Copyright Photos by Annie Farber www.photosbyanniefarber.com
This week in our series how to feed your kid we talk about going back to work and having to pump. Oy! Since I only leave Piper part of the time and I work from home I didn’t have alot of experience with this so I recruited my old friend Katie to share her experience with you. Katie’s little guy Brig was born a month before Piper so she is always just a little bit more wiser than me when it comes to being a mom. Check out Katie’s story…
Pumping and working
Let’s be honest, generally this topic opens a whole entirely different broader can of worms: the working mom – yea or nay?
For me it’s a big time yea! I own my own business, (Happy Medium, in Des Moines) with 11 employees, so the choice wasn’t really there for me to stay home. I didn’t however, want my choices to work dictate the options my baby was going to have.
Thus, I became a pumping working mama.
It’s not nearly as bad as I thought it was going to be if you ask my current self who has a 6 month old. Now if you were to have asked me 3 months ago when I was trying to figure out getting back into work, while having a newborn, while fitting pumping multiple times a day into an already hectic schedule, that girl might have a different answer.
Don’t listen to her though, she was a bit of a mess.
With that, here are my best tips for pumping on the job:
1) Just do it!
The thought of pumping at work for me was much more overwhelming than just getting down to business and doing it. Yes, it’s going to put some kinks into the work day flow you had before you were pumping, but no it’s really not that big of a deal. I promise!
2) Book your actual time in your calendar.
Seriously! Once I started doing this pumping became MUCH easier. Before I was doing this, inevitably people were booking up all of my time, and there was no room for pumping, which lead to some incredibly physically uncomfortable mornings or afternoons. Once it’s an event in your calendar though, people do not double book you, then you have time to pump, creating a much better flow to your day. This will also likely help you be able to be a pumping mama longer.
3) Be honest
You know what? You have a LOT on your plate! Be honest and real with people, if you need to move an internal meeting back a few minutes because you’re finishing pumping. It’s ok, it will really be ok – I promise! If people think it’s ridiculous that is their own problem. You being frazzled is not going to help any of your situations or your to-do list so, just be honest. You’ll be surprised at how many people are really and truly very supportive!
4) Have an awesome husband.
This is really more of a lift tip, because clearly having an awesome husband lends itself to many wonderful things in your life. For the pumping mama though, your husband can be on “Milk Manager”. When I’m leaving the house in the morning, my husband has always packed up my empty bottles into the cooler I take. When I get home he empties the milk into our storage bags, or the bottles for the next day. Yes, he is THAT great! But really, if you’re doing all the work during the day to pump, it’s the least they can do. You’re both on team baby!
5) Make it easy
If you haven’t heard of Medela by now, you might not be ready for a baby. (just kidding!), but they are the pumping master brand and they have basically though of everything to encourage your success! If you have access to a sink and microwave, they make steam bags. You put 2 oz. of water plus your pump parts into the bag. Microwave them for about a minute and a half and voila – clean pump parts for your next go around! No soap, scrubbing, scalding hot water etc…
Also, if at all possible, get a pump for your house and a separate pump for your office. (hello Craigslist!) Then, you’re only transporting bottles everyday, not pump, plus bottles, plus purse, plus laptop bag!
6) Get the worlds best strapless pumping bra,
There’s a really obnoxious girl on the cover of the box who looks fantastic, sitting in her fancy office and working while she’s pumping in her fabulous best business girl suit. As it turns out though, you can be that girl!
There it is! There’s that equally obnoxious saying: “I didn’t say it was going to be easy, I said it was going to be worth it”. That definitely applies for pumping at work. It WILL be worth it, your baby loves mama juice, and your baby is too cute not to please! Good luck!
Katie Stocking is first and foremost mother to Brig Stocking. In her spare time she runs a business called Happy Medium, located in Des Moines Iowa. Her two English Bulldogs, Georiga and Cleo were her first babies that she loves dearly. She used to spend time cooking, running and traveling as hobbies. Now she enjoys bedtime snuggles and morning giggles with her favorite 6 month old.
Now I want to hear from you!
Do you have any tips to making pumping faster and easier? Tell me in the comments below.