When taking maternity leave, you may feel find yourself feeling a little lost with your usual routine out of the window. Regardless of whether you’ve finished work or your baby has already arrived, there are numerous opportunities and ways to stay productive during this period.

1. Catch up on some forty winks
Between leaving work and your baby arriving, it’s important that you give yourself some well-deserved ‘me’ time. If you’re super organised, you will have already purchased all of those baby essentials which frees up some time for you to take care of number one for a few weeks. Use this time to catch up on all of the sleep that you need because when your baby arrives chances are they will wake you up in the middle of the night crying and you’ll feel like a zombie.

2. Get fit
Exercise is not only cleansing for your body and mind. Research indicates that engaging in moderate exercise can reduce the total amount of time spent in labour (and who wouldn’t want that?). Once your little bundle of joy has arrived, try to maintain a healthy amount of exercise which can include taking them out for a short walk in the pram. Or why not look at local fitness groups for mothers as this will allow you to meet new mums and share your experiences, plus, having a gym buddy will encourage you to stay active and keep at it!

3. Enjoy time with your baby
Everyone has great plans for their maternity leave after all, when did you last have a holiday from work this long? But don’t be fooled – this is no vacation! Make the most of the time that you have with your baby, build the bond and give them all the cuddles in the world because in the blink of an eye they’ll be all grown up. Everything else including the dishes, housework, washing and ironing (except baby’s) can wait, or better still be cheeky and ask all of the visitors that you’ll be getting to help out during those first few weeks.

4. Get mingling
When your baby has arrived don’t disappear off the face of the earth, because believe it or not, looking after your baby and sitting in everyday watching daytime TV is boring. You’ll enjoy being a mum and feel a lot saner too if you keep in touch with your friends and family. Arrange to meet up with them for a change of scenery every now and then as well as an adult conversation.

5. Plan your time effectively
Babies don’t arrive with a routine, they must learn it from you and it’s going to be a fair while before anything resembling a proper routine can be established. So, take tips from your baby, when your little one is asleep, this is the time for you to catch up on anything that you’ve missed or want to do. When it comes to breastfeeding your baby, make sure that you sit somewhere comfortable and take their hunger as a reminder that you need to eat and drink as well.

6. Don’t worry about childcare
Once your maternity leave is over, you’ll have to hand your child over to someone else and you mustn’t stress out. Get recommendations from your family and friends, visit childcare centres, do childminder background checks because, in the end, you’re going to have to trust and let go!

Have you recently been on maternity leave? How did you spend your time? Let us know over on Facebook and Twitter.

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