There have been significant changes in the last three to four decades for mothers and work. The number of mothers working has risen from close to 0% in 1950 to 55% in 2005 and is now 62% in 2010. Not only are many more mothers working, but they are returning to work sooner after pregnancy. In 1965 only 21% of mothers of their first child returned to work in six months but in 2002 over 70% of women returned to work in six months.

You have several options. You can return to work full time, return to work part time, return to work with flexible time where you work part of the time at home, stay home full time and even start your own business or consult from home.

It can be a challenging time to decide what is best for your family so we have provided some tips in helping you decide:

1.If you want to continue working - how flexible is your job and boss? Could you take time off if your baby or baby sitter is sick?

2.Can you come in late or leave early if there is an emergency?

3.Do you normally work long hours, or work weekends or travel?

4.Is your job stressful or high pressure? Can you cope with that stress during the day and cope with the taking care of your baby even if your baby is easy to handle, never mind a fussy or colicky baby.

5.If you work, will your partner or spouse help out with baby care, shopping, cleaning, cooking and laundry?

6.Will you have the energy to work, take care of your baby and take care of your relationship with your husband/partner. Often what suffers in a two-income family is the relationship with the spouse. The first year after a child is born is the toughest for couples. More divorces occur at this time than any other time with the exception of the first year of marriage. The divorce rate has doubled from 1965 (258 divorces/100,000 marriages) to 2000 (515 divorces/100,000).

Once you decide on what would be best, here are some recommendations to making it work:

1.Carefully lay the groundwork with your boss and company so your employment, while pregnant, is as fulfilling as possible.

2.Be very open minded about your plans after your baby is born. If you are honest with yourself you will discover the home to work scenario that is most satisfying to you and your family.

3.Family and friends advice is helpful but with one third of women staying at home, one third working part time and one third working full time, you can see there is no right or majority scenario.

4.Carefully research childcare early on in the pregnancy while you have time to do it.

5.Go over your family budget with your partner/spouse and even an accountant to get realistic estimates for your specific family budget.

6.If you decide not to go back to work, make absolutely sure you leave your job with an excellent intact relationship with your boss and company. You may want to go back to work there again and even if you try to obtain a job elsewhere you will need a reference from them. If you don’t cite them as reference, a red flag will go up and most likely someone will call your previous employer for an “unofficial evaluation.”

As you can see, making the right decision of whether or not to go back to work can be difficult. But with the right knowledge you can make an informed decision. It’s important to read as much as you can to be fully able to explore your options. We recommend the book, Fetus to Fifth Grade to take you through step by step your entire pregnancy and those first few years.


Author's Bio: 

Want to get more pregnancy tips? Get Fetus to Fifth Grade The author, Dr. Schapira is an internationally recognized physician and researcher in the areas of nutrition and cancer prevention, and has been featured in the New York Times, Los Angeles Times, USA Today, CNN, NBC Nightly News and The Today Show. Stop by the site for a free copy of the first three chapters.