In addition to covering labor and birth, healthy and safe lifestyles, and all aspects of baby care in The Baby Nurse Bible, another area I thought was important to address was emotional issues that both mom and dad experience during the first three months with their baby. One problem I hear a lot about at Boston Baby Nurses is the anxiousness that moms feel as they have to return to work. On one hand some may see it as an opportunity to get back to feeling like their old self again–to have other responsibilities to focus on. However, at the same time that separation from their baby often brings on feelings of guilt. Then there can be other potential issues such as simply missing their little one so much it aches or adjusting to having someone else providing care. So I wanted to share this Baby Nurse Question from the section “Your Baby’s Third Month: The Newborn Homestretch:”
Q. I’ll be returning to work at the end of this month and I’m so anxious about leaving my baby in day care. Do all moms feel like this?
A. Yes–you are not alone. But I can tell you from having counseled hundreds of moms that the period leading up to your actual first day is the most stressful part. Of course, during the first few days of dropping your baby off, there might be a few tears, but usually only from you. At three months your baby will most likely be smiling, happy, and ready to interact with new faces. Of course, he wil miss you but he is not likely to be old enough to experience seperation anxiety, which at the earliest probably won’t happen until about five months…Even the most worried and teary moms tell me that returning to work was much easier than they had anticipated it would be. Most babies are very happy in their day care surroundings, and when you see this for yourself you will be happy as well. Try your best to relax, trust your child-care providers, and appreciate all of the social benefits your child will receive from spending his days among other children.
If you are headed back to work anytime soon and will be leaving your baby in the care of someone else, just know that every transition has its tough points but that it always quickly passes into normalcy. Concentrate on the benefits for your family, whether that be extra needed income, socializing for baby, or working on your career.