Maximizing Your Maternity Leave
Whether you are returning to the same job you held before giving birth — or hunting for a new one — you need to plan ahead to smooth the transition back to work. But first, give yourself some time to: recuperate from the physical and emotional effects of delivery; learn your new job as a mother; or just enjoy your wonderful new baby. Turn off the phone(s), your BlackBerry, and computer and declare a “no work” zone for a few weeks.
Once you are feeling a little more yourself, and can see a pattern to your baby's day, you can begin to carefully consider your options. You may have already considered child care options before you delivered, but you want to finalize those plans at least a month before you return to work. You will want to start using the caregiver or program a few weeks before your first day back at work so that, if necessary, you can refine or change your plans.
Don't worry that your baby won't bond with you if you go back to work. A study of more than 1,000 infants and their mothers found that the sense of trust felt by fifteen-month-old children for their mothers was not affected by whether or not they were in day care or by how many hours they spent there. It's a mother's sensitivity and responsiveness to her child that is the foundation for strong attachment and trust.