The Real Deal Behind PAW (Pumping at Work)

Any Workin’ Mama that’s nursing their little one will tell you that pumping at work isn’t the greatest thing in the world to do. Don’t get me wrong, I would never stop breastfeeding my daughter, but because of the dedication that pumping at work demands, women need to be realistic and know their options.

I thought I was prepared. I have a decent dual-electric breast pump that operated by both cord and batteries. I have a nursing wrap that fits over me quite nicely. Nothing could spoil my zeal to continue to feed my daughter breast milk. Until I met where I would be spending my thirty-minute breaks…the bathroom. While many articles on the subject will say how unsanitary it is to pump in the bathroom, many Workin’ Mamas are left with no choice. In defense of my job, our floor plan is too open for me to pump in an office, if there was one available. So, three times a day, while I am doing mommy duty in one stall, women come in and out of the bathroom listening to the melodic sounds of my Lansinoh breast pump…and I get the opportunity to listen to them doing number 1…and 2. I’m not going to sugar coat it. It’s disgusting. One lady actually had the audacity to spray Lysol over the stall while I was still pumping!

It’s important for Workin’ Mamas to be prepared for challenges on the job if they want to continue to nurse their child after they return to work. Here are a few points to ponder before you return from maternity leave:

Decide your commitment on the matter

Are you really dedicated to breastfeeding? I have many friends who have either mixed their breast milk with formula or weaned their child off of breastfeeding because of their hectic work schedules. If you don’t think you will have time for 2-3 thirty minute breaks, perhaps you should look to other options for feeding your little one.

Talk to your boss before you return to work

There’s no disappointment in the world that can compare to making assumptions about a situation that don’t pan out. If you have decided you are committed and have the time to continue to breastfeed, talk to your boss about the location of where you will be doing the deed. That way if you are left with being in the public bathroom you can begin to adjust before you even cross the threshold of being back at work.

Be prepared for the smells

There are some people (and I am not faulting you for it) who will use the bathroom for their own purposes whether you are in there or not. Be prepared for it by focusing on the job at hand and picking your break times wisely. Try to use the bathroom to pump during off-peak times. In my limited experience, I have noticed that the after lunch crowd is the worst and have avoided many an experience by changing my pumping time for noon to 11:30am.

No one ever said that motherhood was easy, but if you are dedicated to continuing to breastfeed, I strongly encourage you to think about the pros and cons of pumping at work.

To purchase the Lansinoh breast pump, check out the Workin’ Mama store at Amazon.

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