Things I’ve learned in the Mother’s Room

I have officially been back at a full-time job for two weeks now. One of my fears about going back to work was that it would disrupt my breastfeeding relationship with Sadie.  Fortunately, my new workplace is extremely family-friendly and supportive of breastfeeding. Every morning, the first thing I do when I get to the office is to go to the Mother’s Room and drop off my pump. The Mother’s Room is the size of a small office. There is a sink (with dish soap and bottle scrubbers) and a small refrigerator. The blinds are always drawn so it is cozy and private. The chair is fantastic–it reclines! And there is a little table with a small variety of magazines. My boss and co-workers are totally understanding about my  need to disappear for 20 minutes at a time, currently around 10 in the morning and 2 in the afternoon. If I don’t have plans for lunch, I go nurse Sadie at daycare, which happens to be about six minutes away. On Tuesdays, Trevor and Sadie join me for lunch at the office, and I nurse her at my desk before I leave. And Sadie nurses frequently when I am home. I feel exceptionally lucky.

So here are a few things I have learned in my two weeks of pumping at work:

  • I don’t need a special hands-free pumping bra to pump hands-free. With each of my regular nursing bras, I can unfasten each side, attach the cones to my boobs, and refasten the bra in such a way that it, along with the suction, holds the cones in place.
  • I need to keep a routine for when I am in there. If I don’t do things in roughly the same order (like plug the pump in before getting out the attacher tubes), I am liable to forget something important (like opening the bag I’m pumping into before pumping–yeah, that was a huge wet mess).
  • I am continually glad that I purchased an iPhone after Sadie was born. I haven’t worn a watch in years, and there is a fantastic stopwatch that I set for 12 minutes, that will go off even if I am reading tweets on Twitter or checking the weather for tomorrow.
  • Unfortunately, 12 minutes is not long enough to nap. But it is a nice amount of time just to rest my eyelids.

Last week, I pumped a ton. More than Sadie needed by a long shot. It was great, because I was able to add to my freezer stash. This week, though, I have pumped less for some reason. I’m not terribly stressed about it, because I’ve not had to dip into my freezer stash to supply Sadie with enough milk during the day. But I am going to be keeping a close eye on it. I like having extra (not frozen) on hand, because we use it to make Sadie’s breakfast and dinner–oatmeal with either a fruit or a vegetable.

This month’s Carnival of Breastfeeding hosted by the Motherwear Breastfeeding Blog was on the topic of breastfeeding and working. While I did not get to participate in the carnival–the timing was just a little off, I did take note of the participating blog posts that were the most interesting or most relevant to me, and I thought I’d share them here.

5 Biggest Mistakes Working & Pumping Moms Make at Blacktating

Working and Breastfeeding a Toddler at Strocel.com

Taking Your Working Boobs to Work at Marshins

A Job Where Everyone Breastfeeds at The Milk Mama

And I found this post on a blog that participated, but I found this one more helpful: Breastfeeding: How to pump successfully at work at The Marketing Mama Blog

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