Your First Day
The first days back to
work can seem like a terrifying challenge. Follow a few of these
tips, and the whole transition will be a lot easier for both you
and your baby.
If you're all ready to go back, be sure
to print out a copy of the checklist
for easy packing.
Before your first day back to work,
have a practice day. Get up at the time you would to go to work,
and duplicate the morning routine, leaving with your baby and
bottles and lunch and all of the various things you'll need
during the day. Arrange for your baby to have a half-day with
his care provider so you can practice leaving him for a short
time. Then go home and try to duplicate your work schedule. Pump
when you would have breaks at work, and try to get by on only
what you've packed (so you can figure out if you've forgotten
anything). See if what you chose to wear works for pumping, or
if it shows milk stains if you leak.
At the end of the day or half-day, see
if you've pumped as much as your baby drank - if not, see if
your care provider was pushing too many bottles, or maybe you'll
need to pump more often. It's good to find these things out
before you're really at work.
a short week
Arrange for your first week back to
start on a Wednesday or Thursday. The first days back are always
overwhelming, so starting with a short week will keep you from
getting too tired. It also gives you a chance to practice
pumping for a couple of days, without the intimidation of a
whole week looming ahead of you.
When I started back to work, I could
only find childcare 4 days a week - this was such a blessing!
Working 4 day weeks was about ten times easier for me than a
full time schedule, and I was lucky enough to be able to manage
the accompanying pay cut.
Your schedule will
need to adjust to your particular work situation, but you can
start from this typical schedule:
6am: Wake up and nurse your
Shower, dress, eat a healthy breakfast, pump if you need to.
7:30am: Leave for work with
8:00am: Drop off baby at
daycare, talk about your baby's needs with your care
8:15am: Nurse your baby before
8:45am: Arrive at work (this
can be another time to pump if you need more milk)
10:00am: First pumping break
12:30pm: Lunch and second
3:00pm: Third pumping break
5:00pm: Leave to pick up your
5:30pm: Arrive at childcare,
nurse your baby and discuss your baby's day
6:00pm: Arrive home, eat dinner
7:30pm: nurse your baby and put
him or her to bed
8:00pm: Clean pump parts, get
bottles ready for the next day, pack your own lunch and get
out the next day's dinner from the freezer
10:00pm: Go to bed. You may
want to wake your baby to nurse before you go to sleep, or
pump before bed if your baby sleeps through.