October 2, 2010

Pumping out in the World?

So I am working from home two days a week, as I transition back to work. However today, I attended a planning retreat with my team at one of our local hotels. It was great to see the group! They asked about the baby (which I was more than happy to gush about), and expressed how much they have missed me! However this did pose a new challenge for me: pumping in public.

When going to your first all-day-away-from-the-baby event (or first day back to work!), feeding him is certainly one of the biggest concerns. By law, workplaces now have to provide a location specifically for pumping that is not the restroom, however not sure of the rules for other places. So here I am at this retreat, needing to pump every 3 hours. I brought along the usual equipment for pumping at work. I know that everyone has their own level of modesty with breastfeeding and pumping and all related activities. I have started getting more comfortable breastfeeding with a nursing cover (like this) while out and about, but pumping? So I found myself standing against the wall furthest from the door in the womens' restroom, pump attached, using my nursing cover, and flipping through baby photos on my phone. And every few minutes, a female from our group would come in to relieve themselves!

I was worried how it would go over with restroom visitors, but I kept reminding myself that this is just something that I have to do, that lots of people probably do, and that I was completely covered.To my surprise they were all very empathetic and used my awkward position to commiserate or reveille in their own new-mom experiences. It was actually like having my own personal mommy group, of one-on-ones. I got to hear about how they had competitions with other nursing moms when they returned to work about who could put out more volume in a day. I heard about the challenges of bringing home, and nursing, twins! I also got to talk about the newest pumping technology and gadgets for baby. And of course, I got to talk about and show off my pictures of the new baby.

I thought I'd share this, in case anyone else is nervous about getting out in the world with their new baby skills. I was nervous, too, but I think people are actually pretty receptive - especially other moms. They have been there too!

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