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Business Boobies: Breastfeeding & Today's Workplace

Welcome to The Breastfeeding Cafe Carnival!

This post was written as part of The Breastfeeding Cafe's Carnival. For more info on the Breastfeeding Cafe, go to www.breastfeedingcafe.wordpress.com. For more info on The Carnival or if you want to participate, contact Claire at clindstrom2 {at} gmail {dot} com. Today's post is about Breastfeeding and Employment. Please read the other blogs in today's carnival listed below and check back for more posts July 18th through the 31st!

I never questioned whether I would be breastfeeding and pumping upon my return to work. Breastfeeding is unequivocally the best nutritional option for a child and I only want to provide the very best that I possibly can.

My workplace is predominantly male inhabited and the industry I work in is male "dominated"as well. Despite that fact I was confident that upon my return I would be accommodated in some way, shape, or form. I was willing (disgustingly enough) to pump in the bathroom if I had to. Nothing was going to prevent me from pumping which might be why I did not check accomodations prior to my return from maternity leave.

To my surprise there was a "Quiet Room" that a group of new mothers was using as a lactation room. We used our internal instant messaging service to coordinate our schedules. It was great having a clean and private room with a refrigerator on the premises. Additionally it was also fabulous to connect with other women that were facing challenges similar to mine regarding motherhood and full-time (very demanding) employment. They were always there for support when needed.

This does not mean that pumping at work was an easy thing to do. It was difficult adjusting to the time away from my desk and in order to avoid a backlog of work I was putting in additional late night hours at home. I also HATED being asked where I was going three times a day with my big (yet pretty discreet and fashionable for a pumping bag) black bag. Despite the minor annoyances I was successful at pumping and did so for approximately six months (until I lost my supply due to my second pregnancy).

Another thing that made pumping a challenging prospect was my frequent travel schedule. I lived  through such trials and tribulations as pumping at a shady rest area Burger King while someone repeatedly knocked on the door, spilling over eight ounces of milk all over my hotel room and not killing myself out of intense sorrow and frustration, and preserving approximately fifty ounces of breastmilk in a car trunk during an eight hour car ride.

I did not enjoy having my boobs out at work or pumping in strange places when traveling but every second of my experience was worth it. My son has thankfully been a very healthy child and I proved to myself that I am capable of much more than I had ever imagined possible.

I'll be pumping at work again upon my return from maternity leave in January 2011.


 Here are more post by the Breastfeeding Cafe Carnival participants! Check back because more will be added throughout the day.

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