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Thread: Tips for returning to work please

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Posts
    50

    Unhappy Tips for returning to work please

    First, thank you to everyone who posted bf-ing while working away from home success stories.
    Now I'm seeking tips and advice on how to emotionally cope with this dreaded event of returning to work. I am so sad. I have to go back the week after next and I don't know how I am ever going to be able to do it. I am freaking out. I'm already crying off and on, so how will I be when D-day actually arrives? I'm going to miss her so much. I'm afraid I won't be able to find enough quality time to give her. I'm afraid she'll decide she doesn't need to bf (read: I'm afraid she'll decide she doesn't need ME). Ahhhh. I know that fear is unreasonalble, but it still haunts me. Is there anything I can say to myself, or a mantra I can repeat to myself to help keep it from being... from FEELING so dreadful? How did you prepare and cope?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Posts
    28

    Default Re: Tips for returning to work please

    I think everyone cries the first day back :-)

    It always helped me to think that in most societies, groups of people raise the children while many of the women are in fields working (usually the elders etc). Think of your daughter as having a social opportunity that will help her develop as a person, yet still have the opportunity of being with you. I went back to work part time at 2 weeks and full time at 7 weeks. My son never missed a beat. He would wait for me to nurse (he is still reverse cycled to some degree at 7 months) and be so happy. He is well adjusted and the happiest and healthiest baby at daycare. The first days will be tough, but you will get through it.

    Good luck!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Posts
    63

    Default Re: Tips for returning to work please

    Mine reverse cycled, too, eating much less while gone and more in the evening. glad yours is having an easier time w/bottle than mine. She just went hungry at first, which was heartbreaking, though I know it's hard not to worry about the opposite.

    Tips:
    1. don't be surprised if baby wants to cluster feed, eating several times close together, when you get home. Mine nursed asap after work, then bath, then nursed immediately after. At first I thought no way she could be hungry so soon again, why is she fussing? But, my supply was lowest at that time of day, more so than during maternity leave. Once we added that extra feeding, she was blissfully content. Go with your baby's cues even if different than what you're used to.

    2. slow flow (newborn) nipples that are a wide dome shape worked best for us to prevent bottle preference

    3. don't yell at childcare provider, esp if it's daddy, for doing things differently than you. I got mad that he didn't cradle dd to feed...turns out that she only accepted bottle if facing outward distracted by tv or other sights. I thought it was terrible, but it took dh many crying, hungry evenings to figure that out, that cradling her made her think bf and miss mommy more.

    4. Bring snacks and water for self, even if it's for just the commute home. hunger is not good for supply, esp the long stretch between lunch and dinner. Remember, you're eating for a baby now bigger than in pregnancy!

    5. Read up on the signs for both oversupply and low supply since pumping is not natural. Most moms dwindle, but if you have a great double electric, hospital-grade pump, you could actually increase your supply to an uncomfortable amount as you stock up. Don't obsess over it, but read LLL website for tips on how to recognize and deal with either.

    6. freezing in baggies is a pain. use something sturdier, like Avent storage cups. nothing worse than leaking baggies losing all your precious milk.

    7. Bottle warmers take forever on frozen milk. Thaw ahead in fridge to avoid a really ugly scene...

    8. Nursing at daycare may be an option to make the away-time as short as possible, if daycare and baby are ok with it.

    9. Consider having a formula sample on hand if you can trust them to leave it as absolute last resort. Someday, the milk might spill or other disasters. Otherwise, you may have to call in sick as your backup plan. If in a private home, you might be able to have extra ebm frozen, but just make sure there is some backup plan...

    10. Buy nursing pads. If cloth, bring a baggie to take home wet ones, maybe in cooler to prevent mold/yeast growth?? You might end up leaking until body adjusts. Consider stashing an extra work outfit somewhere just in case. You'll probably never need it, but...

    11. Do a couple trial runs to make sure you know how long it takes to get ready with baby, even make-up and dress clothes if required. Same time of day, drive to both daycare and work, even if you just park the car and walk around the block, on the real day, allow for extra time to instruct caregiver way more than necessary just because you're nervous... It took me soooo much longer than getting ready alone b/c dd woke up to nurse before I wanted her to (b/c she heard me get up, I think), and I hit different traffic, and I forgot that you can't just rush off without goodbye and last-minute instructions, etc....

    hope some of that helps...

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Posts
    522

    Default Re: Tips for returning to work please

    Cindy,

    I've been thinking about your post for days, trying to come up with a helpful answer. I am sorry that the thought of going back to work distresses you so much. I was actually kind of excited about going back to work, even though I dreaded leaving my DS. I tried to focus on enjoying all of the days I had with DS before I went back. This will seem hokey but I think my baby taught me loads about living in the present. His needs and feelings are so immediate.

    One thing I tell myself about daycare is that it has some advantages for DS. He won't have any siblings, and it gives him a lot of exposure to other children. He loves watching other kids and trying to play with them. The daycare workers care about him and his development and interact with him in different ways than I do.

    Can you tell I don't have any advice? I have a happy story, though. DH takes DS to and from daycare (which is easier and less heart-wrenching for me), and they were waiting for me to come home from work on the first day DS went to daycare. I walked into the kitchen, started talking, and as soon as DS heard my voice he made a happy sound. He was only 8 weeks old. I still get choked up thinking about it.

    Your baby loves you, needs you, and will treasure all of the time she can have with her mama.

  5. #5

    Default Re: Tips for returning to work please

    I know this sounds hokey, but enjoy this time that you have with him.

    Plan menus now, so that there's less to do when you're not at work. The first few days/weeks back at work, try not to worry about keeping up with housework, meeting social obligations, etc.

    This is a big adjustment period for your family, take it slow, and do what you need to do to get through it. Eventually, you'll become used to the situation, and it will get a little easier.
    Shannon
    LLL Leader

    Protect your privacy online; don't use your full name. Click My Alias at the top left corner.

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