Pumping at Work Will Make You Stronger

Feb 23, 2012 by

Short on ideas of what to blog about this week, I came across this post from the NY Times about the dreaded mom chore of pumping milk.  Reading this made  me chuckle but it also sends a good message so I am sharing for all ladies who have been daring enough to continue breastfeeding after returning to work as you deserve to be recognized and applauded!

After reading the above post, I began to think back to my own breastfeeding days.  Upon returning to work after my first daughter was born, I was embarrassed by the whole idea of pumping at work.  I had to ask for blinds to be installed on my office window so I could close the door and pump when I needed to.  Because they didn’t want me to be the only one with blinds, the other attorneys had blinds installed in their offices too.  It was a little strange that other people’s offices were being changed as a result of me deciding to breastfeed my child and it made for some interesting conversations around the water cooler.  Someone would say to my co-worker, “Hey, what’s with the new blinds, Jim?”  Jim would reply, “oh, Patty is breastfeeding her baby.”  This would usually result in a baffled expression, but no further inquiries.

I sometimes had to pull over when I was on the road traveling to hearings and pump in the back of a CVS parking lot or a parking garage outside of a courthouse.  Pumping in the car can be quite the challenge to say the least.  I always washed all the odd-looking booby accessories in the office kitchen sink and nobody seemed to mind.  I carried little plastic bottles of breastmilk from my office to the refrigerator without issue.  No strange looks, no uncomfortable comments.  Looking back, I am grateful for this.  Milking yourself is weird enough so it was nice not having to deal with anything else.  I am sure that some of my co-workers could hear my double Medela working hard behind my closed door every three hours but nobody said anything.  I was an old-pro when I returned to work after my second daughter was born and not the least bit embarrassed.  The humiliation fades away with experience I guess.

So for anyone considering this, pumping at work is not fun and it’s not always easy but it is completely doable and will only make you stronger!

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Patty lives in the Hartford area with her husband, three young children and their beloved labrador. She works part-time as an attorney and is doing her best to balance her career and full-time mommy gig. She feels overwhelmed and crazy at times but knows that she is fortunate to have the opportunity to practice law and raise a family. Patty enjoys hiking and nature and can't wait to take her children backpacking one day. She also enjoys a good sweat and does her best to fit regular exercise into her busy schedule. Patty is excited to share stories and connect with other moms who are facing the same daily dilemmas and simultaneously experiencing the many joys of motherhood.

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  • Katie

    I am 4 months strong, and I hate pumping but will do it for as long as I can. I am always in my car, covered in a sheet and feeling funny. Hey the things we do for our kids.

  • http://joyofmotherhood.wordpress.com joyofmotherhood

    I pumped from work for almost 15 months – awkward at first – YES. But your right you settle in and get use to it. Hey its a normal part of life.

    I had to request a room to use as my milking station (LOL)- since I am a cubicle dweller – couldnt pump there and I refused to be a bathroom pumper! I could tell some of the Male managers were uncomfortable or the manager that shared the wall to that particular room would leave during those times.

    But all in all I am proud I did it!

    P.S. – KATIE – you rock momma pumping it your car all the time – you go!!!! :)

  • http://gravatar.com/vtnative vtnative

    Agreed! It does make you stronger. I dreaded pumping at work, but I stuck with it and it was definitely worth it. You are lucky that you could pump in your office, I had to go to a ‘lactation room’ three floors down, it was a communal room, and rather yucky! :(

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