#Bfing and the Working Mom

10 Jun

As part of the Breastfeeding Blog Hop, here’s been my experience working while pumping otherwise known as Ode to the Pump:

Most importantly see also my pump song.

I exclusively pumped with Bear for the whole first year because of the difficulty we had actually nursing. So me and the pump got to be quite good friends. With Bella I was luckily enough that nursing her was quite easy, but while I was on maternity leave with her I still pumped once every morning to build up a frozen stash for times I knew I would be away. I wish I had known the glory of the pump with Bear. I was so afraid to pump in those first few weeks because I didn’t want to be engorged anymore than I already was so I didn’t want to send a mixed message that there was more demand than actually existed. However, I was in so.much.pain. and the pump was able to give me the much needed relief.

When I got back to work I still had enough supply and Bella was still eating frequently enough that I felt like I was activating on a constant basis. Layering was very important. So were nursing pads. I went with the cotton ones (less expensive, more environmentally friendly) with Bear but I wised up and went with the disposable ones that absorb WAY more and never leak through this time around. Since I work 10 hour shifts and Bella’s been sleeping through the night for months I pump first thing in the morning when I wake up, twice at work and then once before going to bed. Lately, I’ve dropped the last pump before bed depending how late it was when I last pumped. And sometimes I only pump once at work depending on meetings or if I feel like it. And twice at all day conferences I only pumped before and after work and not once the whole day. Those reasons and the fact that at 8.5 months Bella eats a lot more solid foods and sleeps through the night (she takes 25 oz of milk during the daycare day) are why my supply has fallen quite sharply. This morning when I pumped at work I only got an ounce in 15 minutes. ABSURD. I used to pump 4-5 oz in that long of a session. Now to get any reasonable quantity I have to pump for at least 30 minutes, a privilege I don’t have during the work day.

It was easier when she was younger to pump more often. I had more milk. She drank more milk. I was fresh back from leave. Now, at almost nine months I feel strange slipping away from work 2x a day to pump. I feel a slight air of you’re still doing that?  from co-workers. Plus, even in my own head its sort of like do I still have to do this? I have enough supply frozen that I could get by awhile, but not 3 months awhile and I don’t want to give her formula when I can produce milk.

Its hard to schedule pumping around meetings and impromptu pop ins at work. I’m lucky enough that my work has a dedicated mothering room for this purpose. Equipped with a cozy chair, bookcase of magazines and books, extra nursing pads, breastmilk storage bags, a mirror, the whole she-bang.

The hardest for me was those all day offsite training sessions. Plus, I have no adapter for my pump to pump in my car awkwardly in the parking lot. So I uncomfortably went without. In July, I’ll be in Orlando for a week long conference and I know I’ll have to sneak back to my hotel room between sessions or during meal breaks to pump and that sort of sucks. With Bear I pumped once in an airport bathroom, it just had to be done. In fact at the same conference 4 years ago I was pumping. However then Bear was only 5.5 months old so I had much more milk and demand to keep up. It was hard not being able to go to the after conference parties because I need to go pump.


In general, its hard to have to excuse yourself from professional situations for very personal reasons. I still haven’t thought of a good way to tell male co-workers that I can’t talk right now because I have to go to THE Room. I feel like if you really want it though you can make it work. Even if means pumping on a toilet stall or in your car, or hand pumping just to relieve the pressure (an awful thing I had to do once, talk about crying over spilled milk!) It’s doable.

If I CAN do it it, You CAN do it and we all CAN do it. 




11 Responses to “#Bfing and the Working Mom”

  1. banbamama June 10, 2011 at 4:53 pm #

    Gosh, your post brings back memories! I pumped for my second baby once I returned to college. At the start I was so dedicated but after a few months it turned into a chore. By that stage the little one was on more solids so I could stop the pumping during the day. I used to have to pump in a toilet stall. College didn’t have a snazzy mothering room! I am still feeding her now once at bedtime and she is 19 months. I am so glad i persisted. It is possible if you put your mind to it🙂

  2. Ashley T June 10, 2011 at 5:14 pm #

    Oh my you sound just like me! I knew there were others out there with dropping supplies. Yesterday was the last time I pumped at work and I got 1.5 ounces. Its sucks but I kept going! Good luck!

    • M June 10, 2011 at 8:48 pm #

      Good luck too! I pumped the second time today at home and got more, but I pumped for almost 40 minutes . I can’t do that at work!

  3. A Better Balance June 10, 2011 at 8:00 pm #

    While I still wish we could be blessed with another baby, I will have to say that I do not miss pumping! I pumped exclusively for The Boy (latching issues) and I can still remember how much I hated sitting back in my room with my own personal torture contraption.

    But, you’re right. If you want to breastfeed and/or provide breastmilk- you put up with the discomfort and the awkwardness and do what you have to for your kids.

    • M June 10, 2011 at 8:47 pm #

      I had the same latching issues. I wish I had known more people pumped exclusively. When I did it four years ago I felt like the only one and everyone was constantly confused when I said I was breastfeeding, but not really. People had a hard time getting it.

  4. Rachel Howells June 10, 2011 at 11:56 pm #

    I found your blog through the FNF blog hop and your post also brings back memories for me – not because of the pumping, because I never had to do that, but just the hassle of having to maneuver life around breastfeeding sessions. I was one of those mothers who didn’t mind breastfeeding, but even still I am happy those days are behind me.🙂

    Anyway, great read!


    • M June 12, 2011 at 7:56 pm #

      Thanks! Yeah, I try not to let my life revolve COMPLETELY around breastfeeding, but when she was a baby that was nearly impossible. Lucky we’re almost at the end now!

  5. Patricia Kemp Blackmon June 12, 2011 at 2:55 am #

    Love your blog you remind me of one of five grown my daughters😉 which is very good news.

    Following you via weekend blog hop. I am following you blog every way I can. Stop by my blog and follow however you like.


    • M June 12, 2011 at 7:54 pm #

      If I remind you of your daughter I’m assuming that’s a good thing!

  6. a dreamer's wife June 13, 2011 at 1:08 pm #

    I can totally relate to your article. I just returned to work 2 weeks ago and I’m back to pumping for the second baby. It can be a challenge somedays to squeeze in time to do this, but it always seems to work out! Love your blog – I can totally relate to your articles!


  1. All About the Wean « Lost and Forgotten - August 5, 2011

    […] it’s because my supply has dwindled. And when I say dwindled I mean in the 20 minutes I pumped at work today I got 3 oz TOTAL. Which is not much. At all. And isn’t exactly the equivalent of the 20 […]

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