I am going to have my first baby in a few months (I'm thrilled!), and
I am trying to decide how long I need to take off from work. Since my
husband and I are both wage earners it will be a little tight, but I could
probably stay off of work several months (my boss will let me come back
whenever I like). What do you recommend?
Congratulations! You sound very happy to be having a baby. What you want
to strive for is keeping yourself well and reducing your stress. Although
I don't know your situation exactly, you might consider the following:
most research suggests that a longer maternity leave (over six weeks)
is helpful for working mothers. Additionally, finding help to care for
your baby when you go back to work is essential. The best options are
baby care facilities near by and help from family, neighbors and friends.
There are lots of good books out for new mothers. I like "What to Expect
while Expecting" and others in that series. You can find additional helpful
information by asking at your public library and by checking with others
who are in your situation.
Deborah G. Alicen, Ph.D., is a private practice
psychologist who lives in Plainfield, Vermont--a transplanted Southerner who
still can't say "cows" the way real Vermonters do. She has spent the
last twelve years working mostly with children, adolescents, and adults recovering
from sexual abuse and domestic violence.