Carol App Team
Community Questions - Nervous to return to work after maternity leave.
"I know I won't be alone in this but it still feels tough, do you have any tips for returning to work following mat leave? I'm due to go back in May and my son will be 10 months. I'm really quite nervous."
You are absolutely not alone in this. Returning to work following maternity leave can feel really daunting, especially after such a huge life change and becoming a mama! Here are some of our tips for returning back to work following maternity leave and some tips that other mums have shared with us too.
Starting childcare when you head back to work can be tough and the first few days may seem overwhelming, but once you and your little one are in the routine it does get easier. We've been there.
Our top tip is preparation. Try to prep everything the night before - get your clothes for work ready, have your babies clothes out ready, bottles/snacks ready - try to make your life as easy as possible for the mornings so it's a lot less stressful. Alongside this, trying to wake up a little earlier than usual can help with creating a more relaxing morning before you head off to work and allow you some 'you-time' before your baby is up and it's full steam ahead! We would recommend taking a spare top to work with you if you are pumping at work incase there are any spillages! Make sure to pack a small cooler bag if you are pumping at work to transport your breast milk home safely.
When you head back to the office, try to take it easy and don't be too hard on yourself, you've just been through a huge life transition and will likely need some time to readjust to the new routine as well as get back into work mode - speaking to your colleagues and manager about this can be helpful so they know how you feel. Don't be afraid to ask for flexibility/accommodations to help you in your work and family life if that's something you have been thinking about.
If you're pumping at work, some tips that worked for us was time blocking in your calendar for you to pump - if you can have a pump at work and at home this can make life easier and means you won't leave your pump at home and vice-versa! Hands free pumps can be great for at work as they are discreet and you can sit at your desk comfortably and pump whilst finishing off any work if you're in the middle of something and need to pump.