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[1] La Leche League International. The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding. Plume, The Penguin Group (USA) Inc. New York 2004

[2] Yang, Sara. Studies link maternity leave with fewer C-sections and increased breastfeeding. The Natural Child Project, 5 January 2009,  researched June 2009 <http://www.naturalchild.org/research/maternity_leave.html>


[3] quoted from Brazelton, T.B., Touchpoints. Reading, MA, Addison-Wesley, 1992


[4] O’Mara, Peggy Natural Family Living Pocket Books, New York, NY 2000, Page 118


Mother and child by Shriya Dasi

PLANNING AHEAD FOR WORKING PARENTS


What is the ideal care for a baby, how can they can best be supported and by whom? It seems that no one would be more invested in the baby's well-being and development than her own parents, and that the genuine interest and warmth of a mother or father toward their own child are very difficult to replace. Being nurtured by one of her parents is of immense value to a baby, but it is a circumstance that seems to be rare in our day. Knowing when to return to work and deciding who will care for the baby are complex issues, involving ideals, finances, social circumstances, culture and religion.


If it is possible for you, it may be a good idea to put off deciding when or if you will be returning to work until after the baby is born. Some parents feel very differently about working after their baby has arrived.[1] Keeping your options open will allow you to make a decision when you're clearer about what feels right. Also, studies have linked taking early maternity leave with less risk of c-section and better chances of breastfeeding, so if it is possible, take maternity leave ahead of time to rest and prepare for the arrival of the baby. [2]


Since finances are very frequently part of the question of whether to work or stay at home, it may be valuable to evaluate the detailed costs involved with working (child care, transportation, work clothes, prepared meals, etc.) and see how much more your income will bring in, compared to staying at home with your baby. Another consideration is that you may be able to work part-time or find ways to earn extra money from your home.


‘If you can put off going back to work full time until your child is at least a year old, do. At least for the first three to four months, when you are establishing a strong bond with our baby, it is best not to work at all. “ Each extra month is like money in the bank for both mother and child, “ says T. Brazelton, MD, author of Touchpoints.’ [3] Peggy O’Mara [4]


See Valuing parenting, staying at home vs. day care