After that precious time spent solely between you and your baby during maternity leave is over and the real world beckons you back in again, you'll need to get yourself prepared. Before you dive headfirst back into emails, conference calls, and afternoon meetings, spend some time going through a checklist of sorts, like the one below, to make sure you have a comfortable and confident return. The following tips on returning to work after maternity leave can help you with the back-to-office transition.
It's nearly impossible to be completely prepared when you're going back to work after having your baby. In fact, now you have even more to think about than you did before, and just those thoughts alone can leave you feeling anxious and stressed before you've even returned to your desk! Ease your fears and anxiety by preparing yourself as best as you can. First, stock up on some of the most important items you'll need to take care of yourself at work, such as an easy-to-use breast pump that you can take with you to the office. If you're not sure where you'll be able to pump in privacy, call your HR department or speak to other mothers at work to find out where and if there are appropriate accommodations. If not, work together to find a solution that makes everyone feel comfortable.
While you're away at the office you might not have the time or ability to pump as much as your baby may need. Rather than worrying about whether or not they will have enough, purchase infant formula to supplement as needed. Store Brand Infant Formula provides the same complete nutrition as name brand infant formulas (Enfamil®, Similac® & Gerber®) and are clinically proven to support growth and development—and they also cost up to 50% less than those brand names.
Expect the unexpected and purchase nursing pads to keep on hand for those times when a chatty co-worker has your ear, or a meeting runs long, to prevent any embarrassing accidents. Choose a brand that offers nursing pads thin enough that they can be easily hidden beneath your work clothing but absorbent enough so that you won't have to worry.
Speaking of clothing, a great tip from the Katie Hintz-Zambrano of MOTHER Mag is to wear a shirt that accommodates breastfeeding. Pick a button down blouse, V-Neck sweaters, or loose-fitting tops that allow easy access without crumpling up your clothes. At Modernize, we love a well-organized closet, so shift things around and place these items front and center so you can quickly grab what you need.
Now that you have properly stocked up on all the most necessary, and er, time-sensitive items you'll need when returning to work from your maternity leave, it's important to have a nice enough looking bag to keep things collected. Juno Blu makes chic and stylish breast pump bags that have a separate pocket for your pump and a spacious interior for anything else you might need to carry around with you. It's large enough to double as a baby bag, too!
We hope these tips on returning to work after maternity leave are a helpful resource!
Katherine Oakes is a freelance writer who writes about green living, interiors and home design, health and wellness, and ethical entrepreneurism. Visit her website for more information.
It's called formula for a reason™