Embracing motherhood can be a challenge for women. The physical and emotional transformations and the hormonal fluctuations during gestation and post-delivery are innumerable, and anxiety and maternity go hand in hand. In today?s world, where women strive to strike a perfect balance between career and personal lives, the period of maternity and delivery is truly exhausting. Most new mothers experience anxiety and are perplexed about their decisions on career and family, especially when?maternity leave?nears closure. Given the physical exhaustion of new mothers, this can take a toll on their daily activities and emotional health, leading to stress, anxiety, and fear.
New mothers can follow these ten practical tips to successfully transition from catering to their baby?s needs to focus on their career and the baby.
A new mother should have a clear plan of when to resume office post-maternity leave, considering her physical and emotional stamina, stress and anxiety, and the child?s physical health. Most mothers prefer to extend their maternity leave by a few months, and employers are understanding and considerate enough. Communicating with the manager and working out a comfortable re-joining date makes resuming a career hassle-free. To restart the office post-maternity leave, planning ahead is the key. It gives a perfect head start to keeping the career on the right track while providing the bandwidth to adjust the baby?s needs, personal activities, and routines.
Support System At Home:
True to the saying, ?It takes a village to raise a child,? a proper support system at home post-maternity leave rids a new mother of her anxiety. Support at home allows a mother to focus on her career and guarantees that the baby?s safety and needs are met in her absence. The decision to resume a professional career is highly subjective and depends primarily on the mother?s and the baby?s physical health and emotional needs. It is also fundamental that the family members wholeheartedly support her decision to not let go of her career and lend a helping hand whenever possible. Discussing the options openly with the family members enables sorting things out at home in the mother?s absence.
Plan your Childcare:
Recent years have witnessed an increase in a nuclear family setup. In such cases, a mother?s anxiety and the dilemma of having a professional career post-maternity leave increases manifold. Many employers offer day-care facilities and pre-school activities on the office premises, which allows the mother to be close to the baby. Opting for a trustworthy babysitter before maternity leave ends by analysing the pros and cons, financial affordability, and thoroughly verifying the background and reliability helps in many cases where employers don?t have day-care options.
Form a new routine:
Since the baby will spend a considerable amount of time away from the mother, the need for a new routine when the mother resumes her career arises. This can put a new mother in anxiety mode. However, a little planning goes a long way in alleviating this anxiety when a mother resumes work post-maternity leave. The baby should have a daily routine, enough play activities, and adequate sleep time to be less cranky. Getting the baby accustomed to physically staying away from the mother by enabling activities with the family members/childcare/babysitter a few weeks before the mother resumes work gives the window for both mother and baby to adjust to the separation. It also alleviates separation anxiety for the baby.
A new mother must plan the baby?s feeding and weaning processes well before their maternity leave ends by consulting with the paediatrician and gynaecologist. If the mother chooses not to opt for top feed, it is good to invest in a breast pump to extract and store the milk. Also, she needs to make sure that the employer provides support and space for milk extraction during office hours. This eases the mother?s concerns about breastfeeding and also assures that the baby is not deprived of the mother?s milk in her absence. If the weaning process has begun, the babysitter/family members should know the type of food fed to the baby, the right consistency, and the schedule.
Exercise, Sleep, and Rest:
Physical activities, yoga, and meditation?are the key to keeping a new mother?s anxiety at bay. Exercise is considered the best among the many physical activities that help shed the extra pregnancy flab, boost stamina, and cater to a fit individual. New mothers need that pump of endorphins released from physical activities to feel energetic. Physical activities also help a mother to sleep better despite interruptions. Engaging in fitness activities like Zumba, yoga, or gym can boost the confidence of new mothers. Most importantly, adequate rest and hydration prepare the body to return to its pre-pregnancy state faster, thus acting as a boon to resume work at ease.
Open communication at work and home bestows a new mother with much-needed peace of mind, easing anxiety. Raising a baby is not the mother?s task alone. A father?s responsibility, support, and understanding allow a mother to focus on her career better. Transparency between both parents offers clarity in the thought process and enables both the mother and father of a baby to be on the same page. This eases the whole process of returning to work post-maternity leave.
Communicating the expectations to the managers/higher authorities at work and working out flexible timings and projects, work from home options cater to the perfect work-life balance. New mothers should also engage in team-building activities at work to feel included. This keeps their career on track and keeps their emotional wellness intact.
Demarcate work and home:
Bringing office work home adds to the pressure and anxiety of juggling between the baby and work. Developing the habit of not taking office work home and demarcating them improves focus and efficiency. If need be, new mothers have to avail counselling through employee assistance programs and take part in self-assessment activities to know their emotional health better.
Bonding with the baby:
A new mother should primarily focus on spending quality time and bonding with the baby when at home. Engaging in playful activities with the baby is the best way to bond physically and emotionally. This makes up for the separation time and allows the mother to get rid of unwanted guilt, which otherwise interferes with work efficiency in many cases.
No matter how diligently and perfectly work resumption is planned, there are always unexpected hiccups. It is difficult to shun the fear and apprehensions about being physically away from the baby, missing out on a few moments, and the guilt of entrusting the baby to someone else?s care. The only way to surmount these negative emotions is to accept them, refocus, and try to stay optimistic and happy. A mother can adopt specific activities to improve focus and acceptance, like meditation.
A new mother should never hesitate to seek professional help if she experiences overwhelming emotions or excessive physical exhaustion. Contact Us if you are concerned about yourself or a loved one.?Book an Appointment today, or call us.?Visit our webpage?to access our curated blogs and videos that offer more such tips.