How to prep for returning back to work?

images (image from: Back to work)

Z and I have officially survived our first month back at work/school! It’s been a rough month, but I’m proud to say we’ve survived pretty well thanks to my colleagues and boss. Here are some considerations that you’ll need to make:

  1. Child care: Who will be taking care of your baby since you’re going to back to work?
    1. Infant care services: have you booked your place or place your interest? If not, do check out ECDA site to book your interest. As much as I dislike kiasu-ism, there are very LIMITED seats in various infant cares considering that the ratio of teachers to students (1:5) means there is a small chance you’ll be able to get a place whenever you need.
    2. Parents/ parents in law: most of my friends went this route and if that’s the case, congrats! They are the most reliable people to deal with your child and they only have the best interest for their own grandkids. Work out a meal plan, nap times, TV slots and an ‘exercise’ routine with them. Grandparents brought us up in a different generation hence they have a different perception of how you might want to raise your kids.
    3. Maids: are you getting a helper to take care of your baby and manage the household? If you are, you might want to train her a couple of months prior and give her specific instructions. Besides that, consider installing cameras in the house to manage her and monitor (just so she don’t get into any hanky panky). If your in-laws/ parents are free, they can also pop by to have a look once in awhile.
  2. Pump or not: Some mommas decide to stop pumping after they return to work and I can totally understand. Some jobs are just not flexible for them to pump on the go or pump at scheduled hours. But either way, you need to prepare your breasts to stop producing/ produce enough for your baby’s feeds.
    1. Building your frozen stash. Breastfeeding moms, with the help of technology, we can now store our milk in our freezer for up to 3 months or a stand alone freezer for up to 6 months! So your milk can go a long way! However, it is recommended that we build our stash 1 month before we return back to work, combining pumped out amounts in small stashes (100ml). The frozen stash is also recommended to be used only when you fall sick or when it’s absolutely necessary. Then again, if you’re thinking of extending your breastfeeding journey, this is worth exploring.
    2. Continue pumping: are you pumping at work and latching your baby at home? If you are, you might want to consider having 2 sets of pumps. You can keep a spare set at home (this can be a simple single electric pump/ manual pump). Also, would it help you if you have 2 sets of pump parts? Little investments like that can help you go a long way. Don’t forget to stock up on your breast pads and sterilised milk bags in preparation for this. When you return back to work, don’t be shy and approach your HR to enquire where the designated nursing room is. Besides that, make sure you have a fridge to store your liquid gold.
    3. Stop breastfeeding: tough as it might, it’ll also take discipline to stop. One month before you return back to work, you’ll need to start reducing your supply so you won’t have to endure engorgement at work.
  3. Schedule: A month before I return back to work, KM encouraged me to get up earlier so I could ‘warm up’ my system a little bit. It did helped me a little.
    1. Plan your morning schedule. Decide with your husband if he is sending the baby to school/ your parents/ in-laws’ home. If so, what time would you need to get up? How are you going to ‘transport’ your baby? with a carrier or pram?
    2. Use that opportunity to catch up with the household chores/ administration needs
    3. Have breakfast with your other half especially if your husband wakes up early to get to work. The extra 30-45 mins of quality time help to build each other up. On top of that, I would pray with KM in the morning. Something really hard to do these days especially since we’re so busy with Z.

Returning back to work can be quite challenging physically and mentally. As I’m typing this, I’ve survived last night with only 3 hours of sleep. So get all the help you can, reward yourself and celebrate small victories! For e.g. I can finally have ramen for lunch and take my time to eat it!

With that, good luck my fellow mommas!

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