If You Plan to Return to Work

If you plan to return to work and are in the last month of maternity leave, your mind may be turning to getting ready for that first day back. Loving and safe care for your baby is probably your priority.

If your baby won’t be cared for in your home, visit childcare centers as well as family daycare (childcare in someone’s home) in your area—wonderful care can be found in both places. During the COVID-19 pandemic, you may prefer having a childcare provider in your own home to minimize potential exposure to the virus.

Some childcare facilities have been closed during the pandemic. If you’re considering a facility that is open or has re-opened, check out this info from the American Academy of Pediatrics on what COVID-19 preventive measures to ask about in childcare settings—from cleaning and disinfection procedures to safe distancing during group activities.

Look especially for a licensed provider, a low adult/child ratio (at least 1 adult for every 3 babies—newborn to 24 months—and no more than 6 babies in a classroom or home), cleanliness, and children who seem happy and engaged in age-appropriate activities.

You may wish to schedule a few “practice runs” with your childcare provider, leaving your baby for a couple hours at a time (with a bottle of pumped breast milk or formula) to allow the provider and your baby to get to know each other, and you to become comfortable leaving your baby there. While you should choose a childcare setting that encourages you to drop in any time, know that during the COVID-19 pandemic, you may not be allowed to visit childcare rooms at the facility. 

Remember, also, you have the legal right to express your breast milk at work in a private place that is not a restroom.

Disclaimer: This page is not intended to provide medical advice about your child. Always seek the advice of a physician, qualified healthcare provider or child-development specialist with any questions you have about your child's health, medical condition or development. Never disregard, avoid or delay contacting a doctor or other qualified professional because of something you read here.

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