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The Postpartum Period & the Working Mom

Moms who take maternity leave may face a unique set of challenges as they return to the workplace. Back in the day, it was common for moms to stay home with the kids. Not only is it now common for women to work, but some women also derive meaning from their careers. Here are some of the challenges that working moms face:

  • Balancing work and home life: Moms may feel like they're "spreading themselves too thin",not being able to give both work and their families 100% of their efforts. This often leads to feelings of mom guilt. Additionally, moms may have to wait until the end of the day to complete unfinished work tasks which may lead to less rest time.

  • Physical challenges: Moms may adhere to a breast pumping schedule and some workplaces may not be supportive of moms taking several breaks throughout the day. Not sticking to this pump schedule can lead to discomfort and worst case scenario, a condition called mastitis. Parents, especially newborn parents, may also be experiencing sleep deprivation which can affect concentration at work. Moms who are healing from a c-section may still have soreness and pain.

  • No time for self-care: Moms may feel like between balancing their job and home life, that they have absolutely no time to rest, visit friends, or spend time doing relaxing activities.

  • Lack of babysitters: Moms sometimes have to choose between paying for childcare or leaving their jobs to stay at home full-time. Childcare can also be costly, leading to potential financial difficulties.

Some ways that moms can cope with these difficulties are:

  • Having an open-communication line with employer: Some employers may be able to accommodate a new mother's needs such as extended maternity leave, working less hours or switching to remote work.

  • Creating a game plan with your partner or spouse: Moms can create a schedule with their partner or spouse so that they are able to meet work deadlines, take a break from kid duty, and not sacrifice self-care time.

  • Talk to a professional: Therapists provide a safe space for moms to talk about the challenges they face as a working mom and learn new coping skills.

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