As a breastfeeding and full-time working mama a pump quickly became my best friend. I am excited to introduce Genevieve from the blog Good Cow Bad Cow who wrote this post on a day in the life of a working mom. She is sharing her schedule as an exclusively-pumping-working mama. She has an amazing combination of humor and great tips that I love so be sure to check out her blog for more useful posts on exclusively pumping.
You know what’s harder than being a working mom? Almost nothing! Nothing, that is, except working and exclusively pumping.
Yes, if you’re nursing then you’re also having to pump at work and that is so very difficult! But, if you’re nursing, then you go home to your baby and nurse her for an all-you-can-eat buffet. While this is super demanding, nursing occupies baby while emptying the milk factory. Again, takes a lot of out of you, but it achieves two major goals in one activity.
If you’re exclusively pumping, then your next shift of pumping has just begun when you get home from work. You walk in the door, kiss your baby (if she’s not already asleep for the night), and hook up to the pump. Later, you put baby to bed, and hook up to the pump while eating dinner. Basically, whatever you’re doing when you get home from a long day of work, you’re ALSO PUMPING. Oh, and drinking water. So. Much. Water.
Here is my schedule as an exclusively-pumping-working mama:
wake up, get pump parts and bottles from the dishwasher, dry every little part, put on pumping bra, and hook up to the pump for first pumping session of the day.
Seal pump bottles or pour expressed milk into storage bags, label storage bags, and lay flat in the freezer, pack up pump, parts, bottles, bags, and pumping bra to bring to work (often I would just wear my favorite pumping bra for work, but sometimes I had to bring the backup!)
Get myself and Marc ready for work and daycare.
Now at work, first pump session at the office. I plugged in the pump, assembled the pump parts, undressed just enough, and hooked up to the pump. I’m lucky to have my own office, but it does not have a lock on the door so I used a super hilarious and obvious (or so I thought) sign on my door to let everyone know NOT to come in.
Well, it only took about a week before the first person walked in on me pumping. Thankfully, it was my super wonderful boss, also a working supermom, and she was mortified. But, as I imagine many of your coworkers, she thought I had finished pumping and I kept my door closed. Nope. But I still love her ✌️
The second time someone walked in on me, it was another manager. He knocked, I shouted “come back later”, yet he promptly barged into my office. “Oh, are you eating lunch?” he asked. No, I’m making my baby’s lunch! (but of course I’m not that clever.) A second man walked by and peeked in, to see what the fuss was about. I repeated, COME BACK LATER! He finally went away, super confused. A few hours later, it finally occurred to him what he had walked in on. Poor guy was extremely apologetic, and no one ever walked in on me again.
Back to the sched….
finish first pumping session of the day by putting my pump parts in a sterile plastic bag or sealed container, label the bottles or storage bags, and put it all in my mini fridge; then, get re-dressed and open my door. Like nothing happened.
Lunchtime – where to go? Oh wait, just staying at my desk so I can get that mid-day pump sesh. Repeat all the steps from the AM session and eat lunch while pumping.
Third and final pump… at work, that is! Repeat all the steps from AM session and drink lots of water to keep up your supply.
When Marc was 3-6 months old, I pumped at this time to keep my supply going. It was exhausting and stressful, as I had to pump AND watch Marc while my husband cooked dinner. This, by far, was the most awful part of pumping. Having to entertain an infant while being hooked up to the pump could be a legit form of torture, but not one I would wish on my worst enemies! A good solution was a snack bottle, when he was in the mood.
Let’s not forget the most thankless session of all, the middle of the night pump (affectionately referred to as “MOTN pump”). By the grace of a higher power and Dr. Karp’s Five S’s, I dropped this session around 10 weeks (right before returning to work). Still, I want to give the honest picture of what the EP schedule could look like at various stages. Best part about this session was knowing other mamas were up, pumping right along with me. #sisterhoodoftheMOTNpump
It was not a glamorous job, but it was challenging in the best ways possible. I could physically see how miraculous my body was, growing and sustaining life for over a year. I am sharing these messy details because I want you to know you are not alone. Never. Whether you’re pumping, formula feeding, nursing, or some combination, you are a warrior mama. You’re doing all that you can to help your baby thrive, and that is everything. ♥
I am a lawyer-mama who exclusively pumped for my baby boy. When I became a mom and nursing did not go as planned, I searched for an alternative that worked for our family. As tough as it was to exclusively pump, it was worth it for me but I wish I had known so much more when I started. This is why I created Good Cow Bad Cow! Whether you are or someone you love is new mom, veteran mom, nursing mom, formula mom, pumping mom, or some combination of these, I hope my blog can be a resource for you and those you love.