible hours

or work from home. If your little one is staying at home with a sitter, you'll have a piece of mind knowing you can always check up on them.

Woman holding her child in her lap while sitting at a table and working from home
If possible, working from home at least a few days of the week will help you have an easier transition back to work after having a baby.

However, if you're working from home, be careful not to neglect your work. Consider setting up a remote working station at home that's isolated and has a proper "office" feel. If you make an effort to create a more productive space, it will make your transition that much easier.

#5 Prioritize your tasks

Now that you're a mom, time management at work is more important than ever. This means that you should forget about late nights at the office. Why shouldn't you? You have your little bundle of joy waiting for you at home and inspiring you to get all of your work done during your working hours.

If you have never used a daily to-do list before, now is a terrific opportunity to get started. Decide what needs to be done and what can wait before moving on, set priorities with your coworkers and your partner or family members, and don't be afraid to delegate. The more non-essentials you can get rid of, the more time you'll have to devote to the things that really matter.

#6 Find some time for self-care

Don't forget the importance of self-care! Juggling your work and motherhood can make you quickly forget about yourself and neglects your needs or, worse, your wellbeing. You won't be able to perform either of your "jobs" to the best of your abilities, though, if you are utterly worn out and emotionally drained. Try to get as much rest as you can by getting to bed at a respectable time and sleeping during the baby's naps on the weekends.

Also, try to include some form of physical activity in your routine, even if it's only going to yoga once a week. Both will significantly contribute to the improvement of how you feel overall. Last but not least, try to schedule at least a small bit of fun time exclusively for you each week.

#7 Don't be afraid to ask for help

Lastly, always keep in mind that we're all different. Some new moms get the hang of everything quickly and seem to juggle their career and parenthood with ease. But that doesn't mean there's anything wrong if you're struggling and feeling overwhelmed at times. What's wrong is burying your feelings and putting on a facade in the hope you'll fit into that image of a working mom that's always looking and feeling her best. That can only lead to burnout and even potential mental health issues.

Woman talking to a maternal mental health therapist about going back to work after having a baby
Experiencing different emotions about going back to work after recently becoming a mom is normal, but if you're struggling with coping with them, don't be scared to ask for help.

Therefore, if you're struggling, don't be afraid or embarrassed to ask for help. Whether it's your partner, best friend, colleague, or an experienced and knowledgeable therapist, you need to take care of yourself first.

Final thoughts on having a smooth transition back to work after having a baby

Going back to work after having a baby is just one of the challenges you'll have to overcome in a difficult but most loving and rewarding journey called parenting. Remember, millions of women have successfully done this before you. Take a good look around your office; chances are some of them are sitting just a few feet away from you. We hope our tips help you have a smooth transition. But if you ever feel stuck or too overwhelmed, don't be afraid to ask for help. Instead, reach out to a reputable therapist experienced in maternal mental health and find ways to fully enjoy both parenthood and your work without feeling guilty or too stressed.

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Author: Miami Moving Guide

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