Occupations

Amanda - posted on 11/23/2008 ( 26 moms have responded )

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Hi everybody! I would love to hear what jobs you all have and how pump-friendly your employers are.

I am currently a LTJG in the Navy, working at a shore command in Virginia. In April I will be transitioning to another job for a while before I begin my career as a high school teacher.

The Navy is very pump friendly, surprisingly. Pumping moms have to be provided a private, clean space to pump and have access to clean running water. In addition, we are allowed time to pump, but it is our responsibility to schedule our pumping around our other work responsibilities.

Thanks for letting me share and I hope to hear from all of you :)

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Laura - posted on 03/29/2009

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I am a nurse and am returning to work this wednesday and am quite nervous about pumping because I can't think of a single private place on my unit where I am going to be able to pump! YIKES! I figure I am going to have to use one of the exam rooms, but even then there isn't a lock on the door! I guess I'll let you all now how it turns out!

Tara - posted on 03/28/2009

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Oh, and a book that was a godsend to me was; Nursing Mother, Working Mother by Gale Pryor and Kathleen Huggins. 

Tara - posted on 03/28/2009

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I'm a teacher.  I was able to pump on my plan time, at my lunch and once in the afternoon (with class coverage)   My work was understanding, I was able to lock my classroom door and pump in my classroom for plan and lunch and then used my dean or asst dean's offices for the afternoon pump.  Initially I came back to finish out the school year so it was only 10 weeks.  I would pump at my morning plan, my sitter would bring my daughter to me at lunch and then I would pump in the afternoon.  When I started this school year it was much more stressful for me.  I switched sitters this year and therefore this sitter could not bring my daughter to me to nurse.  I gradually quit pumping at work and would pump instead when I picked my daughter up at the end of the day and at home.  My plan and lunch began to be more interrupted at work and I ended up pumping during meetings with my teammates and boss (all women that breastfed.)  It jsut became more and more difficult at work and I was ready to quit breastfeeding.  So instead of completely quitting, I decided to not pump at work, but to pump in the morning and on the go and in the evening.  With my next one, I will have a better idea of the best way to be a working mom and a breastfeeding/pumping mom.  I was able to produce more milk pumping at home and at the sitter with my daughter near.

Karina - posted on 03/28/2009

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I'm a FedEx driver. These is my first week back at work and it was a nightmare. I have to pump either inside the truck or in a bathroom. I've ask customers in my route if I can use their facilities to pump but I always get the "you're not an employee, sorry" FedEx doesn't care about lactating moms. It's a male industry. I have to split my lunch in order to pump at least twice during my 10 hour day. I live in California and I know we have laws that protect breast feeding and pumping, but FedEx thinks they are above the law.

Kelly - posted on 03/25/2009

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I work for a major food manufacturing company.  I'm a manager and work long hours - 11/12 hour days.  Overall, my company has been supportive.  I had to block off time in my calendar and sometimes shuffle things around (as well as still get my responsibilities done), but it was possible.  I've been pumping for 9 months (although I've tried to cut down to just 1x/day now).  I've found that the Medela microwave bags have worked really well (no bottle brush) - then I just keep a drying rack at work with a spare set of pump "hardware".

Susan - posted on 03/22/2009

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I'm a medical resident with extremely variable hours.  I can work anywhere from 40 to 80 hours in a given week depending on my rotation.  The hospital and clinic campus actually have 2 lactation rooms and a nurse who is a liason to answer breastfeeding questions.   Even so, it's still up to me to speak up to be sure I have breaks in my day to pump.  You certainly can't be bashful.  My son is 6 weeks old, we'll see how long my schedule allows me to pump but I'm hoping to make it a year.

Laura - posted on 03/21/2009

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I am a high school teacher in a smaller school (800 kids) and I've successfully breastfed both my children while teaching. We are lucky enough to have a new building and the bathroom is ideal for me, being a single room with a lock. I use one of the school chairs (although I did bring my own chair with the first child) and a two drawer plastic unit to use for my pump. I keep my pump supplies in one drawer and the other female teachers are free to use the other for their pads and hairspray. I spoke with my administrator before I had my baby, at the end of the school year before they did the scheduling, and explained to him that I would be breastfeeding and would need evenly spaced breaks in my schedule to accommodate pumping. Even though I didn't know what my children's schedules would be, it has worked out both times that the breaks provide me the time to pump. It eats into my planning period but I've learned to manage and I warn the students that I'm simply not available during my planning period and my lunch (I had to pump during my 25 minute lunch with the first one). The other female teachers are very understanding about me hogging the bathroom a few times a day and quickly learned when they would have to go somewhere else. I've even been able to take graduate classes each Spring while breastfeeding. I did buy my own mini-fridge for storing my milk, which is great for storing water so I stay hydrated to breastfeed. I use the Medela microwave steam bags to clean my parts each day and then take them home to clean by hand each weekend. I bought a second set of shells for home because I have to pump before bed to keep up my supply. It's sometimes stressful to get papers graded and meet with parents while pumping, but totally worth it! I don't know if administration didn't argue because they're men and didn't want to get into it with me, but I've had no problems.

