It’s Thursday, so that means it is time for the Life With Levi breastfeeding blog hop! This week’s topic is “Breastfeeding While Back at Work”.
Following the birth of A, there was no question I was going back to work. I was a single mom and had no other choice but to work and raise her. I was so worried about what I was going to do about pumping when I went back. During my “getting my foot in the door” phase of teaching, I did a maternity leave for a BF’ing mama. Lucky her, she had a private office where she could pump; however, not all teachers are so lucky. Sadly, I got my worries up for nothing since A and I did not successfully stick to nursing.
When I got pregnant with E, Mr. Burgher had been a stay at home dad for a few months, and we had no plans to change. That meant that I would be going back to work, but I have to be a little honest here, I LOVE working, so it wasn’t a big deal to me. . . until I had to think about what I was going to do if E took to nursing. And took to nursing he did!
Before I went on leave, I made sure to cover my bases with my boss and HR manager so that I would have somewhere private (not the bathroom) to do what I needed to pump twice a day when I returned. I highly recommend this to any mama who is even considering it–it really helped with my anxiety about returning to work.
When I got back, the immediate solution was that I would have access to locked offices, but that meant that I was going to have to do creative scheduling or ask someone to leave their office. While I was pretty comfortable with the arrangement, I was starting to internally worry that it was going to get old and more difficult as the months wore on.
Then one day, my boss had an announcement to make. Our VP was working on creating a Wellness Room in our building where I would have a private place to pump! Of course, the room would be locked with no windows, have a chair and table, and be able to schedule in Outlook. The room is also open for others to use for medical use. While it still needs the final furniture and an “in use” door hanger, I feel pretty blessed to have such a great arrangement at work. I get to go in the room twice a day, continue to work, and nourish my baby.
Sure, there are days when I get incredibly busy and don’t always meet my schedule. There was the time when I had to ask someone to leave the room because I had it scheduled, but I have otherwise never had any other issues. It is a great private space. Carrying my pump in and out of work isn’t always the most fun, but knowing that I am providing liquid gold for E is the best feeling.
Of course, there is guilt that I am not home with the kids and it is not always easy. But the smile on E’s face when I walk through the door, pick him up, and bond with him is priceless. I not only provide money and food for my kids, but love that can never be replaced. Quite worth the not so easy moments.
For you mamas who are considering BF’ing and working, I highly recommend it. For me, it was necessary that I had a clean space with a table, chair (comfy is preferred), good pump (I have the Medela Pump in Style), PumpEase, accessory wipes (the Wellness Room doesn’t have a sink), a burp cloth (I love that I can “smell” E if I am having issues), a towel, and a picture of E. Just because I advocate BF’ing while back at work, I am also not going to tell you that formula is evil, so don’t feel bad if you need to supplement. Baby is going to love you, no matter what route you pick. This was just the perfect route for me.
Oh, PS! If you haven’t read it yet, you have to listen to my story about pumping while on a work trip. Good times.