The first year of a new baby's life is full of milestones and transitions, and one of those milestones may be your return back to work after maternity leave. Whether you had 2 weeks, 12 weeks, or even longer away, the prospect of returning to work after having a baby can come with a lot of mixed emotions!
After the initial weeks of care, one of the most popular reasons that families hire our Postpartum and Infant Care doulas is to help them prepare and get through the transition back to work of one or both partners with a little more ease. Here are four ways that we can help you to gain more confidence as you get ready for your own step back into the formal workforce after having a new baby:
- Offering feeding support. If you desire to continue breastfeeding even after you go back to work, one of the biggest questions you may have is: how do I balance pumping and working and breastfeeding? We work with families to come up with a customized pumping and feeding plan ahead of time, so that you can practice and gain confidence that you can do it. We also teach practical skills like paced bottle feeding for baby, and help you come up with strategies to minimize stress and increase rest in between caring for your baby and juggling the demands of work.
- Helping you to implement a trial run for work days. As you get ready to go back to work, you may understandably be feeling both excitement about getting back to a formal job that you enjoy, and also some nervousness about being away from your baby that you love! To help calm your nerves, we often will help families plan trial work days before you go back to work, so that you can feel calm and confident that you and your baby are ready for this next big step!
- Offering strategies to help your baby (and you!) to adjust. Like all new things, change doesn't always happen perfectly, and it can be hard! We are there to offer validation and assurance to you as you work through the emotions that come along with a return to work. We can also help you understand strategies and tips for supporting your baby through the adjustment, and feel nurtured and supported at the same time. Sometimes that even looks like a few weeks of extra help with light household chores and meal preparation to minimize other responsibilities, and let you focus on and maximize the time you do have with your baby before or after work.
- Giving you some much needed sleep. One of the hardest parts of having a new baby is the lack of regular sleep. If this is a fear or a concern of yours as you prepare to get back to work, we offer overnight care and assistance to help you to get a little more sleep and feel a little more energized. This can go a long way to helping you feel like you have more to give: both to your job while you are there, and to your baby and family while you are with them!