The day comes eventually—when maternity leave is over and it’s time to go back to work. Good planning makes this transition easier, so we invite you to attend one of our Breastfeeding and Returning to Work classes held on July 31 and October 23 at 7 p.m. until 8.30 p.m. at Riverview Health where you’ll learn about building your milk supply, pumping at work, storing breast milk and preparing your employer and daycare provider about your breastfeeding plans.
Job one: Finding quality childcare
Start looking for quality childcare as early as possible. It’s always a good idea to ask your doctor, friends, work colleagues and neighbors for recommendations. Online services can also connect parents with potential care providers, too.
Then, you’ll need to have your questions prepared. When visiting daycare centers, for example, you’ll want to keep important questions in mind such as these:
- Is the program licensed or regulated?
- What’s the caregiver/child ratio?
- Do the hours of operation fit with your work schedule?
- Do the caregivers have training in CPR, first aid and early childhood education?
- Do you feel welcome? Do the babies and children seem happy? Is the environment clean, safe and warm?
- Are you welcome to stop by at any time to see your child?
Whether you decide on daycare or a nanny, it’s always good to talk to other parents at the same daycare or check the provider’s references. If you take the nanny route, you may also want to have your baby spend some time with him or her while you’re still on maternity leave. This will help you both ease into things.
Also, if you are breastfeeding, talk to your employer to ensure that they understand your needs and that you have the space and privacy to pump during work hours.
One day at a time
Many moms have mixed emotions when they return to their jobs. Getting into a routine helps. You can make things easier in the mornings by getting supplies packed the night before if you’ll be pumping at work and by not being shy about asking for help from other family members. Finally, remember that even if it’s a bumpy start, it does get easier over time—and you’re never alone. Reach out to your healthcare provider who can suggest resources, support groups and other practical ways to help create a healthy work-life balance for everybody in your family.
Sources: AAFP.org, Census.gov, WomensHealth.gov