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7 Tips for Returning to Work following Maternity Leave

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You have been home with your new baby for the past several months. You have been on maternity leave, but that will soon be over. But, are you really ready to go back to work? After all, you have been doing a completely different type of job for the past few months, and it can be hard to jump back into your old job after being away from it for so long. Here are seven tips that will help you get back into the swing of things after your maternity leave is over.

1. Find Reliable Childcare

If your company doesn’t have daycare services, you will need to find your own reliable childcare. If you are lucky, you will have a family member who is willing to step up and take care of the baby. But, if you are like most of us, you will need to start interviewing caregivers to find just the right person to hire.

2. Talk to Your Boss

It is a good idea to speak with your boss prior to going back to work. You need to find out if there are any changes to your job description and responsibilities, changes in the work place, etc. Find out if there are flex-hours, so you can spend more time with your baby. By talking with your boss, you won’t be going back to work blind and ending up not having any idea of what you are supposed to be doing.

3. Try Outplacement Services

If you are ready to get back into the work force but you don’t have a job to go to, you may want to use the outplacement services. They will help you find a new job so you can get back out there into the work force. Often, these jobs are temporary gigs, but this is a great way to get used to getting up and going to work again.

4. Test the Childcare Provider

Before you actually start working, test the childcare provider you have chosen. Get them to take care of the baby for a few hours prior to your going back to work. That way, you get to see how they interact with your baby, how well they take care of the baby, etc. It will also give the baby a chance to get used to being with someone besides you and other family members. Take advantage of this free time to pamper yourself.

5. Make Meals Ahead

You are going to be busy finding work-life balance, with a job and a baby to juggle, it may be hard to find time to cook healthy meals. On the weekend before you go back to work, make up a bunch of frozen meals (casseroles, crock pot meals, etc.) and freeze them. You will have healthy meals made up for the next couple of weeks, so you can get used to your new schedule without having to add cooking to your list of things to do.

6. Ease Back into Working

Talk to your employer about starting back in the middle of the week. This will give you a chance to get back into working without having to go all out in your first week. Also, ask if you can stagger your re-entry into the workforce, so you work a couple of days the first week, three days the next, etc. until you are back to full time hours.

7. Stock Up on Nursing Essentials

If you are breastfeeding, make sure that you are completely stocked up with everything you need before you go back to work. One of the most important items you will need is a breast pump. You won’t be there for regular feedings, so you need to make sure that the caregiver is able to feed them your milk.

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