It’s nearing the end of your pregnancy and motherhood is in clear view. Relish in the last few weeks and prepare for the arrival of your new baby. According to the Maternal and Child Health Bureau, 70.6 percent of women take maternity leave with the average length of leave being 10.3 weeks. Here are some tips that can help you plan your leave and eventually transition back to work.
Towards the End of Your Pregnancy
Make your maternity leave as stress-free as possible by determining your rights regarding maternity leave. There are two types of maternity leave: paid and unpaid. Consult with your company’s human resources department to determine if you’re eligible to receive wage replacement while you’re on your leave. Under the Family and Medical Leave Act, many employers are required by federal law to allow their employees a minimum of twelve weeks of unpaid leave after the birth of a child. Dad is entitled to leave as well, so make sure you look into his rights as a new dad as well.
During Maternity Leave
In the weeks leading up to the birth of your baby, take time to rest. Enjoy leisurely dinners with your significant other, family and friends and catch up on those parenting books stacked up on your bedside table. Perhaps a little pampering with a pregnancy massage to sooth sore and tired muscles. Being home with the baby provides you with quality bonding time, so try to put worries of the office aside as much as possible. Take pleasure in every feeding, and snuggle with your new bundle of joy. And, yes, even those diaper changes gives you quality time that you will miss once you’re back at your daily routine in the office. And, take advantage of well-meaning friends and family, especially grandma, to take some of the burden off of you so you can get some sleep!
Tips for Returning to the Workplace
You may be dreading the day that your maternity leave ends, and you have to leave the baby, but don’t despair. Let go of the guilt and know that your baby is in the caring hands of a family member or reliable sitter. Look forward to the interactions and challenges that your career will present when you return. Approximately two weeks before you return back to work, adjust your nursing schedule to allow you to pump two to three times per day – before and after work – if you decide to breastfeed. Help your baby adapt by practicing with a bottle during the day. While returning to work after maternity leave can pose emotional conflicts with new moms, early preparation can make the process easier on mom and baby.
Are you a new or expecting mother? Check out some of the other great advice in the prior editions of our New Mom Survival Tips blog series. You can also shop for adorable outfits of all kinds in our online store. Be sure to also look at all of the “take me home” outfits that we are currently selling.