Clearing The Path For Pumping Breastmilk At Work
After the joy and excitement of having a baby, you still have to get back to work, for a number of reasons. First there's the economic recession and the need for financial stability in homes. if you're getting back to work and you want to keep breastfeeding, you might have to pump and express breastmilk while away from your baby. Thus you might be faced with additional challenges, pumping at work requires research, practice and patience.
You rent or buy equipment; learn how to use the equipment; we purchase the containers needed to store the milk; and then we plan when, where and how this is going to happen while we juggle work and life.
In some organisations, a nursing mother would be given time to pump and have access to a clean private room that contains refrigerator so she can express and store. But this is rare, women have had to express breast milk inside their workplace kitchen or toilet.
Most organisations don't even recognise the fact that a nursing mom needs to pump hence the provision of time, space and refrigerator is seen as the woman's business and not theirs. Imagine women having to pump in dirty places like the toilet, milk that'll be their baby's next meal, no wonder most moms wean their baby before getting back to work.
And here's what a new mom can do to ensure that she's given the time and space to pump when they return to work;
On getting back to work, your supervisor already know a lot has changed. Have a talk about the need to have some privacy and the time to express milk.
2. Have a plan
This will probably see a lot of revisions in the years to come but you still need a plan on when to express and how many minute you're going to spend expressing. Include this in your plan;
• Potential locations you could pump in private.
• What you need (chair, refrigerator to keep milk cold).
• Estimated time needed.
• Suggested schedule (one that works for both you and your employer).
3. Share your plan
After coming up with a plan, share it with the HR department and/or your manager. A little talk might be needed, be prepared.
Finally, I'll say this, you need support, in your workplace and at home. Someone who you can share your struggles with, who will lend a listening ear like your mom friend at work, your mom or even other Mamalettes, just reach out to someone who will make the journey easier.