Updated: Jul 19, 2019
What do you mean I have to leave my sweet, tiny, innocent babies? They NEED me.
Going to back to work has been my most challenging transition of motherhood yet. I was lucky enough to have 16 weeks maternity leave and receive my full pay, which is probably more than most women in the U.S. (I know... 4 months is a lot?! How can that be? We can talk about maternity leave another day, I digress).
The night before I went back to work I cried, and when I say that I cried I mean that I cried big elephant tears for what seemed like hours. And then when I got home after my first day I cried again, big elephant tears. I'm not a crier typically so this was unusual. For those of you going back to work after maternity leave, trust me, you will feel a roller of emotions and likely cry... that's okay!
What helped me going back to work was preparation and support. If you were like me on your leave, you flew by the seat of your pants. It was the first time in my life that I truly slowed down and allowed myself to be still. Work, as we all know, isn't like that. You have to get dressed, you have to pack a lunch, and you have to focus on things other than your adorable baby. And if you're nursing still, you have a whole lot of things that you will need to bring with you. All of this felt really overwhelming for me. Rely on your support systems... for me this is my husband, my mom, and other mom friends.
Must Have Products
I have included a list of products that helped make my transition back to work easier. Items are linked for easy purchasing:
Breast pump - This is the pump I purchased exclusively for work, which comes with the bag and cooler and a set of pumping parts.
Pumping Bag - If your pump doesn't come with one, mine did.
Cooler with Ice packs - my pump came with this, but I have heard this cooler is great.
Extra set of pump parts -I use whatever is cheapest since parts must be changed so frequently.
Pumping Bra - I use a pumping bra attachment that clicks to my nursing bras. I find it easier than wearing a pumping bra all day.
Nursing Bras - These are really comfortable for every day wear.
Medela Quick Clean Wipes - I have these for backup in between washes because my office does not have running water.
Medela Quick Clean Sanitizer - This is great for after the wipes. (Only in emergencies)
Kiinde Twist Sysem - A direct pump-in-the-bag system that I swear by.
Refillable cup - Nursing makes you so thirsty.
RX bars - Nursing makes you really hungry and these bars are filling and clean. Peanut Butter Chocolate is my favorite flavor.
Don't forget you will want to wear clothes that make it easy to pump, aka no dresses.
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