One of the biggest decisions all new moms make is whether or not to go back to work or stay home. If you're in a position where you have to work or you choose to work, going back is not as easy as it seems.
Make sure childcare is finalized. It may seem common sense, but make sure the hours of the daycare you choose are compatible with your work schedule. You don't want to end up needing to stay over but having to pick the baby up from the daycare.
Start expressing and having someone else bottle feed the baby. About a week or two after your leave is up, make sure baby is willing to take a bottle for another caretaker and try to get some milk expressed if the baby is exclusively breastfed so that they won't run out. Some breastfed babies are accustomed to only eating from mommy and if you have to go to work, worrying about whether or not baby eats shouldn't be one of the stresses you face.
Make sure you're mentally preparing both you and your baby. Start leaving the baby with a caretaker other than you for short periods, gradually increasing the time as the baby gets used to staying with someone else.
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Consider starting part-time. Part-time is usually the working mom's best friend. It helps you ease back into the routine of working while still offering flexibility. You don't miss out on as much time with your baby and you're still bringing an income in. It can also save money on childcare if you're leaving your baby with a sitter instead of a daycare facility.
Consider having family or close family friends watch the baby. It will help put your mind at ease a bit more because you will know the person watching them and you will know you'll be notified immediately if anything happens.
If there is an option, see if your office allows telecommuting 1 or 2 times a week or if there is a remote job you're qualified to do. Working at home is a very valid and fulfilling option and can give you flexibility an outside job won't.
See what time off options your employer offers. See if you will be able to stay home if the baby is sick or something comes up with the babysitter. You don't want to end up losing your job the first time your baby gets a cold.
Make sure you crunch all the numbers and that being away from home for so long will be worth it financially- sometimes the mother working puts he family in a hardship- childcare and commuting expenses add up and can take most, if not all of some paychecks.
Ultimately, take it slow, and remember to take time for yourself during this period! It will be an adjustment, but you can do it, mama!