This is an article in our Pregnancy Week by Week series, a resource to help you manage your job and life, through and after your pregnancy.

Week 41: What NOT To Do During Your First Week of Maternity Leave

Disclaimer: Hopefully you’re reading this far in advance when you were -- wisely -- taking a sneak peek at what was ahead.

Congratulations, mama! The day you’ve been waiting for has finally arrived.

While we hope you are staying pretty far away from your email this week, we do want to share some very brief thoughts about what we think you should NOT do during your first week of maternity leave.

If you’re like most women, you’ve just spent the first few days of your maternity leave in your scratchy open-backed hospital gown, trying to maintain your dignity while suffering the pain and discomfort of pushing a small human out of your body. This means: You. Need. To. Rest.

If you need more clarity, it means turning off your phone, eating, sleeping, and letting your family and spouse take care of you whenever humanly possible. And of course you should be bonding with your precious little one.

From what we recall and from what many new moms tell us, the first week can feel utterly exhilarating and confusing. Days and nights blend into each other, but many of us have a burst of adrenaline during this week while we undergo a rite of passage as we learn to change our first 20 dirty diapers.

Do yourself a simple favor when it comes to work this week: Don’t do any.

Yes, we know there are emergencies. But it’s just one week. Sleep as much as you can, fumble around with breastfeeding (if you’re doing that) or heating up formula (if you’re going this route) and learn how to hold your baby, memorize the way your baby smells and the sound of his/her breathing.

If you find yourself tempted to pick up your phone? Take photos and send a birth announcement sharing your happy news.

But work email? It can wait. It’s just one week!

Related Articles

Would you like to receive personalized, pregnancy emails directly to your inbox? Sign up now for our free week-by-week emails.

Discussion board icon

Is it possible to get anything done while you're watching your baby?

I had this giant to-do list for maternity leave but now that the baby's here, I'm realizing I'm going to get a lot less done than I thought. I somehow thought I'd be able to get some reading done while my baby naps!! Anyone else feeling like there's...

User image

Join the Discussion

Find Out

What are women saying about your company?

Click Here

Share This

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Share with Friends
  • Share Anonymously

Want To Start Planning Ahead?

Week by week calendar

Look at next week’s article or find a past week you missed.

Read More

Support, tips & advice just for you.

Inspiring articles are on their way!

Just a few details, please:

*Required