Working mum Returning to work after a baby

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Information & Advice


Working mum: Returning to work after a baby

Working 9 to 5? Read our guide for mums returning to work

Our guide for mums returning to work

Working mum: Returning to work after a baby

Working 9 to 5? Read our guide for mums returning to work

Almost half of mums return to work before their little one starts school so if you're about to replace coffee mornings with business meetings you're definitely not alone.

It's a big upheaval when you have to leave your little one to go back to work so we're here to help with lots of practical advice, emotional support and top tips on how to give yourself a makeover worthy of any working girl.

Domestic bliss: Practical tips for working girls

Childcare arrangements

One of the most important considerations when you return to work is childcare arrangements and who is going to look after your little one. We've come up with a handy checklist of things to think about:

  • It's difficult handing responsibility of your little one over to someone else so if you know anyone in your local area who uses a child minder or nursery, ask for a recommendation
  • Always check out OFSTED ratings and reports to get a little more information about potential carers or nurseries
  • The cost of childcare can soon add up! If you have family living locally, find out if they can help out for one day a week - it will save you money and they'll probably enjoy the opportunity to spend time with their new relative
  • If you have an older child, think about how you'll juggle your childcare, school and work arrangements
Mum-of-two Angela says
"It's a really emotional time when you have to leave your baby and return to work. My daughter still seemed so young and defenceless when I went back, but in many ways it's a positive thing because you get your identity back and your little one learns to adapt to new surroundings and people."
Don't forget the dog: If you've got a dog, think about how you'll be able to fit in their walkies. Professional dog walkers can be expensive so consider a rota where your partner walks the dog, while you get the little one ready for the day ahead.

Housework

When you're working and looking after a young baby it's hard to find time to be a domestic goddess as well, so think about how you'll manage all the housework. Here are our top tips for domestic bliss:

  • Before you head back to work, discuss with your partner how you can share the housework and childcare. For example, while one person baths the baby the other can cook the dinner
  • It's important that you spend time together as a family because even the best childcare isn't a substitute for mum and dad. Don't worry if you can't do everything you want in the house - put family first
  • If you work all week, put a few hours aside at the weekend for chores but spend as much time as possible with your little one
  • If you have the spare cash, think about a cleaner or ironing service to lighten the load

Flexible working

If you have a child under 17 or a disabled child under 18, you have the right to ask your employer about flexible working hours. If possible, think about flexitime, part-time or working four days a week to spend more time with your little one.

Back to Work Breastfeeding

Breastfeeding is exclusively recommended for the first six months and after that time, alongside solids , you may still be breastfeeding when you return to work. The NHS also recommends getting your baby used to taking milk from a bottle or cup before going back to work. Think ahead to how you can feed baby and still make it to work on time!

The following guidance may help:

  • Express breast milk so that someone else can feed your baby when you're at work
  • Arrange childcare close to work so you can feed during breaks and your lunch hour
  • Speak to your health visitor if you would like to consider combining breast and bottle feeding to fit in around your hours because exclusive breastfeeding is recommend for the first six months
  • Speak to your employer before you return to work. Remember they have legal obligations to breastfeeding mums so find out what you're entitled to

Making the most of milk: Top tips for smooth breastfeeding

  • Label and date expressed milk so other people caring for your baby know which milk to use first
  • Have a trial run with your childcare arrangements before returning to work
  • If you're using milk within five days of expressing it, it's better to keep it in the fridge rather than the freezer. So milk expressed at work on Friday, will be okay to use on Monday

If lack of sleep and early mornings have taken their toll on your skin and lack of time means you need a low maintenance way to leave the house looking fabulous, we've come up with some inspirational ideas to help you feel like you again - only now with that added glow of motherhood!

  • Makeover your make-up bag: Arrange to have a makeover at your favourite beauty counter and treat yourself to some new additions to your make-up bag. Ask for a look that can be done in minimum time but still gives maximum effect!
  • Make-up on the move: Take your favourite beauty products to work so you can top up your look throughout the day. A dash of eyeliner and lip gloss are quick ways to freshen your face
  • Get it nailed: Perfectly manicured nails and pedicured toes don't always have to mean an expensive trip to a spa or beautician. Give yourself a mani/pedi at home with your favourite seasonal nail colour
  • Hair today: If time is of the essence when you're getting ready this is an ideal time to talk to your hairdresser about a shorter style that can be quickly achieved on a work day!
  • Fashion fix: Now's the time to reprioritise your wardrobe. If you're planning to have more children, hang on to maternity clothes, but take stock of your working wardrobe and add any new fashion fixes you need
  • Wardrobe essentials: A statement jacket with stripes can be perfect when teamed with work basics. And remember that striking accessories such as bracelets and handbags can lift an outfit to a whole new level
Mum-of-two Louise says
"I got all my childcare arrangements organised and mentally prepared myself for going back to work, but then one day I looked in the mirror and thought, 'what about me?' I devoted all my time and energy to my baby and completely forgot about myself, but going back to work gave me the opportunity to put myself back in the spotlight."

We hope we've given you practical advice and inspiration to make returning to work as smooth as possible.

