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(Family Features) For many moms, heading back to work after maternity leave is something that has always been a part of the plan, but that doesn’t mean it’s easy. This leads to concern about not having enough time to bond with baby, stress about pumping at work and maintaining your milk supply.
While you may be worrying about being separated from baby for an extended period and interrupting your carefully crafted breastfeeding schedule, there are ways to help make the transition back to work easier for you and your little one.
Ease Into the New Routine
If possible, schedule your return date for the middle of a week rather than a Monday. Getting thrown into a long work week will not only be exhausting, but emotionally draining as well. By taking only a few days away from baby at the beginning, you can slowly ease back into work and make the return more manageable.
Purchase Pumping Essentials
While pumping at work can be challenging, having the right accessories can make it easier and even extend the time you spend pumping and breastfeeding. Although many moms returning to work stress about finding a private location to pump and the time to do it, a discreet pumping accessory, such as NUK Simply Natural Freemie Collection Cups, allows you to pump hands-free with your shirt on – even in your cubicle. Compatible with leading double electric breast pumps, you can pump on your own terms. The collection cups also help easily transfer milk into storage containers or storage bags to bring home. A supply of absorbent nursing pads is also a handy essential to keep with your breast pump to help you stay dry throughout the day.
Take Your Lunch Break
While getting back into your work routine may keep you busy, it’s important to still make time for a lunch break. A return to work often means a change in your normal habits with more eating on the go, which can lead to skipped meals or not enough hydration. A quick lunch break helps create time for proper nutrients so you can maintain energy to keep up with the demands of work and parenting.
Maintain the Bond
Feeding is a special time and it can be just as hard on your little one when the schedule changes. One way to help ease the feeding transition is to use products that provide a more natural feeding experience, like NUK Simply Natural Bottles. The bottles are modeled after the shape of breasts, with up to nine nipple holes, and make for a natural transition between breast and bottle. As a result, baby can maintain a close-to-mom feel, even while you are apart. Try introducing more family members or friends to giving baby a bottle about a month before going back to work so you feel confident that the process is going smoothly before your official return date.
Keep the Connection
One of the hardest parts about returning to work is leaving your baby, and that’s expected. Don’t be shy about asking your caregiver to send updates once or twice a day with texts and pictures for peace of mind. One way to help ease the stress of being back at work is to visually see that your baby is doing well with the new routine.
Working mothers have a handful of challenges to face, but planning ahead and following these tips can help ensure the transition is as smooth as possible.