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Return to Work after Maternity Leave

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Return to Work after Maternity Leave

 The final weeks of maternity leave are here, and you feel the time slipping by. How has it gone by so fast? But also so slow? Your baby is no longer a peanut, and so much has changed in the past few weeks/months. The transition back to work seems like yet another change that will disrupt the precariously balanced routine that you have now. Returning back to work can be scary and overwhelming. Here are a few ways that you and your support system can help the transition back to work:

1) Walk Through the Schedule and Duties

a. You may already know who is doing daycare pick up, but do you know who is washing pump parts the night before? Or packing your lunches? Or packing the diaper bag? Or when everyone is bathing/showering? Or loading up the car? These are tasks to delegate between you and your partner. Not all of them have to be done the morning of either. If you’re a single mom, it’s all you baby! But figure out what you will be doing the night before versus the morning of and adjust as needed.

2) Review Needs with Supervisor

a. Email is best as written communication is documentation. Remind your supervisor of your needs for pumping or of your need for leaving right on time for daycare pick up and the backup plans should you run into any issues. Request confirmation that your needs can be met.

3) Consider Meal Planning

a. That first week or two back to work is going to be a whirlwind. If loved ones are willing and able, bringing a dish to share throughout the week can be helpful. Otherwise, be sure to have easy and accessible meals stocked up before you embark on this new adventure.

4) Check-in Meetings

a. There’s nothing quite like a good feedback meeting. This is the time to air out grievances and give recognition to your partner. Grievances should be met with problem solving and adjusting as needed for the following week. Ideally, this would occur once a week and range from about 20-30 minutes.


The elephant in the room, of course, is your dread for leaving your baby. There’s no solution to that one, momma, so simply: enjoy the time you have, allow yourself to cry as you grieve, and know that you are doing the best you can for you, your baby, and your family.

by Olivia Espinosa


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