Tips For Returning to Work From Maternity Leave

8 Tips For Smoothly Transitioning Back to Work

8 Tips For Smoothly Transitioning Back to Work

Here's a post from our partners at BabyCenter! Every week, we bring you the best parenting and lifestyle stories from the experts at BabyCenter, including this post from Sarah Welch about returning from maternity leave.


I distinctly remember when I had my first child thinking that maternity leave sounded like an eternity.

I was your typical Type-A workaholic and worried a lot about how far behind I'd fall in my "time off." It didn't help that I had a boss with, shall we say, misogynist tendencies. I also had heard more than a few "horror stories" from fellow Type-A friends and colleagues about the mind-numbing nature of being home alone with a newborn.

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In the end, my oldest was a joy of a baby. I surprised myself by having a lot of fun. I am sure I was able to relax thanks to the miracle of email; it enabled me to keep a finger on the pulse of things without doing much work.

My leave flew by — before I knew it, it was time to head back to work.

Looking back now, I can laugh, but boy-oh-boy, it was one of the toughest transitions I have ever made in my life. I figured I'd dive right back in — and be able to work in the same way I always had.

My addled brain never calculated the productivity hit of a few things, like:

  • Leaky boobs and their pesky need to be pumped.
  • Days when my baby was sick and needed me at home.
  • Fitting in well visits.
  • Fielding the inevitable calls from caregivers asking about this or that.
  • Having drastically reduced flexibility to get to the office early or work late.

To say that my re-entry was bumpy was an understatement. I was often stressed-to-the-max, feeling like I was always behind the proverbial 8-ball. It got so bad that I eventually had to stage an organizational intervention for myself (potentially suggested by my very understanding and unflappable husband).

It turned out that organizing a few, simple things made all the difference.

Before you head back from maternity leave, here are eight things that are absolutely essential to have buttoned up.

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