Returning to work can be daunting for mumsGoing back to work after enjoying the benefits of maternity leave can be a daunting prospect for many new mums, new research has found.

According to the study by the National Childbirth Trust (NCT), 39 per cent of women said that returning to their place of work after having a baby was either “difficult” or “very difficult”, while 31 per cent felt their relationship with their employer had deteriorated since announcing their pregnancy.

Meanwhile, 32 per cent felt their chances of a promotion had reduced since becoming a mother, while 13 per cent said they had fallen in seniority since returning to work.

Belinda Phipps, chief executive of the NCT, said: “It’s time employers got a grip not just of their policies and paperwork but how to help their managers talk to and support mums after what is often the most important and life changing event of their lives.”

Gordon Brown recently announced that from April 2011, fathers will be able to take six months off work should their partner decide to return to work following her initial six months of maternity leave.