10 things to do about getting back to work after baby

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So you have made the decision to go back to work after your maternity leave. Good Job! Because it is not so much about what is right and what is wrong, it is about making the decision and feeling comfortable with it whatever it may be. As you get ready to go back to work make sure that you put in place a few things which would make your life easier as you get back to working mom vis a vis just working woman. Here are a few things to do before you head back to your office.

1. Get them familiarised: When you are sure of the date when you are going back to work, a week before that start getting your baby familiarised with the care provider. Do not wait till the last minute. Hang out for a couple of hours with the baby with the care provider or the day care and get your baby comfortable with the new environment. You will also be able to get more comfortable and establish a rapport with the care giver.

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2. Feeding plans: If your office has the facility for you to pump and store your breast milk in the refrigerator and bring it back home for your baby, then you need to get set up with the whole kit of breast pump, breast milk storage bags or containers, ice packs for transportation etc. If that is not an option, then get your baby familiarised with the bottle if you have been nursing.

3. Do a Practice run: Once everything has been set in place, a day before you actually start, do a practice run of waking up at a particular time and finishing your morning routine and getting to work on time. This will show you where the bottle necks are and what takes more time.

4. Spruce it up ! Be prepared for your fitted work clothes not to fit so well yet! It might take almost up to a year for some women to go back to their pre-pregnancy weight and even then everything does not exactly fit the same way. So try on your clothes to see if they fit so that you are not scrambling around in the morning, or better still buy yourself some new clothes to make you feel better!

5. Shopping apps: Life is going to get extra busy when you are a working mom. So make use of technology- Shopping leisurely at the store will be luxury going forward and therefore download apps like big basket, zopnow, pepper tap, Grofers etc. which can make your life infinitely easy. Just order the grocery from work and it will be delivered after you get home!

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6. Avoid Monday: When you are getting back to work, pick a Wednesday or a Thursday so that you have a shorter work week. You could be very emotional leaving your baby behind and a full work week might be brutal. So ease into it in the middle of the week.

7. Fridge Planner: Get a large whiteboard that you can write with a marker on and stick it on your fridge. You would need to remember a gazillion things like vaccination dates, paediatrician numbers, grocery lists, child medication and doses etc. etc., Having it all in one place will make things easy.

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8. Plan B: Have back up plans for when you are unable to pick up the baby or your care provider is sick and situations like that. Make sure you and your husband are on the same page about these arrangements!

9. Take Care of Yourself: It can be hugely challenging to be a full time working woman by day and a mom by night. So eat well, sleep early and get enough rest until your body gets accustomed to the hectic pace of life.

10. Give it Time: It can be a little rough and exhausting to get back to work. You may be tempted in these emotional times to make some decisions about your work- maybe you should do part time, maybe you should quit your job, maybe you need to take on a smaller, less demanding role etc. Give it a month of settling in before you make any big calls on what you want to do going forward.

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