What is your best advice for new moms returning to work? What helped you? What did you wish someone had told you?
Advice – be kind to yourself. As you juggle so much, know that you are doing the best you can!
What helped – support from my supervisor to be a nursing mom, taking the time I needed to go to the lactations rooms a time or two each day.
Great advice, Treasure! And yes-support is necessary.
Pack your bag the night before, and have an extra set at work just in case you forget a part.
Definitely be gentle with yourself – it's a lot to juggle with working + an expanding family + figuring out new routines. It's doable and you'll figure out a routine, I promise!
As for advice, I would recommend:
-If you're pumping, try to set aside specific block times on your calendar (if you have the option to do that). Look ahead of time at the closest 2-3 lactation rooms so you can (relatively) quickly find an alternative if you need to pump but the room you usually use is occupied.
-Also if you're pumping: buy a really great hands-free nursing bra. Lansinoh makes the best one (in my opinion). Even if you're pumping in a lactation room, being hands-free is still really nice (especially if you want to hold a book/magazine and relax!).
-If you are a Rochester employee, fill out the pre-registration forms for Childrens R&R ahead of time for those mornings your little one wakes up sick but you need to go to work. Get the Childrens R&R magnet with the phone number, etc. and put it on your fridge, print out the "what to bring" list off their website, and have a parking plan for driving in (honestly, I would usually just park in the Center Street Ramp and cough up the $12-13/day as it's close to R&R). Childrens R&R is absolutely amazing – a PTO- and life-saver!
-Invest in some good ice packs (especially if you don't have access to a fridge during the day or if you have a long commute) for bringing your pumped milk home.
-It is totally normal to feel like you are going through withdrawal symptoms that first week (especially the first day!) when you go back to work after maternity leave. I remember wanting to blow through red lights and speed through town (neither of which I actually did…but it crossed my mind! :)) after work to get back to my baby! Those beautiful little beings are a bit addictive – in a good way.
-When transitioning to daycare, my kiddos always seemed to need a quick 15-minute "power nap" after they got home in the evening. I think the stimulation of daycare + missing their mom = need for a quick snuggle and nap. While the timing isn't always convenient or easy – especially if you have other kids at home and you're trying to make supper – those 15 minutes are well worth it to just sit and relax together if you can.
Awesome advice! Thanks for sharing with all of us. Planning ahead, tips of the trade, and giving yourself a break are all so important.
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Yes! I needed to do this even before kids…still good advice!
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