Becoming a mom is a significant life event. For most women, motherhood follows pregnancy and labor. Pregnancy and labor cause hormonal changes and weight gain. Women continue to deal with the emotional and physical toll on their bodies after giving birth.
While other nations provide paid maternity leave, mothers in the United States are not entitled to this benefit and may only receive 12 weeks of unpaid leave. For new moms who are teachers, this means returning to the classroom a few months after birth. Let’s look at some tips for balancing being a new mom with a career as a high school teacher.
New moms can pump breast milk.
The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists and the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) promote breastfeeding and encourage new mothers to breastfeed when possible. Medical experts encourage breastfeeding exclusively for the first six months of an infant’s life because the antibodies in breast milk offer multiple health benefits. Breastfeeding decreases the infant’s risk of developing respiratory illnesses, asthma, allergies, or ear infections. Babies consuming formula are more likely to have diarrhea than breastfed babies.
Since medical experts recommend exclusively breastfeeding for six months, but the law only mandates three months of maternity leave, moms returning to work can use a breast pump bra to secure breast milk for their baby. Using a hands-free pumping bra is a great way to collect breast milk because you can pump milk while doing other things, such as marking assignments or creating lesson plans. These pumping bras don’t have underwire and are adjustable, ensuring your comfort while pumping milk. The bras work with the leading electric breast pumps on the market, which means the bras are compatible with Spectra, Ameda, or Medela breast pumps. Pumping lets you transition to a bottle before returning to work, enabling anyone to feed your baby.
Wear comfortable clothing.
Invest in a new wardrobe and promote your physical comfort with new clothing such as leggings and tunics. You may opt to buy nursing T-shirts and tops to make it easier to pump throughout the day as necessary. You may also find loose pants are ideal, particularly if you’ve had a C-section.
Ease yourself into child care.
Placing your baby in child care can be stressful and scary. Start by making a list of your needs and wants, such as the time of day you need child care and the ideal locations for your child care facility.
Review the staff credentials and philosophies of the child care centers, ensuring it’s a facility you’re comfortable using for years to come. Visit the child care center and see the staff interacting with children to increase your comfort level.
Once you’ve selected a child care center, consider testing things out before returning to work. Start with placing your infant in care for a few hours. Having short, positive experiences with your child care providers will increase your confidence. Build up to a full day before you return to work to prepare for your new routine to ensure you’re ready for work.
Help your students access scholarships.
The National Society of High School Scholars (NSHSS) supports high school students transitioning to college for postsecondary studies. One of the founders is a Nobel prize winner, and the NSHSS has supported dozens of students who’ve gone on to impressive careers in a range of career fields. Don’t be deterred by reports about an NSHSS scam. NSHSS is a legitimate organization that provides over $2 million in scholarship funds to college students every year, making it an excellent option for promising students who need financial help to attend college.
Resuming your career after giving birth can be stressful. Whether you’ve been a teacher for a year or a decade, you’ll have physical and emotional challenges that will affect you during this transition. Preparing to return to work can help you successfully transition to your role as a working mom.