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Returning to work after having a baby: Mandy Gurney - Millpond Children's Sleep Clinic

Stepping back into the professional world after welcoming a new addition to your family can be both exhilarating and daunting. In our series, “Thriving Back: Navigating Work After Baby,” we explore the intricacies of returning to work postpartum.


From what you need to plan, to managing the juggle of responsibilities, to nurturing your career growth amidst newfound parenthood, to coping when the baby isn’t sleeping well and how to guide your baby towards better sleep. Each post offers insights, tips, and support to help you thrive in this transition.


Join us as we embark on this journey together, empowering you to navigate the world of work with confidence and resilience, all while embracing the joys of parenthood.


“Top 10 Tips for Returning to Work after Having a Baby: A Comprehensive Guide”

 



Having a baby is one of the most amazing and biggest life-changing things we can do. But, along with the happiness and surprises of being a parent, comes the change of going back to work. For lots of parents, this move back can be both thrilling and scary, filled with emotions and hours of practical planning.


In our busy world today, where work goals often mix with the job of caring for a young family, it’s key to find a good mix of work and home life. This can be a tricky balance that needs good planning, help, and an active way to make going back to work go well.


In our first blog of the series, we’re going to look at the main steps and ways parents can get ready to go back to work after the wild times of a new baby. Our goal is to give advice that works to help parents move forward with sureness and ease.


Whether you’re a new parent worried at the prospect of leaving your baby with someone else, or you know the ropes but have to handle more than one child and a busy job, this blog is here to give you the what-to-dos and ideas you need to do well both at home and at work.

Going back to work after baby isn’t just about starting your job again; it’s about starting a fresh part of growing strong, bouncing back, and finding out new things about yourself.

So, if you’re worried about your return to work after having your little bundle of joy, we’ve got you covered! Check out our comprehensive guide on our top 10 tips for returning to work after having a baby.


Plan well your return to work well ahead:

If you’re approaching the end of your maternity leave and planning your return to work, it’s a good idea to start thinking about it as early as you can. This will give you ample time to consider important factors such as childcare options and your work schedule. It’s essential to schedule meetings with your employer and HR to discuss any necessary adjustments that may need to be made. Taking these steps can help ensure a smooth transition back to work.


  • Communicate with your employer:

It may be worth discussing your working hours with your employer or HR department. They may be able to offer more flexible options, such as working from home or starting work at different times to accommodate nursery drop-offs or avoid busy traffic times. This can not only help you achieve a better work-life balance, but it can also improve your overall job satisfaction and productivity.


  • Ease yourself back slowly:

When returning to work after having a baby, it’s important to consider a phased approach. Starting with part-time or remote work a few days a week can help ease the transition for both you and your baby. If your company offers Keep in Touch Days, take advantage of them before your official return to work. This can help you stay connected with your colleagues and make the transition smoother.


  • Plan your baby’s daycare:

As a working parent, one of the most important decisions you’ll make is who is going to look after your baby. That’s why it’s crucial to take the time to research your options and find a provider you trust that aligns with your values, needs and preferences. You could explore daycare centres, and in-home childcare providers, or you may prefer to rely on a trusted family member. The most important thing is that you feel comfortable and confident with your choice. Remember, choosing quality childcare can provide peace of mind and ensure your baby’s well-being while you’re at work.



  • Create your support system:

Creating a support system can be extremely helpful during this time. Consider building a network of friends, family, and fellow parents who can offer guidance, advice, and assistance as you transition back to work. Having a strong support system in place can be invaluable, helping you out when needed and offering guidance as you navigate this new chapter of your life. Remember, you don’t have to do this alone


  • Check workplace policies:

Balancing work and family life can be a challenge, but reviewing your workplace policies can help make it easier. Take some time to familiarise yourself with your employer’s policies on parental leave, flexible work arrangements, and benefits like healthcare cover and childcare assistance. Knowing your rights as a working parent is crucial, and can help you achieve a healthy work-life balance.


  • Your career after maternity leave:

You may decide to use your maternity to think about your career goals or even reassess your future. You could try joining useful webinars, or online classes to update your skills and build your confidence before your return to work.


  • Plan ways to take care of yourself:

As a parent life is busier than ever! But returning to work after a break can be an excellent opportunity to focus on your self-care. Rather than feeling overwhelmed by the demands of work, you can use your time to nourish your mind, body and soul. For example, you could read during your commute or join a gym near your office to work out during your lunch hour. Exercise is a great way to reduce anxiety and stress and boost energy levels. By making self-care a priority, you’ll benefit your well-being, and be more present for your loved ones and your work.


  • Organising meals and breastfeeding when you’re back at work:

Prepare meals:

Try planning your week’s meals. Choose what you’ll eat for breakfast, lunch, and snacks and then you can cook and portion meals on the weekend or the night before to save time during busy mornings. You may wish to get easy meal options like meal-prep delivery, ready salads, or healthy frozen meals. Pack lunches and snacks the night before for an easy grab-and-go in the morning.


Breastfeeding and expressing at work:

Talk to your boss or HR to ensure you have a set area for expressing. Ask where there’s a private, comfy space with a power outlet and ensure you have a good breast pump and needed accessories. Try creating an expressing schedule that works with your work hours. Then consider how you will store your expressed milk, such as a small fridge or insulated cooler with ice packs.


  • Be flexible and kind to yourself:

Be ready for changes when going back to work; even when you’ve planned everything you can think of, your plan might not always go as expected. It’s best to try to stay as open as you can and adjust your schedule and routines if you need to. Try to find a balance that works for you and your family. And don’t be too hard on yourself, returning to work after maternity or paternity leave can be challenging. Being apart from your baby while trying to get back into the rhythm of working life can be overwhelming. Some days may feel easier than others, and it’s okay to say “no” sometimes and decline social invitations, rely on frozen meals, and go to bed early if that’s what you need to do.


Remember that it’s vitally important to take care of yourself during this transition period!

 

If you would like to speak to one of our sleep consultants about how you can guide your baby towards better sleep, please reach out today. We can chat with you about how we can help offer practical and gentle sleep strategies.


 

Feel free to give us a call if you’d like to chat about your little one’s sleep! We’re here to help.


Written by Mandy Gurney RGN.RM.Dip HV.


 


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