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August 29, 2018
I’m a working mom – and a Mother Pumper!
I have two of the greatest jobs in the world. I’m a mom to Kara, my spunky, vocal five-month-old who is obsessed with giraffes, eating, and (happily) screaming. I’m also a Breastpump Specialist for Aeroflow Healthcare, where I spend my days helping moms get their breast pumps through insurance. Having these two jobs means I also have the wonderful job of pumping – twice, if not three times a day -- to provide breastmilk for Kara and continue our breastfeeding journey.
Pumping is one of the most taxing parts of my day – my third job to being a mom and employee – and a task that takes me away from my desk and away from helping my team work to meet goals. Pumping means a regimented schedule that if not met, can result in pain, a possible dip in supply, and a thrown off baby. My life is dictated by breastfeeding and pumping, and I don’t know what I would do without our Pumping Room and an employer that recognizes the importance of breastfeeding for moms like me.
Updates to the Affordable Care Action Fair Labor Standards Act state that employers are required to allocate space for lactating mothers to pump, at whatever rate necessary, for the first year after the birth of a child. This act equally states that this space must have a door that locks, a seat, a counter of some sort, access to a wall plug, an occupied sign, a wastebasket, a sink, and a nearby refrigerator. My employer has gone above and beyond that, and I have a space with several comfortable chairs, a diaper-changing table, a fuzzy rug, and a dedicated fridge and sink for pumpers. Our occupied sign says, “Please knock, Pumping in Progress.” We are also provided cleaning supplies for our pump pieces and there is always cold water in our fridge. I’ve found that my favorite place to pump lately is sprawled out on the carpet, where I can stretch and meditate while I pump. It’s a safe place for me.
I am incredibly blessed to have such a space available to pump in, as I have pumped in the backseats of cars, in bathroom floors, standing up, and everywhere in between on my pumping journey. There have been several times in my journey that I have been tempted to stop breastfeeding and say goodbye to pumping, but in those dark moments I have always had the support of my employer to do whatever is best for my baby, for me and for my family. There are now several pumpers in my office, and I have built such a bond with these women. We pump together, and share our stories and updates on our babies with each other. A room that could so easily be some forgotten closet is for me a welcoming, open space where I can go to continue to provide breast milk for my daughter, and where I have spent time with other moms and built a bond with them.
I know that my pumping journey has been a success because of the support I have received from my employer and having a space that I feel safe and secure in. What’s your pumping room like at work? Let us know, we would love to hear from you!
I am 24 years old, married to my high-school sweetheart, and have a daughter named Kara who was born in March 2018! I went to Mars Hill University for my undergraduate degree in English and creative writing, and my daughter is my inspiration for everything I do. I want to help parents everywhere to be successful in their journeys, and to love what they do.
Information provided in blogs should not be used as a substitute for medical care or consultation.