Guide Returning To Work After Maternity Leave


Going back to work after maternity leave is a big transition for the entire family.

You may feel that you have just gotten settled into your new routine with an additional family member and now you have to go back to work. Even mamas who work from home can benefit from this guide!

Whether you’re excited, nervous, or indifferent about your maternity leave coming to an end, we want you to feel confident in your decisions and your abilities to succeed in your new role.

This guide will help you physically and mentally prepare for going back.

mom holding newborn while she works on laptop

Who Is This For?

Any parent or support person who is returning to the workplace after maternity leave (office or work from home) or after bringing a baby home. You will learn your rights in the workplace, how to effectively communicate with your partner + work team, tips on dividing new roles and responsibilities, guide to pumping in the workplace, and a checklist to emotionally prepare for your return. This guide will help alleviate common stressors upon returning to work after maternity leave.​

It's OK to Feel This Way

Returning to work after maternity leave can be a rollercoaster of emotions. It’s normal to feel a mixture of anxiety, guilt, overwhelm, excitement, and sadness all at the same time. A report by the American Sociological Association found that 90% of new mothers experience negative emotions returning to work. However, it’s important to remember that these feelings are entirely valid and shared by many women. It’s okay to feel conflicted about the decision to return to work and leave your little one behind. Take the time to acknowledge and process your emotions, and seek support if needed. Remember that you are not alone in this experience, and it’s essential to prioritize your mental health and well-being during this transition.


It’s understandable to feel anxious about leaving your little one in someone else’s care or coping with a new routine. Anxiety can manifest in a variety of ways, from physical symptoms like shortness of breath and stomach pains to constant worry and racing thoughts. It’s essential to acknowledge that these feelings are valid and normal.  You are not alone, and with the right tools, you can overcome these challenges and thrive both at home and in the workplace.


Many mothers feel as if they are being pulled in two different directions – one towards the needs of their little one at home and the other towards their professional work life. It’s not uncommon for mothers to question whether they’re making the right decision by returning to work. The guilt can stem from worries about leaving their child in someone else’s care, concerns about missing out on crucial moments, or feeling as if they’re not giving their all to either their family or their job. Ultimately, it’s vital for mothers to prioritize their well-being and ensure that they are doing what’s best for themselves and their families as they transition back to work.


Balancing all the responsibilities while adjusting to a new season of life can be challenging. It’s not uncommon for new mothers to feel like they’re drowning in a sea of laundry, dirty dishes, and sleepless nights. Many new moms experience the same level of overwhelm. This guide will provide practical tips to help you navigate this new season of motherhood from your first week back, to daycare considerations, and what supplies to bring to pump at work.
mom holding newborn before returning to work


The excitement of returning to challenging and intellectually stimulating work can be a welcome respite from the constant demands of motherhood. Being able to have conversations with adults and getting dressed in something other than yoga pants can all bring a sense of renewed vitality and energy. At the same time, it’s also normal to feel some worry and anxiety about leaving your little one for an extended period. However, taking the time to focus on your own professional and personal development can also make you a more fulfilled and happy mother. Our mindfulness exercises included in the guide will help you feel confident as you navigate a smooth transition back in the office.


Despite the joy that a newborn brings, it is not uncommon for new moms to experience a wave of sadness upon returning to work after parental leave. The transition may feel daunting. As you leave your baby behind and adjust back to the routine of work, moms may find themselves feeling emotional, tearful, and exhausted. It’s okay to feel sadness amidst such a big change. The good news is that this feeling is completely normal and our guide is intended to empower you to recognize and acknowledge all of your feelings.

We'll Help You Prep

mom holding newborn before work

Childcare and Support

As many parents prepare to return to the office, taking childcare considerations into account can certainly help ease the transition. By actively seeking out solutions and support in advance, you can help ensure a smooth first week back at work.

Feeding Plan

Planning ahead and considering your options helps alleviate some of the stress and anxiety that comes with returning to work while still prioritizing your child’s health and well-being. Whether it’s expressing milk or finding a trusted caregiver to provide nourishment, there are plenty of options available to ensure you and your little one are both comfortable and satisfied.



It’s important to remind yourself that taking care of yourself means you can better take care of your little one. Embrace the idea that it’s not selfish to prioritize your own well-being, and remember that the happier and healthier you feel, the happier and healthier your little one is going to be.

And Cope

Starting a new chapter of working motherhood can be a challenging time, and finding ways to cope with these new challenges is important for both your mental and emotional well-being and that of your family.


As a mother and a coworker, it’s essential to set boundaries that allow you to feel fulfilled and balanced in both roles. Setting boundaries can help you maintain healthy relationships with your family and coworkers, and prevent burnout.  Our guide will help you set and communicate boundaries as you ease back.

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What's Included?

  • Dividing roles and responsibilities with your partner
  • Pumping and lactation considerations at the workplace and a milk calculator for the time you’ll be away from baby
  • How to effectively communicate with your team and organization
  • Self advocacy tips for returning to work
  • A checklist to help you prepare to go back to work after parental leave to give you peace of mind
  • Two guided meditations to help calm the nervous system with deep breathing
  • Positive affirmations for working moms when life feels hard
  • Childcare provider considerations
  • Special discount offer from InchBug for our favorite supplies
  • And more!

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mother with eyes closed pressing her face up against her infant to calm her anxious feelings

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