Monday, August 03, 2015

Combining Breastfeeding and Work: Our Stories

Time, space, support.  Getting good support is an essential component to successfully pumping breast milk for your baby while you are working outside the home.  La Leche League International (LLLI) runs the best support network for nursing mothers, but it is true that it attracts a lot of mothers who are not employed outside the home and employed mothers often find that some meetings have a culture that does not support their needs.  This is usually a "Morning Meeting" issue, though.  In communities of any size, there are usually "Evening Meetings" as well as "Morning Meetings" each month and those evening meetings are where employed mothers can usually find the mother-to-mother support they need from LLLI.  It is great to start going when you are pregnant, but it is never too late to start!

The following are some excellent books that offer great information and support for breastfeeding mothers who are employed outside the home:

  • Nursing Mother, Working Mother by Gale Pryor
  • Hirkani's Daughters: Women Who Scale Modern Mountains To Combine Breastfeeding And Working by Jennifer Hicks (Lone Star Ma has an essay in this one)
  • The Milk Memos by Cate Colburn-Smith and Andrea Serrette.
I highly recommend them! 
It is important to tell our stories.  The personal is political.  We support each other more than we ever know when we share our stories.  

I think I may have pumped breastmilk in almost every public building in this city that has been around for longer than 10 years - probably not really, but it sure seems that way!  I always had jobs where there were lots of meetings in those years and the challenges were many, but we pulled it off.  

Do you have any pumping stories to share?  Please share them in the comments section!


Unknown said...

I found my support through a private group on facebook with 9,800 members! I exclusively pump for my little one and I dont feel like there'a a lot of info out there for mom's in this situation but this group has been a life saver!

Thankfully, my company has been very supportive of pumping at work, they give me whatever time I need but they dont really have a good private space to pump (I got walked in on by a client(!) my first week back to work). I really wish more companies/offices/schools would have a special designated place for pumping mommas.

Lone Star Ma said...

Thank you so much for your story! Finding private places is really hard. I remember I used to lend my office to staff at my old workplace who did not have their own private office, but I would still get walked in on in other places, like City Hall (hey, I posted a sign, dudes)!

Do you subscribe to that PumpMoms listserv? I'm not sure if it is still out there but it was when I still pumped.