Maternity leave is over: Getting ready for the office

From tackling wardrobe dilemmas to boosting self-esteem, we help you sashay back into the workforce with sureness.

Parents-Maternity-leave-is-over-Getting-ready-for-the-office-MAIN

Almost to the end of your maternity leave? Mentally, you've been bracing for the transition to working mum... But what else can you do to boost your spirits and your can-do attitude?

Best foods to eat

• Avoid sugar

Excess sugar converts straight to fat in your body and gets stored around your stomach. Snack on nuts or fruit instead.

• Cut back on coffee

Excess caffeine releases the stress hormone, cortisol, which increases fat storage around the stomach.

• Take a fish-oil supplement

Studies show it helps your body to burn more fat around your mid-section.

• Eat plenty of lean protein

Try grilled chicken and turkey. Protein takes far longer to digest than carbohydrates, so more calories are burnt during digestion and you will feel full for longer.

• Increase your magnesium intake

Eat greens like broccoli and spinach — they curb sugar cravings by helping to keep blood-sugar levels steady.

Eat greens like broccoli and spinach — they curb sugar cravings by helping to keep blood-sugar levels steady.

Best clothing tips

Hiding the unsightly belly bulge

Avoid stiff fabrics. For a slimmer silhouette, pick dark-coloured outfits.

Distract from your tummy

Choose necklaces with large pendants to accent your outfit’s neckline. Try a fabric brooch as it acts as a focal point, drawing one’s eyes to your face and takes attention away from the tummy.

Picking the right shapewear

Full-body shapers are a great choice if you must wear form-fitting dresses, while high-waisted shapewear smooths out any lumps and bumps, especially if you have a “muffin top”.

Maternity wear — keep or dump

Keep dresses with empire or A-line designs, but ditch shapeless, tent-like outfits.

Advice by Joanne Lim, founder and chief image coach of Image Success Pte Ltd, an image-consultancy firm.

What makeup can cover up your lack of sleep? How do you stay mentally strong? Click next…

Parents-Maternity-leave-is-over-Getting-ready-for-the-office-2

Best makeup for “return to office” day

A “fresh-faced” look after a sleepless night

Use a no-rinse overnight mask, like Laneige Water Sleeping Mask, to hydrate the face. In the morning, try an all-in-one BB Cushion/BB Cream, like Sulwhasoo Evenfair Perfecting Cushion, for that wide-awake, healthy glow.

Go for bright lip colours

If you’re fair-skinned, a bright pink lippie like YSL Rouge Pur Couture 52 Rosy Coral will instantly brighten up the face. For darker skin tones, choose a deep berry like Tom Ford Lip Colour Matte in Plum Lush.

Perking up tired eyes

Apply eyeliner as close to the lash line as possible. Or try a do-it-all mascara, like Eyeko Rock Out & Lash Out Mascara, to achieve visibly defined lashes.

Disguising unwashed hair

Spritz Percy & Reed Radiance Revealing Invisible Dry Shampoo onto hair roots. Massage into scalp and brush out the excess. It’ll absorb any excess oil and leave your hair smelling fresh.

Convertible hairstyles

Braid your hair and let it down in the evening for instant waves! Opt for an A-line bob, if you have straight hair, or a pixie cut.

Advice by Joanna Koh, makeup artist and founder of Indigo Artisans, a boutique agency representing makeup artists and hairstylists.

“[‘Open up’ eyes with a] do-it-all mascara to achieve visibly defined lashes…”

Best way to prepare mentally for work

Adjusting to a new routine

It’s normal to experience anxiety about leaving your child when you return to work. To help with the adjustment, try going back in stages: First part-time, then to a full-time schedule.

Find support from others

Talk to other mums who’ve been through similar situations.

Help your child adjust

Expose baby to multiple caregivers. As long as she is comfortable with her caregiver and you trust them to provide the care that is in line with your expectations, shelve the guilt and focus on your work.

Working while sleep deprived

Be smart and eat well. Get extra help. Keep your routine as calm and easy as possible.

You are baby’s role model

While it feels like a juggling act, remember you’re a role model for your child. It’s all right to pursue your passions.

Advice by psychologist Anoushka Beh.

Photos: iStock

Stay at home with baby or start work again?

Quiz: Work, baby or life?

3 tactics to balance work and family