Tips to make your post-maternity leave transition stress-free

Tips to make your post-maternity leave transition stress-free

Here are some tips from experts and mums for making the transition post-maternity leave stress-free.

You're pregnant

Once your pregnancy is confirmed - Prepare for your handover at work

You should have frank, regular discussions with your supervisor to minimise any misunderstanding about your work performance, explains Linda Teo, country manager at Manpowergroup Singapore.

When you begin the handover depends on the type of work you do, although the start of your third trimester (seventh month) is ideal.

"You will probably need more time if you are a team leader and overseeing major projects for the company," says Linda.

"Start identifying your next in line early and have a contingency plan in place, in case any complications arise during your pregnancy."

While it's your supervisor's duty to inform them about their additional responsibilities in your absence, it's your job to ensure that your colleagues have all the information they need to perform the work.

Give detailed instructions on a Word document to everyone, including your boss. If your team needs additional help, you may also want to hire temporary staff.

If you have subordinates reporting to you, inform them about the hierarchy when you are away and keep them posted on new developments.

"Remember that people leave bad bosses - you don't want to return from your maternity leave to an empty office," says Linda. "And don't forget to inform your vendors, clients and business associates about your leave."

6 months before Baby's arrival - Sort out your baby-care plan

Who will look after your newborn when your maternity leave is over? Have you checked if your parents or in-laws are willing to assist you? Can you trust your domestic helper to do the job?

If you intend to enrol your baby in an infant-care centre, start your hunt now as some places have a long wait list, reminds Elaine Kng, branch director ar Cherie Hearts Kids-At-Play.

Look out for good safety, health and hygiene practices in prospective centres, she adds. Ask about their staff-to-infant ratio - according to the Ministry of Social and Family Development's official ratio for babies up until 18 months, each caregiver mustn't handle more than five infants.

Before enrolling, observe the teachers at work and their interaction with their young charges. The babies should have a natural, warm response towards them, says Elaine.

The centre should also provide and encourage the use of a variety of learning materials toys and equipment to stimulate children's learning.

Baby's born!

8 weeks after - Introduce the bottle

By now, you're likely to have established a good breast-milk supply. While your newborn prefers to latch onto you, try to express your milk and offer it in a bottle now. You should also start freezing milk to build up a healthy supply for daytime feeds.

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