Read more like this:

Sibling sucess: coping with two children
Keeping fit with baby
Memorable milestones: Your babies first year
Safe and happy travel with kids
Happy families: When two become three
Travel health for families
Pampering tips for new mums

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Working mum: Returning to work after a baby

Working 9 to 5? Read our guide for mums returning to work

Almost half of mums return to work before their little one starts school so if you're about to replace coffee mornings with business meetings you're definitely not alone.

It's a big upheaval when you have to leave your little one to go back to work so we're here to help with lots of practical advice, emotional support and top tips on how to give yourself a makeover worthy of any working girl.

Domestic bliss: Practical tips for working girls

Childcare arrangements

One of the most important considerations when you return to work is childcare arrangements and who is going to look after your little one. We've come up with a handy checklist of things to think about:

  • It's difficult handing responsibility of your little one over to someone else so if you know anyone in your local area who uses a child minder or nursery, ask for a recommendation
  • Always check out OFSTED ratings and reports to get a little more information about potential carers or nurseries
  • The cost of childcare can soon add up! If you have family living locally, find out if they can help out for one day a week - it will save you money and they'll probably enjoy the opportunity to spend time with their new relative
  • If you have an older child, think about how you'll juggle your childcare, school and work arrangements

Don't forget the dog: If you've got a dog, think about how you'll be able to fit in their walkies. Professional dog walkers can be expensive so consider a rota where your partner walks the dog, while you get the little one ready for the day ahead.

Housework

When you're working and looking after a young baby it's hard to find time to be a domestic goddess as well, so think about how you'll manage all the housework. Here are our top tips for domestic bliss:

  • Before you head back to work, discuss with your partner how you can share the housework and childcare. For example, while one person baths the baby the other can cook the dinner
  • It's important that you spend time together as a family because even the best childcare isn't a substitute for mum and dad. Don't worry if you can't do everything you want in the house - put family first
  • If you work all week, put a few hours aside at the weekend for chores but spend as much time as possible with your little one
  • If you have the spare cash, think about a cleaner or ironing service to lighten the load

Flexible working

If you have a child under 17 or a disabled child under 18, you have the right to ask your employer about flexible working hours. If possible, think about flexitime, part-time or working four days a week to spend more time with your little one.

Back to Work Breastfeeding

Breastfeeding is exclusively recommended for the first six months and after that time, alongside solids , you may still be breastfeeding when you return to work. The NHS also recommends getting your baby used to taking milk from a bottle or cup before going back to work. Think ahead to how you can feed baby and still make it to work on time!

The following guidance may help:

  • Express breast milk so that someone else can feed your baby when you're at work
  • Arrange childcare close to work so you can feed during breaks and your lunch hour
  • Speak to your health visitor if you would like to consider combining breast and bottle feeding to fit in around your hours because exclusive breastfeeding is recommend for the first six months
  • Speak to your employer before you return to work. Remember they have legal obligations to breastfeeding mums so find out what you're entitled to

Making the most of milk: Top tips for smooth breastfeeding

  • Label and date expressed milk so other people caring for your baby know which milk to use first
  • Have a trial run with your childcare arrangements before returning to work
  • If you're using milk within five days of expressing it, it's better to keep it in the fridge rather than the freezer. So milk expressed at work on Friday, will be okay to use on Monday

If lack of sleep and early mornings have taken their toll on your skin and lack of time means you need a low maintenance way to leave the house looking fabulous, we've come up with some inspirational ideas to help you feel like you again - only now with that added glow of motherhood!

  • Makeover your make-up bag: Arrange to have a makeover at your favourite beauty counter and treat yourself to some new additions to your make-up bag. Ask for a look that can be done in minimum time but still gives maximum effect!
  • Make-up on the move: Take your favourite beauty products to work so you can top up your look throughout the day. A dash of eyeliner and lip gloss are quick ways to freshen your face
  • Get it nailed: Perfectly manicured nails and pedicured toes don't always have to mean an expensive trip to a spa or beautician. Give yourself a mani/pedi at home with your favourite seasonal nail colour
  • Hair today: If time is of the essence when you're getting ready this is an ideal time to talk to your hairdresser about a shorter style that can be quickly achieved on a work day!
  • Fashion fix: Now's the time to reprioritise your wardrobe. If you're planning to have more children, hang on to maternity clothes, but take stock of your working wardrobe and add any new fashion fixes you need
  • Wardrobe essentials: A statement jacket with stripes can be perfect when teamed with work basics. And remember that striking accessories such as bracelets and handbags can lift an outfit to a whole new level

We hope we've given you practical advice and inspiration to make returning to work as smooth as possible.

Philips AVENT Natural Manual Breast Pump
No7 Stay Precise Felt Tip Eye Liner
Boots Luxury Deep Moisturising Foot Cream - 100ml
Medela Mini Electrical Breast Pump
No7 Gel-Look Shine Nail Colour
Sanctuary Luxury Bath Float 500ml
Medela Pump & Save Breast Milk Bags
No7 High Shine Lipgloss
Champneys Spa Treatments Hand & Nail Cream 75ml

Read more like this:

Sibling sucess: coping with two children
Keeping fit with baby
Memorable milestones: Your babies first year
Safe and happy travel with kids
Happy families: When two become three
Travel health for families
Pampering tips for new mums

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