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Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Things People Don't Tell You: Back to Work After Baby

I decided to write a mini-series titled Things People Don't Tell You because there are so many things that people don't tell you in regard to pregnancy, parenthood, etc.  In fact, Pinterest and blogs and social media make it all look so easy and glamorous and natural.  And a lot of it is, but a lot of it isn't.

So, I'm willing to be honest and open and share the things that people don't tell you in regards to pregnancy, delivery, bringing home a baby, breastfeeding, etc.
You can see my previous posts here and here

If you have questions or suggestions for future topics, please email me.  I'm happy to share!

Going back to work is hard.  But, honestly, the build-up to going back to work is even harder.
I wish someone would have told me that all the worrying I was doing and stressing over how I would cope with going back to work was actually the worst part of doing it.  (In retrospect I think my mom did tell me, but I didn't get it until I actually went through it.)

These are the things you can do to make going back to work easier...

Practice waking up in the morning and getting ready (even if you have nowhere to go) for at least a week in advance.  Getting into a routine before it is mandatory helps work out kinks.

Visit the daycare center/sitter several times with the baby before you go back to work.  Observe how things are done in that environment and how they change/feed/etc. your child.

If possible do a few days or half-days of daycare a week or two before going back to help emotionally prepare you for being away from the baby for an extended time.

Give yourself approximately 15 minutes of lee-way.  Some days you might end up with 15 extra minutes and some days you may need those minutes to change a dirty diaper or an entire outfit after a blow-out.

Prep as much as possible the night before: make the coffee, make the bottles, pack lunch, pack the diaper bag, fill your water bottle, etc.

If you are breastfeeding discuss with your employer your physical needs.  (All employers are required to provide time for you to do this).  Locate a comfortable place in your building where you can go to pump as often as necessary.

Frame a picture, create a travel photo mug, or keep your phone on hand so you can look at pictures of your little one throughout the day.  This helps milk come in when pumping away from home and keeps you happy.

Remind yourself that you are doing this so that you have extra money to buy and do fun things for baby.  It is nice to have the extra.  Acknowledge the fact that you are doing something difficult (and give yourself some grace). Being a working mom is no easy task; you are fulfilling work duties, mommy duties, wifely duties, etc. on a daily basis.  You are a supermom.

Purchase a few new articles of clothing/accessories/shoes to wear to work.  Having some fun new pieces in your closet can make you feel more comfortable and confident in your post-partum body.  It also makes getting ready in the morning more fun.

Purchase items that will make pumping more convenient: a mini fridge to keep your milk cold, a hand pump (I keep this in the car in the event that I forget my pump at home or leave the building without it), a backpack pump to make carrying easier, bottles and lids for storage, and the hands-free pumping bra so you can still get work done while pumping at your desk.

pumping conveniences


  1. I would add try to clear the calendar in the evenings. After I am done work I only get a few hours with baby before she is ready for bed and I want to make the most of it.

  2. I know in Missouri there is a law stating that where you work has to provide a private place for you to pump and adequate pumping times that DONT count as your 15 minute break. Something I didn't know until I took a breastfeeding class at our hospital.


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