The birth of your baby brings everlasting changes in your life and requires you to bring about changes in your daily schedule. The achievement of being a capable parent surpasses everything that you would have accomplished.
Bringing The Baby Home: Before bringing your baby home, gain as much training as possible in nursing and taking care of her. While at home, utilize your time in learning from your elders or caretaker if any. Try to be with your baby as much as possible.
Bonding with Your New Born Baby: Utilize your post delivery maternity leave not only to recover, but also to create an everlasting bond with your baby, so that she remains connected to you even after you join back your work. Bond with your baby by talking/singing to her, cuddling her and playing with her. Shower all your love and affection on her during this time.
Challenges of Managing Work and Childcare. Taking care of a newborn baby is a full time job which requires dedication from you and your family.
Childcare and Time Management: No matter how efficiently you manage time at work, you need to learn time management after your baby is born. Expand your time frame to fit in your responsibilities as a parent. Your physical recovery, incessant flow of visitors and long list of errands like laundry can drive you crazy. You may experience erratic emotions during these first few weeks. Be aware of how you are doing and acknowledge your feelings. Get the much-needed help. You may be a superb employee but your efforts to be a super mom may still need help from your spouse or family or a caretaker.
Getting Back to Work: If you intend to go back to work after delivery, make childcare arrangements while you are still pregnant. Make sure the childcare provider is reliable and qualified. If you plan to hire a nanny, shortlist one much before the baby comes home and make sure she is there for the baby from the very first day. Clearly convey all the responsibilities to her while you are still on maternity leave. However, having a caretaker at home does not imply that you are free from all the responsibilities of your baby. Keep doing baby jobs as long and as much as you can. This helps you bond with your baby.
Manage Baby and Work: To effectively manage work and childcare, it is important to plan in advance. Keep your cool. Do not feel guilty about not being able to spend the whole day with your baby any more. Your baby is comfortable as long as she is getting enough care and love by other family members in your absence. Other family members cannot substitute a mother but they can definitely look after your baby’s needs while you are working. Take regular updates about your baby from family members/caretaker over the phone. Start with only a few hours away from her and gradually increase the duration.
Spend Quality Time with Your Baby: Give your baby the much needed attention and love when you are home and focus on spending quality time with her, even if it is for a short while. Keep the baby calm and happy, play with her, sing to her, feed her and massage her, if possible. Try to keep your bond with the baby strong and intact, even while you are out for work most part of the day.
Talk to Your Employer: Talk to your employer about flexibility of your work hours, so that you can spend enough time with the baby as well. You can also discuss any day care options available in your work facility and provisions for time off for breastfeeding the baby or for a clean private place for expressing breast milk and storing it in the office refrigerator for feeding the baby later on.
Postnatal Visits to the Pediatrician: Make the appointments at a convenient time and be there for every appointment of your baby. Whatever the nature of your job, your baby should be your top priority and you must be there for her whenever needed.
Storing Breast Milk in Advance: If you plan to breastfeed your baby, get a pump and store the breast milk for her at least 3-4 days before you join work. Store the breast milk carefully in sterilized airtight containers and put them in the refrigerator for later use. You can also freeze breast milk in containers of appropriate size (30 ml, 60 ml and 120 ml) so that only the required milk is brought back to room temperature for the baby to consume. Get the baby into a habit of receiving feeds from the caretaker in your absence much before you join back.
Finding Time for Yourself: Childbirth and the process of childcare are exhausting and you may look out for every single opportunity to relax whenever and wherever possible. Take a break once in a while,indulge in yourself and in things you like to do. Sit back and get a relaxing massage or just go out for a bit. These breaks recharge you and enhance your efficiency both at work and during childcare.
Advantages of Being a Working Mother. The advantages of returning to work after delivery are many. It not only gives you financial rewards and a means to support a good standard of living for your baby, but it also gives professional fulfillment to you. Also, your bonding and interaction with the baby are stronger when you return home after work.
Challenges of Being a Working Mother. Returning to work after delivery can lead to extreme tiredness because you need to juggle between two jobs at the same time. This may lead to great stress due to dual responsibilities. You may feel guilty about not being able to give undivided attention to your newborn.
Easily Managing Work and Baby. Childbirth and childcare are huge responsibilities and there is no perfect one-size-fits-all solution to balancing family demands while juggling with a challenging career. Experiment and find out the best possible ways and options for yourself and your baby. There is no need to worry, your love for your baby makes you expand your life and cope with all these challenges.