There are pros and cons to being a stay-at-home mum versus being a working mum. But most women make the often difficult decision to do one or the other, or attempt a balance of both. On one hand, you want to spend time with your baby, while on the other, you want to keep your career moving. There are pros and cons to being a stay-at-home mum versus being a working mum. But most women find a natural inclination to do one or the other, or a balance of both. Here are some things to consider if you’re pregnant or a new parent thinking about returning to work. When should you return to work? There are alternatives to returning to a fulltime load, if you’re concerned about being away from clinical work for too long. Consider returning earlier but at the minimum rate, and then increasing your hours later. Perhaps work half days only. Being a new parent is a precious time. If you have the opportunity financially or training-wise, take the time to enjoy your new baby. How will you manage breastfeeding? It can be challenging trying to breastfeed your baby once you’re back at work. If you’re doing a hospital placement, enquire about expressing facilities and milk storage. Consider what terms you’re returning to and how you might manage doing ward-call or surgical terms where having a break every three hours on the clock might be challenging. Who will look after your child? If you want to get your child into childcare, put her name down early. You might be surprised to learn your local childcare centres have waiting lists that are a year or more long. Think about enrolling your baby before he is born. Do you have other alternatives to childcare? Talk to your family. Your parents or aunt may be willing to take care of your child, or even just when your child is sick. Consider nannies and au pairs. Also consider how you will manage sick care. You will need at least two people who you can call on to look after your child when they are sick (as they will be often if in daycare). What can you delegate? Managing your job and family is a big workload. Pay for help. It’s worth it. Hire a cleaner. Use a babysitter. Outsource your mowing. Do your grocery shopping online. Get help where you can. And always take up offers from friends or relatives to do the washing up. What maternity leave are you entitled to? If you have worked for an employer continuously for more than 12 months you are entitled to unpaid maternity leave from your placement for 12 months. You may be eligible for the government’s paid parental leave scheme, with or without employer-funded parental leave payment, for 18 weeks. If you work for Queensland Health, you may be eligible for an additional three-months paid leave. As a registrar, you are entitled to up to 12 months leave from training when you have or adopt a baby. In addition, GPTQ offers registrars flexible return to work training options, including the ability to recommence work at any point throughout a semester, and/or part-time training credited pro-rata. The GPTQ Application for Leave is available from MyGPTQ under Resources / Forms and Documents. How can you return to work part-time? Going back to work after a baby doesn’t mean a full-time commitment to the job. If you want to return to work part-time after leave then you need to: Apply for Part-Time Training Approval by completing the ‘Application for Part-Time Training’ form and returning it to GPTQ for approval prior to returning to work. Once your application has been approved you must then complete the ‘Confirmation of Part-Time Hours’ form and submit it to GPTQ each time you either commence a term or alter your hours during the term at the practice. This form is used to calculate your exact hours for the duration of your placement. All forms can be downloaded from MyGPTQ under Resources / Forms & Documents. All enquiries and applications can be forwarded to Jo Morris, Placements Officer, at GPTQ’s Stafford office.