You’ve heard it a million times, but having a baby is a life-changing decision. And oftentimes, once you decide to become a mom, you can feel a little lost in the sea of advice out there on the internet. That’s why Rosie Pope, maternity and baby clothing designer, pregnancy concierge and mom extraordinaire, is here to help. She shares her tips on pregnancy superfoods, best workouts for when you’re expecting and now how to handle one toughie of a transition: going back to work postpartum. Here are her best tips for you.
1. Consider childcare options. This is the biggie. From nannies to family members to daycare, finding someone to care for your baby while you’re back at the office is so, so important. Spend as much time as possible vetting your options and making sure your baby’s caregiver is responsible, experienced and the whole package.
2. Establish a feeding plan. Before you go back to work, ask yourself how you plan on feeding your child. Breastmilk? Formula? A combination of both? Needless to say, once you’re back to a full-time job, breastfeeding will be more challenging so if that is your pick, get a super comfortable and well-reviewed breast pump since it’ll be getting daily use. As for formula feeding, do careful research to ensure it fits your baby’s nutritional and tummy-comfort needs.
3. You may need a transitional wardrobe. Your body goes through some major changes during pregnancy, so if you’re getting back to your nine-to-five, your old work clothes might not fit so well anymore. Give yourself time and leeway to adjust back with a work-appropriate transitional wardrobe.
1. Practice self-care. When you’re caring for your infant at home and also give it your all at work, you can end up burning the candle at both ends. Be conscious of your limitations as a human being, and if you have a support network, make sure you reach out.
2. Look out for your stamina (and take naps if you can!). Naps are a form of self-care, as you being exhasuted does no good for anyone. Of course, not everyone has the luxury of napping throughout the day (ahem, baby), so catch your zzz’s where you can. Even a quick 20 minutes of shuteye can help!
1. Don’t feel guilty about going back. Whether transitioning back to your role as #girlboss is something you’re looking forward to or something you’re torn up over, Rosie’s advice is, “Do not feel guilty!” For those mom who are really struggling with returning, Rose encourages you to really dive into the question, “Is it possible for [me] to stay at home?” If the answer is definitely no, then look to her next point.
2. Manage your expectations. Time can be a great aid in helping new moms adjust, but also, leaning on your support network is another way to handle your transition. There are also all sort of new technologies that allow you to check in with your baby throughout the day, like with a Canary Flex ($199) camera or a Nest Cam ($199), or schedule a lunchtime FaceTime with your baby and caregiver. Do whatever you can to find ways to cope.
3. Accept you can’t achieve everything in one day. Don’t put yourself under the pressure of trying to get it all done at once. Instead, balance your responsibilities out over a month and look back to see if you’ve spent enough time with you child, enough time at work, enough time with your partner and enough time for yourself.
1. Be proud of being a parent — but don’t overshare at work. While becoming a parent often means you want to just talk about your kid 24/7, that’s not always appropriate behavior in a professional setting. Keep the poop talk to a minimum. If baby spits up on your shirt, it’s totally normal, but maybe don’t broadcast it. Or do. Depends on your workplace ;)
2. Don’t apologize for being a mom. Okay, this last point is in all seriousness. Just because you have to leave early for a doctor’s appointment or even just to get home to your baby, it doesn’t diminish your value as an employee. You are STILL capable of doing your job. Don’t ever apologize for being a mom!
Will you be using these tips? Tweet us @BritandCo!
(Photo via Astrid Stiawarz/Getty)