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Returning to Work After Maternity Leave: Your Survival Guide

On09/ 08 /18
So the day has finally come. You’ve spent the last few months staring doe-eyed at your baby, but now the time has come for you to head back to work. No more freshly ground coffee in the morning, no more play dates and cuddling with your baby all day long. Now, you have to face your fear and come back to work after a few months of absence. 

Feeling the stress of juggling it all? Worry not! Here at Bucks & Berks we’ve put together a simple first-day-back-after-maternity-leave survival guide to help you settle back into your day-to-day job, (relatively) stress-free. 

Stay up to date 

Did you know that you could work up to 10 days during your maternity leave without losing maternity pay or benefits? Although checking on your work while away on parental holiday might be the last thing on your mind, getting regular updates from your colleagues can be a great way of easing your return to work. Using these days to catch up on emails and read through the monthly reports can be the ideal way to get up to date on what has happened while you have been away.

Keep your work-life balance

Although maintaining a work-life balance is always an issue for working mothers, you can ease this situation by setting up your return date for the middle of the week. Working your first full week of 40+ hours away from your baby can be a stress for both you and your little one. Take some of your accrued holiday in the first few weeks back, working half days or shorter weeks, before coming back full-time. By doing so, you can help both you and your baby settle in with your childcare provider properly. 

Prepare yourself for the unexpected

Before making a come back, make sure that you are prepared for any issues.  While going back to a normal handbag is appealing, it is worth having a baby bag with baby changing essentials in with you.  Useful should you get caught out on the way to or from childcare.  If possible, leave a spare car seat at childcare for an emergency should a designated carer need to collect if you are tied up at work. Being ready with these contingency plans can ease the stress of any last minute issues. 

Develop new routines

Did prepping for work before giving birth to your beloved baby take you no longer than an hour? That’s great, but chances are you should re-think your morning routine now. Start by testing different hours to wake up and assess how long it will take for you to get ready with all the new responsibilities, such as feeding the baby and taking them to childcare. If you’re lacking time, seek some support from your partner or parents, or see if there is any flexibility on start times. 

Speak to your boss

Having an honest conversation with your boss can be really helpful to take the stress off and prepare for your return. Moreover, speaking to your manager will give you an opportunity to discuss expectations for your return or any requirements for flexible working.

After all, it’s absolutely normal to have babies and take maternity leave, so don’t be scared of discussing your return to work and making sure it works for both you and the company.


If you’re looking for a fresh start after your maternity leave, check out a selection of our jobs today. We are always looking for the top talents in Operations and Office Support, Human Resources, Marketing & Sales and Finance sectors!

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