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    51% of mothers worry about going back to work

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    Over half of mothers worry about going back to work after giving birth, according to new research.

    A poll of 1,000 working mothers found — from worries about breastfeeding and finding the right work-life balance, to whether their role had changed while they had been away — 51 percent worried about being a working mother.

    In fact, the biggest worry among mothers heading back to the office after maternity leave was whether they’d have the energy to apply themselves to work and handle the demands of being a mom — 40 percent worried they would get too tired to do the job properly.

    The study, conducted by OnePoll in conjunction with Seraphine, explored the worries of 1,000 working moms and discovered that two in five worry about being too tired to do their work upon their return to the office.

    And 82 percent found themselves concerned about maintaining a healthy work-life balance.

    Chief among concerns was breastfeeding. Eighty-nine percent of mothers surveyed reported breastfeeding their babies, pumping or using a mix of both, with 72 percent breastfeeding between four and 12 months.

    Thirty-five percent of women surveyed reported returning to work before their baby was six months old, and 66 percent were planning to continue breastfeeding and/or pumping after returning to work.

    Despite this, a third of mothers surveyed reported that returning to work was the reason they stopped breastfeeding, and 19 percent even reported receiving pressure from work to stop.

    Among concerns about breastfeeding and/or pumping at work were leaking milk through their work clothes and the ensuing embarrassment (39 percent), as well as being able to pump at work (28 percent).

    However, even with all the worry, 69 percent were actually excited about going back to work after being on maternity leave.

    Upon their return, 79 percent said they came back to a supportive work environment and saw positive changes.

    In fact, nearly half (49 percent) noticed they were able to have flexible working hours upon returning to the office while a further 34 percent came back to work and found a breastfeeding room waiting for them.

    And that’s not all that working mothers got to experience. Twenty-seven percent were able to have the time to pump and another 35 percent received more privacy once they returned from maternity leave.

    Seventeen percent were even able to take advantage of childcare options organized by their workplace. And 65 percent felt that being a mom actually enhanced their performance at work.

    1. Being too tired to work                                                     40%
    2. Leaking in my work clothes                                              39%
    3. My job/role had changed while I was gone                      37%
    4. Not fitting into my office clothes                                        35%
    5. New processes                                                                  35%
    6. Change of colleagues                                                        34%
    7. How people would treat me                                               29%
    8. Not being able to pump in the office                                  28%
    9. Not having appropriate clothes for pumping                      26%
    10. People judging me for the way I look                               24%

    1. Worry about work/life balance                            46%
    2. Feeling overwhelmed                                          39%
    3. Feeling intimidated                                              30%
    4. Having milk leakage through my clothes             29%
    5. Making mistakes in my work                                23%

    1. Missing special moments                                  55%
    2. If the baby was being fed properly                     53%
    3. If the baby was safe                                           52%
    4. If the baby was crying                                        47%
    5. Feeling guilty of being away from baby             47%

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    Stuart O'Brien

    All stories by: Stuart O'Brien