Returning to work after baby is born can give moms a massive case of separation anxiety. "A new mother may worry her baby will forget her when she goes back to work, but that’s just not possible," says Alan Greene M.D., a pediatrician at the Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital in Palo Alto, California, and the author of From First Kicks to First Steps. These tips can help you continue to feel close to your baby:
Feeding Time If the most you can pull off is nursing in the morning and at bedtime, your baby will continue to benefit nutritionally, and you’ll both enjoy the emotional intimacy. A 2008 study revealed that breastfeeding triggers a chemical reaction in a mother’s brain, enhancing her maternal affection. Not nursing? Skin-to-skin contact during bottle feedings can boost the bonding experience.
Fill the Senses You can still be a powerful presence in your baby’s daily life without being right next to her. Your lunch break can be a Skype session through The First Years Home & Away digital video monitor ($190; learningcurve.com). She’ll hear your voice and see your face on the monitor, and you’ll get to soak in her adorable expressions and sounds through your computer.
The floors can wait Simplify chores so you can squeeze in more time with baby. Set up auto pay for bills, order takeout, freeze extra meals and, if finances permit, use a housecleaning service.