Maternity leave is the start of a wonderful and sometimes tricky transition in your career—going from simply ‘working’ to being a ‘working mom.’ Here are some tips on how to ease that transition and make the most out of maternity leave:

1. While your baby will take up most of your time, it’s important that you care for your physical and mental well-being.

You can support your body’s natural healing process by eating healthy, drinking a lot of water, and getting rest. Start your day with self-care and a wellness routine. Get fresh air and take your baby for a walk in their stroller. Listen to your favorite podcast, recite some positive affirmations or gratitude statements as you go for a stroll. Don’t worry. If you have your earbuds in, no one will think you're talking to yourself.

2. Join a supportive community of working moms, or find a working mom mentor.

As you see your child grow through milestones, you may begin to wonder what’s next for you. You may struggle with thoughts of what it will be like to be a working mom and what it means for your personal and professional growth. Get perspective. Find other working moms you admire, and request to connect to gain their insights. By doing so, you’ll fulfill your need for connection and support, and you’ll gain perspective and advice.

3. Take time to consider your ideal version of work and motherhood.

Now that your priorities have shifted as a mom, things may have changed. Your maternity leave may be the right time for you to reflect and reinvent yourself. Take this time to dream up your ideal scenario for yourself, your family and your career.

List out all you have to consider, and even the decisions you’ll have to make related to going back to work and working in an office. Write out your ideal scenarios as it relates to childcare, your commute, work attire, pumping in the office, flex days, work remote hours, and even your communications with your colleagues and employer.

Go through this exercise to gain clarity on what’s best for you. Speak with a trusted mentor or coach to gain confidence, strategies, and tips that’ll help you as you transition back to work.

You’re coming off of an amazing experience having conceived and birthed a child. I hope you see the potential in your ability to co-create and expand your love. Take that concept of your ability to create and apply that in your personal and professional life. Now, dreaming of your ideal vision and future may not come easy, but I encourage you to have fun with it and explore all possibilities.