It's working for Lori M
"Focus on what YOU can do, what your own priorities are, and what makes YOU happy."
I would have said to myself: NO ONE – and I repeat, NO ONE – is the only person feeling these huge conflicted, exhausted, and muddled feelings upon returning to work after having a baby. The best thing you can do to help yourself through this is to connect with other mamas.
Yes, when I returned to work. I pumped 3x/day with my first baby and 2x/day with my second.
I took approximately 20 weeks with my first child and 16 weeks with my second. I felt very fortunate about the time, given the standard leave duration in the US. By 20 weeks, I was ready to have more adult human contact, though I certainly missed my little one.
My biggest concern after my son was born was that he refused to take a bottle, so I genuinely feared he would starve to death when I was away from him for the day. I finally figured out that the problem wasn’t the bottle but rather sour milk. I had excess lipase in my breastmilk that made it turn sour after about 4 hours in the refrigerator. Scalding the milk at 160 degrees for 15 seconds got rid of the excess lipase and made it drinkable. So when I went back to work, I had what looked like a little science experiment going on under my desk, with a bottle warmer and a candy thermometer.
I did not have a specific back-to-work mentor, but I sought out others in my office who had had children to ask for advice.