The Work-Life Equation Ep. 30: Strategies for Pumping at Work
If you’re a new nursing mom who’s planning to return to work and give pumping a try, you may have questions about how to navigate the experience. Maybe you’ve seen colleagues go through it, or talked to friends that figured out creative ways to make it happen. While pumping at work schedules and strategies can differ from mom to mom – especially when you factor in office environment, work hours, proximity to child care, and/or travel commitments – there seems to be one common thread: it’s not always the easiest thing to figure out. Just listen to what these moms had to say:
- “I didn’t have a lock on my office door, so I would just cross my fingers and hope that nobody would walk in, or need to see me.”
- “I have walls that don’t go up to the ceiling in my office, so you could hear my pump going. Little awkward.”
- “I pulled over and pumped anywhere that had a bathroom – gas stations, Dunkin’ Donuts. I have to do what I have to do.”
- “I felt like I was pumping all the time and barely working. I think people understood, but I don’t know.”
Yes, there can be some bumps in the road for many working-and-breastfeeding moms, but it’s not an impossible task – and that’s where we bring in Karen Rubin. She’s a coach for Life Meets Work, a Talking Talent company that helps guide parents in figuring out ways to make work and life happily co-exist. Karen has counseled numerous moms on how to go about pumping at work, and she gave us insight into the advice she gives to her clients. Perhaps the most important thing? That the baby years are finite, and that pumping will eventually end. So in the (much) bigger picture, those months or years that feel like forever in the moment become just a blip on a long career timeline. Hope this gives you some encouragement, as does the episode; take a listen, and feel free to share some of your pumping at work strategies!