Updated at: 26-04-2022 - By: Sienna Lewis

It may have seemed simple to plan your return to work after maternity leave when you were pregnant. When you’ve been at home with your baby for a while and the date you’ve marked on the calendar is drawing near, the adjustment may not feel so easy.

No matter how fortunate you are, whether you were able to take as much time off as you wanted or are eager to return to work, many women find it difficult to return to their jobs after a period of time away. There are a lot of details to take care of, such as arranging child care, communicating with your partner, and figuring out a pumping strategy. It’s also important to note the wide range of feelings you may be feeling, from nervousness to excitement to guilt: Leaving a baby is a huge undertaking.

At times, the deluge of information and emotions can be debilitating. That said, millions of women have successfully made the transition, and you will as well. Here are some suggestions that may be helpful.

Advice on going back to work after maternity leave

There is a sense of anticipation as your due date nears. Parenthood is just around the corner, and it’s going to be an exhilarating experience.

Returning to Work after Maternity Leave? 10 Best Tips - WiseStep

When it comes to your parental leave benefits, though, your joy might rapidly turn to fear. Going back to work after maternity leave is the last thing on your mind.

Getting used to being a mom is both magical and exhausting. Every restless night feels entirely new while you’re learning how to be a parent. Moms who have recently given birth may find the thought of returning to work so soon intolerable.

The end of your maternity leave might bring up a lot of mixed feelings, but if you plan beforehand, you can make the transition go more smoothly.

Let’s have a look at how to deal with the emotional and practical difficulties of returning to work after a maternity break.

Why is it so hard to return from maternity leave?

If you’re a parent, you’re doing more than just providing for your newborn’s basic requirements during those first few weeks. Additionally, you’re developing your skills as a parent.

Your objectives and viewpoint may evolve throughout time. This is perfectly acceptable. Once you have a new life in your arms and a fresh outlook on life, it can be difficult to imagine going back to the way things were in the past.

Returning to work after a period of rapid life transition can be challenging. There are various reasons why women prefer to extend maternity leave, if they are given the opportunity.

As many as 84 per cent of working mothers believe that money was a major factor in their decision to return to the workforce.

When you return to work, it can feel as if you’re making a decision between a profession and a child. You may feel emotions you’ve never felt before as your hormones take over.

Emotions you may feel and how to cope with them

Returning to work after a postpartum period of adjustment can be difficult. Returning to work after a long absence can be difficult due to a variety of factors, including hormonal shifts, exhaustion, and a general sense of helplessness.

Observing your emotions and having the assistance you need to deal with them is an important aspect of returning to work. It is important for new moms to learn how to cope with some of the most frequent emotions they encounter.


Anxiety can arise when you have to leave your child in the care of a stranger. Postpartum depression and anxiety can cause you to worry about your child’s safety, so it’s important to get help if you need it.

As soon as you return to work, it’s a good idea to schedule regular check-ins with your caretaker. Taking deep breaths between calls might help alleviate unwanted thoughts and feelings.


There is a good chance that you will experience some remorse about returning to work. It’s normal to wonder if you’re making the right decision in the face of so many differing viewpoints.

Discuss your decision and your feelings with close friends and family members, a parenting coach, and a healthcare professional. If you want to be happy, don’t spend time with someone who attempts to tell you how you should be feeling or what you should do.


Postpartum anger is common, even if it’s rarely discussed. If you’re feeling unhappy about having to go back to work so soon after giving birth, you may be tempted to blame your employer.

When you’re enraged, take a moment to reconnect with your body. Yoga, meditation, and physical activity can all aid in the release of bottled-up rage.

If you find it difficult to control your anger, you may want to seek the help of a mental health expert.


New mothers who are reentering the workforce often experience feelings of sadness. Sadness is a natural aspect of the baby blues, postpartum depression, and overwhelming sensations. Even if it’s awkward to exhibit one’s emotions at the workplace, sobbing is perfectly normal.

Cut yourself some slack and be kind to yourself. Practicing self-compassion when you’re exhausted can be difficult, but allowing yourself to feel sad without judging it can make a tremendous difference.


Isn’t it fine if you’re looking forward to getting back to work? In the midst of the upheaval of becoming a new mother, it can be helpful to return to a profession you enjoy or one that is comfortable to you.

The time you spend with your child is precious and should be treasured. For the sake of your health and that of your child, return to work if it provides you joy and happiness.

Before going back to work

Truth be told, returning to work after a baby is born is never easy for any mom. Returning to work involves more planning than you would imagine.

Prepare throughout maternity leave so that you and your baby have a smooth transition when you return to work. Listed here are five techniques to prepare for your return to work after a vacation.

