Returning to Work After Maternity Leave: 5 Things You Can Do

Returning to Work After Maternity Leave: 5 Things You Can Do

Running your own business? Find out how to put your business into maintenance mode during your maternity leave – while keeping your customers happy, in Stacey Trock’s class: How to Take Maternity Leave without Putting Life on Hold.

Congratulations – you’re expecting!

While you’re excited to welcome your new baby, you are also worried about returning to work after your maternity leave.

Perhaps you’ll be behind, and will have to catch up by answering tons of emails and sitting in on meetings. Maybe your to-do list won’t be that long, but you’ll be worried all day long about your baby.

Life will not be the same anymore, and having a baby is going to affect your work. Fortunately, there are a number of steps you can take to ensure you’re not going to be overwhelmed and anxious when you get back to the grind.

Thankfully, working mamas have got you covered.

Here are a few ways you can go to work post-pregnancy and be just as productive as you were before from the experts themselves:

1. Send automated emails while you’re away

Before you have your baby, you may be able to check your emails as often as you want. But after you give birth, you’re going to have a harder time being in touch with people. Take the pressure off yourself by only answering emails once a week, and putting an autoresponder in place that explains that, said blogger and crochet designer Stacey Trock.

To relieve even more pressure, give the email of someone who can reply to customers and clients’ questions while you’re gone. Then, when you go back to work, you won’t have so many emails to answer.

2. Schedule social media posts

In addition to setting up an autoresponder, you can also schedule social media posts for your maternity leave. This is crucial if you’re running your own business. You don’t want to lose your audience while you’re gone.

Trock said that before she went on maternity leave, she scheduled one to two posts to go up per week for five months. “Some people might think that this is sorta faking it, but I actually think the quality was better because I was creating timeless crochet tutorials that could be written and posted anytime.”

3. Meet up with your boss before you return

You don’t want to return to the office without knowing what’s happening. Vogue’s Michelle Ruiz said that you should have lunch or coffee with your boss prior to going back in full time. “Catching up on what’s going on at work and what projects await you will cut down on pre-first-day anxiety.”

Learn how to make returning to work after maternity leave much more seamless. Learn more.

4. Prepare your bag the night before you go into work

Before you had your baby, you could run out of the house with only your purse. Now, you cannot go to work without packing everything you’ll need and making sure your baby has everything he or she needs as well.

According to Pam Moore of Scary Mommy, you should make sure you don’t forget anything for work by setting the coffee the night before, laying out your clothing and showering.

Moore wrote that this is important because “it’s hard enough to get out the door when you just need to kiss the baby one last time (ten times). Add a 5:30 am nursing session, another at 7:45, and a diaper change (or two), and you will appreciate any spare second you can find.”

5. Ease back into work

Going back to work at the beginning of the week, or during a busy week, is not the best idea. You need at least a few days to slowly get back into the swing of your old routine.

The Fairy Godbosses’ Lori Mihalich-Levin said that you could phase back into work while helping your child get used to daycare at the same time. Her first week back, she worked 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday through Wednesday, and the second week back, she went in from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Thursday. The third week back, she was working full-time, save for Fridays, when she worked at home.

“Even if you can’t phase in, starting on a day of the week other than a Monday can help.”

Do you want to learn more about how to successfully go back to work after maternity leave? Then take Stacey Trock’s CreativeLive class, “How to Take Maternity Leave without Putting Life on Hold.”

Learn how to make returning to work after maternity leave much more seamless. Learn more.

Kylie Ora Lobell FOLLOW >

Kylie Ora Lobell writes for brands, blogs, and print publications. She covers content marketing, digital marketing, and runs Kylie's Tips for Writers, a blog about writing.