Preparing for Going Back to Work
You have been taking care of your newborn for a few months now. The night is blending with the day, and you are losing track of time. It seems as if that all you do is change diapers and feed your little one. Taking time out to do other chores and even take care of yourself has become a rare event. As the days go by, you realize the time to join work at the end of your maternity leave is slowly approaching.
Sharing with Your Partner
If both you and your partner work outside of home it may be hard to leave the little one. Planning and cooperating with each other will make things much easier. For instance, on a busy day one of the parents may stay back while the other picks up the baby from childcare and takes care of the baby until the other parent arrives. It is all in the teamwork!
Pumping, Formula feeding or solids
If you are breastfeeding exclusively, you may need to pump at least three to four times when you are at the office. Make sure you have a pump with a strong suction. You will need a sterilized container to store the pumped milk by freezing it. You can leave the pumped milk with your caregiver for feeding the next day. If you are formula feeding, make sure there is sufficient sterile bottles available. The caregiver also needs easy access to warm water to mix with the formula. Make sure to write down the measurements for formula mixing.
If your baby is more than six months old by the time you join, you can start solid feedings. Solids need to be started in small quantities with one or two ingredients. Great first solid foods can be mashed banana, boiled potato, baby oats, rice cereal, etc. Leave the food pre-made with your caregiver so that it only needs to be heated before feeding the baby.
Clothes, Diapers, Wipes, Blankets
To make things easier for your caregiver and to put your mind at ease, keep the baby’s necessities like extra clothes, diapers, wipes and blankets easily accessible. Newborns require frequent change of clothes and may wet their blankets often.
You may want to discuss matters with your boss before rejoining work; convey your enthusiasm about getting back to work as well as your concerns about juggling work and motherhood. You could propose options such as occasional work from home or mid-days break to feed your baby. It’s important to have a private pumping room at the office and a freezer to store your milk. Make sure your boss understands that you are going through a transition and it may take some time for you to reach your optimal productivity.