1. Find reliable childcare

One of the most difficult components of returning to work is securing daycare. As soon as possible, you should begin searching.

Friends may be a great source of information when it comes to finding the right school for your child.

Before you go back to work, have a few practice runs with your childcare provider. As a result, you’ll feel more confident leaving your child with them.

2. Make a feeding plan for you and the baby

Before you go back to work, make a decision about whether or not you want to breastfeed your child full-time, part-time, or use formula instead.

In order to maintain your milk production and supply your child while you’re away from home, you’ll need to pump at work.

Because breastfeeding puts a lot of strain on your body, it’s crucial that you have a nutrition plan in place. Preparing meals in advance will help you keep your energy levels up and your milk production strong.

3. Consider flexible hours

In order to maintain a close bond with their newborns, some new mothers choose to work flexible hours or from home. However, 52% of women fear they will be criticised for working flexible hours.

Ask your co-parent or other sources of help on the ideal timetable for you and your family. Be aware that your partner may also be able to alter their own work hours.

4. Schedule self-care

If you don’t prioritize self-care while juggling a career and a new baby, you run the risk of becoming burned out.

Don’t wait until you’re in the midst of a workday to plan your downtime. Make a plan to incorporate self-care into your new daily schedule.

5. Deep clean your house

Duties may be considerably more difficult now that you’re back at work. Having a tidy house when you get up in the morning can offer you a sense of calm.

Clean with the help of your family or a neighbor. Hire a cleaning service if you have the funds to accomplish the job for you. Then, when you get used to working, set up a routine for keeping your house in order. Be honest with yourself. Even if you prefer a spotless home, the most important thing is that it is secure. Cleaning up after a baby necessitates additional, often cumbersome equipment, so don’t expect it to be immaculate and orderly all the time.

Even if you are the only parent, you are not solely responsible for keeping your home tidy.

Your first week back at work

Returning to work after a long break will be a unique challenge, but one that you can overcome.

It takes time to find a work-life balance while raising a family. After all, 44% of new moms say the hardest part of coming back to work is juggling parental responsibilities like ill kids and daycare issues.

6 Strategies to Power Your Return to Work After Maternity Leave

We’ve compiled a list of five things you can do to improve your work-life balance.

1. Set boundaries

Set up a meeting with your manager to discuss your work schedule. During this chat, you can also determine what you require in order to maintain a healthy work-life balance.

Now is the time to clearly state that you will not be available for overtime or other non-standard work hours.

Set boundaries with your coworkers so that everyone knows what they can and can’t do.

2. Prepare for the unexpected

Working full-time now might not be enough in the future if your child gets sick or your babysitter has to cancel.

Prepare a second course of action in case of an emergency. Ask your manager how to notify them if you must leave work right away or require an unanticipated leave of absence.

3. Speak with HR

Companies with parental employee benefits may not be well advertised.

Consult with an HR benefits professional to learn about the advantages you may be eligible for. A phased return to work, breastfeeding assistance, or access to mental health resources are all options that may be available to you.

4. Keep track of your emotions

You can get postpartum depression and anxiety at any point in the first year after giving birth. Just because you’re back at work doesn’t mean you should start ignoring your feelings.

To keep tabs on your moods, have a journal or an app on your phone close at hand. Recording your thoughts and feelings might help you identify patterns and seek help when necessary.

5. Redefine your priorities

Your priorities have changed while you were abroad. Your employees, on the other hand, may not get it.

Examine what’s most important to you and let it drive your decisions. Having a coach at your side might help you figure out how to incorporate new priorities into your work schedule.

6. Practice self-compassion

It’s not easy being a working mom.

You are juggling the demands of a career and the care of a little creature. Changes in your body and hormonal shifts are still taking place. A childcare provider or pick-up and drop-off schedules are probably under your control. Most likely, you’re exhausted.

Take care of yourself by practicing self-compassion and having reasonable expectations for both yourself and others.

The do’s and don’ts of going back to work after maternity leave

With a new baby in the house, it might be difficult to get back to work. If you’ve done something before, it may not come naturally or automatically to you.

The overwhelming majority (84 percent) of working moms believe that returning to the workforce is the best option for themselves and their families. For many, the situation improves over time!

For returning to work following maternity leave, here are some quick and easy dos and don’ts.

Do cut yourself some slack

It’s all new, even if it feels like work is the same. There is a possibility that you will experience more forgetfulness or confusion than usual as a result of the new mom brain fog. Allow yourself to take a deep breath and practice self-forgiveness as you recover.

