Congratulations on the bun in the oven! You may be counting down to the days when you would finally meet the mini me inside you or looking forward to shed some of that weight causing you to turn numb or sleepless many nights. Some may not have considered how to utilize the 4 months of maternity leave so here’s some suggestions on how to spend it fruitfully.

Tips on using your Maternity Leave (part 1)

  1. Take a week before Estimated Delivery Date (EDD) or scheduled Cesarean date

This will allow you time off work to relax and catch up on some beauty sleep before the baby comes out. Also not forgetting to run through on your shopping/ packing list one more  time for the hospital check-in or getting ready for the baby’s homecoming.

  1. Baby shower/100th day celebration?

100th day celebration is gaining popularity the past couple of years as new parents see the benefits of delaying the typical baby showers held a month after birth. Much of the maternity leave should be to allow the new moms to rest, recover and get used to their new roles and learn to meet the needs of the baby. Hence by putting the celebration of the new arrival to the 100th day gives new parents more breathing room in the few months on the steep learning curve and focus on the more immediate challenges like how to breastfeed or care for their newborn.

  1. Choosing a suitable infantcare/childcare

Modern families may not have the luxury of grandparents providing help with the newborns or taking time off work for an extended period to be stay-at-home moms/dads. Hence choosing a suitable infantcare/childcare is very important to ensure transition back to workplace will be smooth and without worry. Use the maternity leave to shortlist and visit a few suitable ones based on proximity to home, fees, whether it is mostly air-conditioned or with some outdoor space. Read more in our next article on how to choose a infantcare/childcare.

4. Spreading it out or All at once?

This really depends on how each families run their schedules. Mummy L who is a mom of 3 and  banking professional shares her experiences, ” I would like to take 3 months of my leave then spread out the remaining 1 month’s leave by taking one day off per week. This allows me to rest and re-calibrate to get use to the ever changing needs of my little one. It also allowed me time to ease back in to work and figure out how to manage my new schedules and new role as mom. Now with 3 kids,  I put my children to full time infantcare/childcare so the 1 day leave per week allow me to take turn and bring each kid out on one-on-one dates.”

Mommy J say ” I like to spend it all at one go as I want to spend as much time as I can with my baby as they grow up so fast! We really enjoy our one-on-one bonding time when the rest of the family is out working and I bring her for walks and baby gym classes.

For more info on how to plan your maternity leave, you can refer to Ministry of Manpower website

To be continued….