Going Back to Work After Your Twin Pregnancy

Even if you plan on going back to work after your twin pregnancy, making the transition when the time comes can be challenging.

You're bound to feel mixed emotions as your return-to-work D-day quickly approaches.

On the one hand, you may feel guilty about leaving your babies at daycare every day. On the other, you may feel bad if you're eager to get out of the house for some adult interaction each day.

Going back to work after twins can mean double the guilt and double the stress. That's why taking time to prepare for this important transition is so critical. The following are some tips for making your return to work as easy and stress-free as possible.

Establish your daycare situation early: Make sure you have given yourself adequate time to choose a daycare provider for your babies and feel comfortable with your decision. You don't want to spend your days at work worrying about the safety or care of your babies.

You may also consider starting your child at daycare a week before you go back to work (even if it's only part time) to make the transition for you and your babies a little easier. Also, make sure you have a back-up sitter for when your babies are ill in case you can't stay home with them. View our tips for finding quality daycare and daycare interview questions

for more information.

You can also consider a "transition" daycare situation. If your spouse is eligible for the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA), you might see if he is willing to take time off with the babies after you return to work for a month or two. This arrangement allows you to get back into your work routine without the added stress of trying to get the babies out the door in the morning or worrying about a new daycare arrangement right away.

Prepare if you plan to continue breastfeeding: If you have been breastfeeding and plan to continue when you go back to work, you should prepare for the transition about a month before. Purchase a double breast pump (or rent one) and begin pumping milk a few times a day (around the time you would normally be at work). You can freeze any extra milk to keep on hand as an emergency supply.

You will also need to get your babies used to drinking from a bottle if they haven't before. You may need to try a few different brands. In the beginning, it's probably best for someone else to offer them the bottle so they can get used to others feeding them.

Talk to your boss or human resources representative before returning to work to find out if there's a suitable location for you to use your breast pump at work. It's a good idea to alert them of your intentions in advance as well so you can set up a schedule that works for everyone. Make sure you also have a safe place to store your expressed milk at work.

Lean on your support system: You and your spouse are a team in the successful parenting of your twin babies. Let him know that you need his help with both household chores and child-care responsibilities. You can't do everything at home and work without some support.

Accept offers of help from family and friends. While you will probably get many offers for babysitting (which is great), some people may also be willing to pitch in with cooking, cleaning or helping you with some of your errands.

Get organized: You can greatly reduce your level of stress by being as organized as possible. For example, you can plan and prepare meals ahead of time and freeze excess amounts for easy meals during the week. You can make lunches, pack the daycare bag and choose clothing for the babies the night before to make things less hectic in the morning.

Get plenty of rest: Depending on when you go back to work after your twin pregnancy, your babies may still be getting up for at least one feeding in the middle of the night. Try to go to bed earlier than usual so you can still get a decent amount of rest before the work day. The better rested you are, the less likely you are to let little things stress you out.

Stay flexible: You can count on having days when things don't go the way you planned or everything seems like it's falling apart. It's important to keep your sense of humor and to be prepared for the inevitable ups and downs of raising kids.

Take time for you: While your babies are now your top priority, you are still an individual. It's good for your mental health to take some time to continue a hobby or spend time with friends regularly. You'll also want to schedule some alone time for you and your spouse (if you're married)or significant other where you can talk and keep your relationship alive.

Don't give up: When you first return to work, you may find that it's a lot harder and exhausting than you thought it would be. It's a normal feeling. Give yourself some time to adjust to your new routine. If you enjoy your career (or need to work out of economic necessity), your patience and flexibility will go a long way in making your transition back to the work place a less stressful, and maybe even enjoyable, one.

Dealing with working mom's guilt. . .

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When did you return to work after your twin (or multiple) pregnancy? What was the hardest thing about making the transition back to work? the easiest?

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