Don’t expect your coworkers to understand

Maternity leave has a lot of myths. It’s possible that your coworkers will frequently inquire about your upcoming long-term vacation plans. Make sure that they don’t get to you.

Do ask for the help you need

There’s no shame in asking for help, whether it’s with a project, with HR, or with a personal coach.

Don’t give in to peer pressure

Returning to work can be stressful if you have a hard time saying no. The need of establishing boundaries cannot be overstated in order to avoid “just a few more minutes” or overcommitting yourself in the beginning.

Do talk to your boss about your new situation

Being able to count on the assistance of your supervisor can be really beneficial. Having a chat with your pediatrician, sick days, and other unforeseen events will ensure that you are prepared when they arise.

Don’t ignore your body

Sleepless nights aren’t helping your body recover from childbirth in numerous ways. Make sure you get plenty of water, have a healthy meal, and get some movement in throughout the day.

Do prioritize your mental health

A new parent’s mental health can be precarious, so seek help from a skilled practitioner and keep a journal to document your moods.

Don’t try to “catch up”

Go forward with your work. Get aid from your coworkers but don’t browse over old emails to find out what you’ve missed out on.

Do connect with other working parents

As a working parent, you may benefit from the perspective of others. See how other parents in your workplace or in your larger network manage work and home responsibilities.

Don’t force yourself to go back if you’re not ready

For some mothers, returning to work after having a child might be a challenge. You may not be ready to return to work if your physical and emotional well-being are in decline. Try out part-time or extended leave to discover whether it works for you.

Going back to work doesn’t have to be scary

When you’ve just returned to work after a long maternity leave, it’s normal to have some uncertainty about your professional future. It’s possible that the manner you used to work no longer serves your needs. While returning to work after maternity leave is difficult, you may succeed if you have the correct support in place.

To assist you adjust to your new role and new identity, BetterUp offers coaching services. When you return to work after maternity leave, choose a coach to support you.

8 Tips for going back to work after maternity leave

1. Reconnect with your team

After having birth, even if you’re returning to the same employer, you’ll need to re-establish communication. Your boss may have new goals, and your coworkers may be working on new techniques to deal with them. Be prepared for what to expect when you return to work by asking about the company’s current situation and what your duties will be. You can also talk to your coworkers to learn more about what’s going on and how you can contribute to the overall success of the organization.

2. Come up with an elevator pitch

A good elevator pitch can help you land a job since it demonstrates how much work you can handle and what you can accomplish. Do not forget to add information about yourself, your skills, and the type of work you’re looking for. The more information you can provide, the more likely it is that your potential employer will decide whether or not you are the ideal person for the job.

3. Consider your schedule

Pregnancy allowed you to learn about your baby’s habits and timetable. This covers breakfast times, the amount of time it takes to get ready in the morning, and immunization schedules. It’s important to consider how these hobbies will effect your productivity, as well as how you can fit them into your work schedule.

Choose a job that is a good match for your skills and abilities, and be honest with yourself. If you plan to nurse your child several times a day, you may wish to avoid working full time. Even if your employer is forgiving, overworking yourself can lead to burnout and tarnish your reputation as a professional.

4. Look for part-time or remote opportunities

Maternity leave can be stressful for both you and your baby when you have to go back to a 9-to-5 work schedule. To ease back into the workforce, consider working part-time. Your family can still be cared for even if your working hours are restricted. In the same way, working from home allows you to have your youngster close by while you work.

How can you work from home while also taking care of your family? It’s crucial to stay focused and avoid distractions when working. Working from home necessitates a high level of self-discipline, planning, and prioritization.

5. Think about the location

Job offers closer to home should be prioritized even if geography isn’t the most important consideration in your decision-making process. Aside from saving you money and stress, staying close to home can also save you time and energy when an emergency arises. In addition, knowing that you can go home quickly if an emergency arises offers you a sense of security and allows you to focus on your work.

6. Look for a family-friendly employer

Some companies are better than others at accommodating working families. You’re looking for a job where you won’t be expected to work long hours or on a last-minute business trip because your boss knows you can’t. Many modern firms are aware of the difficulties that moms encounter when searching for employment prospects. This makes it easy for you to choose a job that is better suited to your needs. – Be on the lookout for companies that promote employee perks like family insurance in Singapore that are more family friendly.

7. Have someone you can rely on

In the event of an emergency, you may be able to handle your work and family commitments on your own. Let’s say your infant develops a fever while you’re at work all day. A sick youngster necessitates an urgent trip to the doctor and a quick return to work. Your career and your baby’s health can be negatively affected by rollercoasters like these. Fortunately, if you have a nanny, relative, or close friend you can rely on, these situations can be avoided.

