Returning to work comes with a mix of emotions for most new moms.
While you may feel excited to get back to a routine and reconnect with your work colleagues, you may also feel guilty about that excitement. Others dread leaving their baby and worry that their daycare or caregiver won’t be able to care for their baby the way they can.
All these feelings are completely valid, and many moms have felt them before! No one can replace you or love your baby the same way you can. And, unfortunately, mom guilt is real! You will juggle career goals, work responsibilities, and family commitments for a long time. Lean on your partner, family and friends, and find a caregiver you can trust and feel comfortable with. This “village” will be invaluable in raising your family.
Preparation is the key to anything that creates anxiety - and that includes returning to work. Returning to work as a breastfeeding mom can add additional concerns. You may wonder how to balance breastfeeding and pumping, how much to bring to daycare, and how to juggle it all.
To help both you and baby acquaint yourselves with your caregiver, go to daycare a few times before the big day, just to be there, interact with the babies, and engage with the caregivers so they get to know you and see how you and baby interact. Being able to visualize your baby’s day and getting comfortable with their new surroundings can help alleviate some anxiety.
If you can, ease back into your work schedule, perhaps with an abbreviated schedule the first week or two so it is not such a long absence at first. If you can’t do an abbreviated schedule, pop over to daycare or home if you can at lunchtime so you and baby can nurse, reconnect and break up an 8 hour day into something more manageable. If you can’t do that, don’t feel shy about calling your caregiver once or twice during the day to check in. They will understand that the first few days are the hardest on new moms.
Whatever your choices, you and your baby have a special bond that no one else can replicate. Nothing will be sweeter than reconnecting when you are back together. Nursing is a great way to do just that.