My maternity leave finally came to an end earlier this month. I returned to work. I cried the night before my first day back. Then I cried the morning of, and some more during lunch hour. Now I still tear up occasionally when I’m reminded that I’m not spending time with my precious baby.
Needless to say, going back to work after baby is never easy. I’m not an expert on being a mommy or anything. And I can’t say that I’m a veteran at going back to work after baby. Because heck, I’m going through it right now, just 2 weeks in. But here are a few things that I found helpful for me.
Breast pump and nursing pads
If you decide to continue breastfeeding, get an electric breast pump. Start pumping and storing extra milk a couple weeks in advance to build up your supply. I have this breast pump and even though it is on the pricier side, I’ve used it so much that it’s totally worth it. It comes with storage bottles to get you started on milk storage, and also a tote for carrying around. With this pump, I can pump one or both breasts at the same time. I also got a car adapter for it so if I’m sitting in traffic, I could multitask and pump.
Another important thing to get is nursing pads. You should already be using nursing pads from the day you started breast feeding to prevent milk leaking. But now is the time to stock up. I do not ever want to have milk leak stains on my shirt, so I buy these pads in bulk and keep a couple in the same tote with my breast pump.
Baby bottle and nipple
Finding the right bottle for Lucy was not an easy task. Nursing from a mother’s breast and sucking on a bottle require two different sucking techniques. It depends on the baby. Some can be on the breast at night and take a bottle during the day no problem. But Lucy is more particular. She was so used to being on the breast that the transition to a bottle was challenging. I tried several bottle and nipple brands, and ended up with Playtex BabyTM Nurser Bottle with Drop-ins® Liners.
The Playtex BabyTM Nurser Bottle is designed to take pre-sterilized and disposable Drop-ins® Liners to save you time washing bottles. All you have to do is drop in a liner, add milk and you’re ready to feed. When done, just throw it out, no need to wash the bottle. Not only that, the liner gently collapses as the baby sucks to prevent air bubbles from mixing with milk and getting into baby’s tummy, reducing discomfort and colic.
The Most like MomTM NATURALATCH® Nipple that it comes with has a raised texture and is clinically proven to help baby latch naturally.
I suggest starting the transition to bottle weeks before you return to work, so you and your baby both have time to practice and adjust. Lucy has tried other brand nipples before, but I noticed with Playtex BabyTM, she latches on quickly. It is also been easier for me to switch between breast in the evening and bottle during the day.
Shapewear for you
After being away from real human interaction for a while, I would so forget how to dress up if it weren’t for running a fashion blog. Not only that, I also feel insecure about how I look post partum. But thankfully, I did research and found a solution, shapewear. I never used shapewear pre pregnancy, but now I cannot live without it. I use both light and medium support. Light support for all day wear, and firm support for special occasions. I also have this one that adds control for the thighs as well because yes, I need help there too. Not only can you get your baby ready, you can be confident in returning back to work and looking your best too.
Ease back into it
Lastly, ease back into your work schedule. You don’t have to go back fully 100% if it’s possible. Ask to work half days for the first week, or start mid-week instead. I started work again on a Monday but I take every Friday off. If you have help from your spouse, mom, other relatives, friends, even for the first week or two, use it.
I know other new moms take a photo of their baby to work with them to make it easier. But personally, I can’t look at Lucy’s photo without tearing up a little. Lucy is so close to rolling over from her back to her tummy by herself, and I almost cry every time the thought that I’m going to miss it occurs. Anything that reminds me of how I’m going to miss out on spending time with her, I stay away from. So if it helps you to keep a photo close, do it. Otherwise, you don’t have to.
Going back to work after baby is hard. If you find it challenging, you are not alone. I’m proud of you for being a wonderful mommy and doing the best you know how. Hopefully you found a thing or two here to help you transition back into the workplace after your maternity leave. Now I’m going to kiss Lucy a hundred times tonight because I don’t think I ever could kiss her enough.