8. Test the waters

It is time to put your plan into action by hiring a nanny or arranging other child care. You’ll need to take a few days off from child care obligations to get a good feel for the system. For the trial run, if your working hours are from 10 am to 4 pm, keep to this time range.

As long as you don’t have to worry about child care, you may do whatever you want with this time. A movie marathon or a work-related skill refresher may be in order for you. Do not, under any circumstances, be a helicopter parent who is always monitoring your child. As a result, you’ll be better prepared while you’re in the office and more confident in the person who’s taking care of your youngster.

How to go back to work after an extended maternity leave

6 Strategies to Help You Crush Your Return to Work after Maternity Leave

Remember Your “Why”

You probably made your career choice before having children, even if you didn’t realize you wanted to have children at the time. Maybe you’re the boss of the business of which you’ve been daydreaming since you were five years old. The first company to hire you after you put out five hundred resumes can be your current employer. No matter where you are in life, take a moment to reflect on what it was that led you to say “yes” to your current position. It’s a good idea to recall your motivations as you prepare to return to work.

Returning to work will improve your financial situation on the most basic level. Remember that you have decades of earning potential ahead of you and that your daycare costs will drastically decrease in a few short years, even if your pay doesn’t cover them now. If you stay at home during that time, you’ll miss out on opportunities to learn and advance your career.

Working outside the home not only provides women with financial stability, but also the intellectual stimulation and improved self-image they want.

Reframe your mindset

It’s crucial to remember how fortunate you are to be a working mother, even if it’s difficult. Gratitude has a great impact on happiness, and you can learn more about it here. It’s estimated that as many as one million stay-at-home parents would give anything to spend each day in a tidy, peaceful workplace. Similarly, many working women would do anything to have a sweet kid to come home to every day. Stop worrying about all the things you have to do as a working mom for the sake of your children and yourself. Instead, think of these thoughts as opportunities that you have to take advantage of.

Your choice of words matters, even if it’s subtle. Having to leave early to care for a sick child is presented negatively when you say you “have” to. As soon as you tell yourself that you are “lucky” to be at home, you change the same situation into a feeling of thankfulness. When you’re tempted to complain about the difficulties of being a working parent, try shifting your perspective to one of appreciation. Both your hands and your heart are full.

Meet with your boss as soon as possible

Set aside some time to meet with your supervisor on your first day back, or as soon as possible afterward. Inquire about any alterations to your group or the company that occurred while you were away. Check to see if there are any new expectations for your role, and if there are, make sure you’re on the same page. In addition to expressing your eagerness to get back to work and crushing it, ask if you can work from home or a co-working place that welcomes “babies in arms” for a few days each week while you adjust.

You should look for opportunities to go above and beyond your supervisor’s expectations as soon as you return to work. The “maternal wall,” a barrier that discriminates against working moms, can be broken down by demonstrating your continued commitment to your career. Your manager will be more forgiving of your requests for time off or an extension if they know you’re doing well at work.

Build relationships with colleagues

New parenthood may be a lonely experience for some, as you may have seen. Because of this, you can find it harder to participate in corporate social functions if you’re exhausted and lacking free time. Perhaps today more than ever, building relationships with your coworkers is worth the effort. Lunch, a cup of coffee, or a walk are all good options. In addition to the friendship, these partnerships can provide professional support: Coworkers are more inclined to involve you on significant projects that could boost your career if you’re friendly with them. They’ll also be more forgiving if you go behind on a project deadline. After maternity leave, you may find it easier to return to the workforce if you have a strong network of colleagues.

Start setting boundaries.

Eventually, you’ll find yourself juggling the obligations of home and work. It’s crucial for everyone, not just working moms, to set limits with their partners, coworkers, and even (maybe especially) their bosses. Setting boundaries at work and at home begins with thinking about what’s most important to you. A few hours after your child goes to sleep can be enough time to work from home on the weekends. You may have to leave work at 5 p.m., but you need your partner to drop off the kids in the morning.

Your boundaries must be properly communicated once they have been established. Making what may appear to be demands can be uncomfortable, but having these uncomfortable conversations early on helps minimize future dissatisfaction, stress, and burnout.. This helps prevent others from being surprised when you remind them of your boundaries, even if those boundaries are not always respected.

Celebrate your wins.

As a self-confessed “ambitious” woman, it’s easy to forget how far you’ve gone and focus on the next goal. It’s vital to acknowledge and appreciate even the little victories when you return to work after maternity leave. It has been found that recognising one’s accomplishments might drive people to keep working toward their key goals, according to a Harvard Business Review research.