Carolina - posted on 03/07/2009

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I work for Bank of America as a teller operations supervisor and pumped milk for my first daughter and now pumping for the second one who is 11 months old.

Tounine - posted on 03/03/2009

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I'm an engineer for GE.  My boss was very understanding with both.  I was breastfeeding when I got the job, and was clear up front that I would need time and a place to pump.  Our building is WAY overcrowded and office space is a premium.  With my first I had a couple friends who didn't mind sharing or who travelled frequently so I could use their offices.  Now I use a storage room, it's actually very spacious and cozy, not as bad as it sounds.  It has a lock on it and I put a bib on the doorknob so the others who have keys know when I'm using it.  I work with mostly guys and they've been very understanding, much less awkward than I expected.  No one complains about my breaks to pump, and they are very accomodating with scheduling so I can fit time in.  I did put three 15 minute busy times on my calendar.  They know I can adjust the time a little, but that I need some time around then to take care of it.  I wish I had an office so I could multi-task, but this set-up isn't too bad!

Nikki - posted on 02/20/2009

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I am a paralegal in a large law firm, and fortunately I have my own office with a door.  I'm on maternity leave now with my third child, but the first two went quite smoothly, pumping one to three times a day for 6-9 months after returning to work.  There is no lock on the door, so I just put the back of my chair against the door.  We've had many moms nursing just in the 10 years I've been there, and also my job is pretty flexible as far as breaks go.  



I do like to minimize the times I stop to pump, just because it's "no fun."  Before and after work I pump on one side while nursing on the other.  The sucking baby gets the flow going much better than the pump along and I feel like I'm doing double time.  Also, with my second child our daycare was close enough to work that I could go there most lunch hours and perform the same trick there.  That helped a lot too.  Pumping is definitely worth it, but I much prefer nursing!

Danielle - posted on 02/17/2009

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I'm a manager for a Rite Aid Pharmacy.  Luckily being the manager I really don't have to answer to anyone about when I take breaks.  I work 10 hour days and pump 3 times while I'm away.  I usually also end up pumping at least once a day on my days off to help keep up my supply.  I use the bathroom because it's really the only space I have that can be locked and is totally private.  I keep a chair in there and a little folding table for my pump to be set on.  All my employees and other members of management are really cool about it.  I just let them know I'm running to the back for a bit.  It only takes me about 15 min to pump. The only thing that is annoying is when I'm the only manager on there is the chance that i could get interupted because a cashier needs a void or return approved...but luckily that doesn't happen all that often and most of the time i can get right back into what I was doing. : )



 

Brigid - posted on 02/08/2009

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I'm in health care, so my daily flow is pretty unpredictable, but I made it from 7 weeks old to 20 months old while working ~60h/wk. If you make it a priority and aren't too bashful, you can pump. I was lucky enough to have several other co-workers come back from maternity leave around when i did, so we did have some strength in numbers. I'm no longer pumping but am still nursing at night/on weekends. Keep up the pumping, it really is worth it!

User - posted on 02/06/2009

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I'm a graphic designer in a small office. Other than the bathrooms, we only have one other "room" with a door, which has filing cabinets, the main computer and other storage stuff, so that is my pumping room. The lock on the door doesn't work, but it's not that bad. I told my boss I wanted to pump for like 6 months when I returned to work (while I was on maternity leave) and he had no problem with that. I brought my own chair and store it in the storage room. It's been over 18 months pumping at work (20 months breastfeeding) and we haven't talked about it, but I assume everyone sees me get up with my bag and disappear for 20 minutes every afternoon. :)

Sarah - posted on 01/27/2009

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I'm a lawyer in a small office. I have my own office with a door I can close so that part is all set. I also make my own schedule when I'm not in Court. It will be interesting though trying to fit in pumping around Court appearances, the upside is that Court always closes for lunch and has set start times for the morning and afternoon sessions so I plan to scheduled around those times. Luckily one of my co-workers pumped at work with her first so I plan to draw on a lot of her experience.

