I’m a working mom and I’m still breastfeeding, which means I’m pumping during the day and giving bags of milk to the Monkey’s day care provider each night.
My set up is actually pretty funny. But first, a little background. My company is actually extremely family-friendly. I was able to get a discount on a breast pump, and had a lactation consultant who called monthly to check in on me to answer questions, etc. But because I work in a satellite office, we don’t have a dedicated “lactation room”. One of my previous employers had such a room. It was filled with cushy armchairs, a rocking chair, a lamp, an outlet, a side table, and lights that dim. People used to use it for naps. It had a lockable door.
At my current job, most people have their own offices. If they need to pump, they simply hang a sign on the door, close the blinds, and have privacy. I work in a cubicle. Next to a busy printer/fax machine. We have a lactation room, but we call it the library. It’s essentially our third conference room. The door closes, but doesn’t lock. There are two extra “tech” computers in there. To use it on a normal basis, you have to reserve time or check the office calendar to make sure someone hasn’t reserved it.
Needless to say, I wasn’t comfortable going to the library. It was a hassle. So I improvised: I bought wrapping paper and put it up along the frosted plastic windows around my cube so people going to the printer wouldn’t be able to see in. I made a “Please Do Not Disturb” sign. I took two privacy screens from other cubicles and had a stronger co-worker move one of our office’s potted trees near my work station.
It provides me privacy, and I’m comfortable with it.
But the best part is that people can HEAR my pump going. For my first month back at the office, I’d hear footsteps slow around my cubicle as people tried to figure out what that noise was. One of the friendlier guys asked me once (when I had opened up the privacy screen, “what are you doing in there?” (He’s young and single.)
“Oh, I’m just pumping.”
I’d never seen a face so red. Word spread pretty quickly after that. Now, guys actually walk FASTER when they hear my pump whirring.
Also, it makes conference calls much easier. I just put my phone on mute.
But wait, it gets better. The pump that I bought is a hands-free version. It has these straps that attach to your nursing bra at three points so you don’t have to sit there holding these suction cups to your boobs.
I did it so I could work (or whatever) for the 13 minutes it takes me to pump 2x-3x a day instead of sitting around bored out of my mind. And its a great pump. I like it.
The Hubbs is endlessly amused by it. The unit also came with a belt, so one could be totally mobile with the pump. Why, I can even do a load of laundry while pumping! I can make dinner! I can answer the phone!
I mean, look at that lady on the left: She looks like she’s having FUN. This pumping thing is just the bestest! I can stand around not looking like I’ve EVER had the skin of my stomach stretched out by a kid, drinking my glass of wine and pumping … wait … wine? She’s freaking drinking wine? (Doesn’t it look like wine? I think so.)
I mean, it just LOOKS ridiculous, there’s no getting around it.
And the other lady, who’s all calmly working while she’s exposed with the BLINDS OPEN. (Come to think of it, wine-girl’s blinds are open too. Come on, who takes these photos, seriously?) I’m sure their neighbors and co-workers, and whoever works across the street just LOVE seeing these women hooking their ta-tas
up to the dairy multiple times each day
But what topped it for me, is the company’s catch phrase for their products: “Express Yourself.” Get it? Get it? Because you EXPRESS milk when you pump? So you’re expressing yourself through their products?
So excuse me, but I need to EXPRESS MYSELF now.
I hope you enjoyed the photos!