Keeping a work journal is a great way to celebrate your successes as a new mother. Make a point of writing down your day’s successes before you leave the office each day. Even if all you seemed to accomplish was not yelling at an irritating coworker or falling asleep in a meeting, you did it! Despite the occasional obstacles, working moms’ lives are only going to get easier over time. Looking back over previous entries can be a source of comfort on bad days, in addition to giving yourself a moment of thankfulness before your ride home. To close your first client after having a kid, to get out the door on time, everything you’re doing is difficult.

Know that you’ve got this.

It’s not easy being a working mom. You may feel as if you’re in a Groundhog Day-like situation, but don’t despair: You’ll get through it all, and you won’t have to do it all over again tomorrow.

For the time being, keep in mind why you’re at work, consider how fortunate you are to have a baby and a job, cultivate relationships with your employer and coworkers, maintain your limits, and rejoice in your successes. When you return to work after maternity leave, you may be confident that you’ll have a successful career with these six tips.

Do you know any other newlyweds in your social circle? Let them know you’ve got this too by sharing this with them!


What happens if I don’t return to work after maternity leave?

There are still benefits in place for any leftover vacation time and time spent on maternity leave even if you don’t go back to work. Statutory maternity pay will continue to be paid even if you decide not to return to work during your maternity leave.

Can I return to work part time after maternity leave?

It’s not uncommon for new moms to wish to return to work part-time, and many employers are open to discussing this possibility with their workers. After the birth of a child, there is no automatic right to a reduced work schedule or the opportunity to work part-time or flexibly.

Can I go back to work 2 weeks after having a baby?

Most new mothers return to work six weeks after the birth of their child, although some doctors allow new mothers to return to work as soon as three weeks after giving birth. It is possible that complications during birth or C-section may lengthen the healing period.

Can you apply for a new job while on maternity leave?

The only exception to this rule is if your company needs to wait until after your maternity leave is completed before hiring you, in which case they must treat you like any other job applicant. You need to figure out when you can begin. When applying for a job, you should not be disqualified because you are currently on maternity leave or because you have a criminal record.

How long is your job protected after maternity leave?

What protections does the law not offer? Job security is not guaranteed by the law. The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) and the California Family Rights Act (CFRA) allow many workers to take up to 12 weeks of job-protected leave (CFRA). In order to ensure job security, PFL should be taken in conjunction with FMLA and/or CFRA.

9 tips for returning to work after maternity leave

Can my employer change my job after maternity leave?

You have a legal right to return to your previous position if you returned from a period of maternity leave. Even if you returned to work after an extended period of maternity leave, you have the right under federal law to return to the same position, provided the position is fairly practicable for you and your family.

How soon can I start working out after giving birth?

A few days after giving birth or as soon as you feel like it is normally safe to begin exercising if you had an uneventful pregnancy and vaginal delivery. When should you begin exercising after a C-section, significant vaginal repair, or a complex birth? Speak to your doctor about this.

How many weeks before your due date should you stop working?

After 32 to 34 weeks of pregnancy, most women are unable to do their customary duties. There are many women who are moving their mental emphasis from work to motherhood at this time and it may affect their decision to cease working.

When can you start back working out after giving birth?

Wait until your 6-week postnatal check-up before you go back to the gym or start a group exercise program. After the baby is born, wait at least 16 weeks before getting back to your prior level of physical activity.

How long do you have to be back at work to get maternity pay again?

Wait until your 6-week postnatal check-up before you go back to the gym or start a group exercise program. After the baby is born, wait at least 16 weeks before getting back to your prior level of physical activity.

Is maternity leave paid or unpaid?

Wait until your 6-week postnatal check-up before you go back to the gym or start a group exercise program. After the baby is born, wait at least 16 weeks before getting back to your prior level of physical activity.

Can I work out 4 weeks postpartum?

Wait until your 6-week postnatal check-up before you go back to the gym or start a group exercise program. After the baby is born, wait at least 16 weeks before getting back to your prior level of physical activity.

Can I go for a walk 1 week postpartum?

Wait until your 6-week postnatal check-up before you go back to the gym or start a group exercise program. After the baby is born, wait at least 16 weeks before getting back to your prior level of physical activity.

Wait until your 6-week postnatal check-up before you go back to the gym or start a group exercise program. After the baby is born, wait at least 16 weeks before getting back to your prior level of physical activity.

Wait until your 6-week postnatal check-up before you go back to the gym or start a group exercise program. After the baby is born, wait at least 16 weeks before getting back to your prior level of physical activity.