Going back to work after 12 weeks of Maternity Leave


  • Specializes in ER/Trauma. Has 6 years experience.

I am grateful that I will be able to leave my baby with a very trusted friend and caregiver, so I have no worries about his safety, etc. while I am at work. I AM a little worried though about my return to work itself. I work in the ER and (pre-baby) I was one of the strong ones. I have given zero thought to work during my leave. I haven't picked up one trade magazine, haven't given any thought to lab values or protocols, yadda yada. I go back to work in 2 days and I am little worried that it may not all come flooding back to me. I have a few questions:

-is it like riding a bike, i.e. - will it all come back?

-for the moms/dads, what were your fears about returning to work?

Specializes in Cardiac, ER. Has 18 years experience.

It's just like a bike,.......congrats on the new baby!

Specializes in pediatrics; PICU; NICU. Has 45 years experience.

You'll be amazed at how fast it all comes back to you!

Congrats on the new baby!

RNperdiem, RN

4,591 Posts

Has 14 years experience.

Be patient with yourself. If you have ever taken a vacation and noticed that your movements were a little less fluent and sure, then returning after time off feels like that.

It has only been a matter of weeks and not years, so your skills will still be there.

My main worry as a new parent was finding the time to pump milk.

classicdame, MSN, EdD

2 Articles; 7,255 Posts

Specializes in Hospital Education Coordinator.

I think you will surprise yourself as to how quickly you return to your nurse role. Never hesitate to ask for help, though, as people like to assist. Congrats on the baby! Nothing is more special

Has 13 years experience.

I went back before 12 weeks financial reasons. It all came back right away. I was a bit over cautious at first, but was just fine. Finding time to pump is the biggest challenge. You get used to the whole sleep deprivation quick.

Specializes in Inpatient Oncology/Public Health. Has 16 years experience.

The first time I was on maternity leave, they rolled out a whole new computerized documentation system I got to come back to. So, I did feel a bit clueless but did get back into the swing of things fairly quickly. The 2nd time was much better. Definitely challenging finding the time to pump.

Specializes in Gerontology. Has 37 years experience.

Nurses in Canada get a year off for mat leave. All I've worked with come back to work fairly easily.

Specializes in SICU, trauma, neuro. Has 16 years experience.

Congratulations! :dummy: I have five of them; I went back to work two months ago. The first couple of weeks I felt a little out of sorts, but it wasn't like being a newbie again or anything. I had to come in for an education the day before my first shift, and one of my ass't managers told me "don't worry if it doesn't all come back right away. I feel clueless after going on vacation for a week!"

I'll tell you a funny story though. I forgot that at a certain time of night, the room I'd decided to use for pumping was in use. I was "interrupted" by a huge flock of charge nurses! lol Fortunately they were all female...my unit had a guy in charge that night, I think he figured out what the "occupied" sign was about, and made himself scarce. :blink:

Meriwhen, ASN, BSN, MSN, RN

4 Articles; 7,907 Posts

Specializes in Psych ICU, addictions.

It took me about a week before I felt fully back to speed.

Fortunately, my schedule was very conducive to frequent pumping, so that wasn't a big problem. My challenge was getting used to all the little changes that took place in the four months that I was out.