Olivia - posted on 01/24/2009

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Several states have laws allowing mothers to pump at work and specific guidelines for where they can pump so you do not get stuck in a bathroom stall.  Would you want your meal prepared near a toilet?  To see a list you can go to this link:



 



Another great website for mothers returning to work is



http://workandpump.com



There have been attempts to have a federal law passed that would keep employers from being able to discriminate against a breastfeeding mother, however, to date nothing has been passed.



I work as an accountant for an auction house and was really lucky that my boss has been so accommodating but,  I also know that in Texas there are laws to protect my right and I was prepared to let her know about them if she was not going to work with me.





 



Holly - posted on 01/20/2009

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I am an Occupational Therapy Assistant for Aegis Therapies and they are AMAZINGLY flexible. I am so glad that I can set my own hours and pump when ever I need to. I also spend a fair amount of time in the car traveling from facility to facility and with the help of a small blanket have mastered the art of pumping and driving at the same time-it is a HUGE time saver.

Marifei - posted on 01/15/2009

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I came back to work beginning of the year.  I'm a Banker and my employer has been wonderful to let me take breaks to pump.  I use the breakroom.  Although all employees have keycode to get access to it, I simply post a "DO NOT ENTER" sign.  I pump in the morning, during lunch break and in the afternoon.  Everybody has been understanding and accomodating so far.

Rachel - posted on 01/14/2009

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(oops... accidentally posted before i was done writing...)

... so I probably won't be able to use conference rooms since they are now almost always booked. So I guess I'll be pumping in the bathroom again. In the meantime, there are also more women around and I'm wondering if that will make a difference in terms of openness about pumping.

Rachel - posted on 01/14/2009

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I work in software development, in a company that's mostly male, and with my first baby I was pretty much on a "don't ask, don't tell" basis. I told my boss I would be taking pump breaks, and he was fine with it, but otherwise I didn't discuss it with anyone. I just disappeared for breaks when I needed to, and no one ever said anything, Occasionally I was able to use a conference room with a lock on the door, but most of the time I pumped in the bathroom. Which wasn't so bad - at least the stalls had a little ledge where I could put my pumping equipment.

I'm now on maternity leave with my second baby, and thinking about how things will be when I go back to work. Our company has gotten bigger and busier, so I probably won't

Amanda - posted on 01/10/2009

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I'm really glad to hear that your principles are understanding.  This gives me hope that I won't have too many problems when I am teaching in a year or so, and will probably be having another kid around that time.  I had no idea other teachers would cover classes. That's really encouraging for me.  Thanks for sharing :)

Jennifer - posted on 01/10/2009

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I am also a teacher.  My principal is fine, but I have had to come up with the places to do it and the ways to cover my class.  He's fine with my ideas, but hasn't offered any help really.  My fellow teachers have been very helpful in covering my class for me, though.  We did have a fire drill in the middle of one pumping session, however.  Ha-ha!

Kandi - posted on 01/10/2009

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I am a teacher. We have a new principal this year who is just wonderful. The former principal was ok, but I had to plan pumping on my own time. My schedule is different this year and my new principal said she is going to send someone to cover my class for 15 minutes in order so that I can pump. It's a huge relief as I was very worried about this.

Laura - posted on 01/09/2009

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I work for a small medical equipment company, and I have my own office where I can lock the door to pump twice a day. There are mostly guys where I work, and they've been very supportive and understanding. Just the occasional "need some creamer for my coffee" comments. I have a code word if someone calls while I'm pumping, of if I'm working on something and need a break to pump; I tell them I need a "cookie break" (as in milk and cookies). It's not embarassing or awkward for anyone.

Jenn - posted on 12/30/2008

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I work for Eli Lilly, and they are fantastic about pumping. We have several lactations rooms around the site, and we can easily shedule them through Lotus Notes. They include hospital grade pumps to use (you supply the tubing and shells), as well as a sink. It's been great!

Alison - posted on 11/23/2008

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I am a meeting planner at a very small company. My daughter is 6 months old and I just went back to work and started a new job. I had to explain about pumping to my new boss and luckily she was understanding. I have an office where I can shut and lock the door to pump, and am able to do my work while pumping. If I didn't have an office, I would be stuck in the bathroom and it would be so inconvenient that I would unfortunately probably give up. I pump in the mid morning, live close enough to go home at lunch to nurse my daughter while she's home with her grandmothers, and pump again in the mid-afternoon. Most days I can get to 2 pumpings at work but sometimes its only once. At home I pump after her first feeding and also before I go to bed. I end up pumping so much more milk while at work than at home but don't know why, thought it would be the opposite.

Angela - posted on 11/23/2008

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I work for MetLife as a Marketing Consultant. We actually have a lactation room available with a private fridge for storage. I'm not docked any time during the day for pumping and my manager is very accommodating. If only some of the other new moms were also taking advantage...

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