Work. Pump. Repeat. The Ultimate Guide to Pumping Breast Milk at Work
After more than 20 years as Lactation Consultants, we thought we knew a lot about pumping breast milk. Turns out, there is even more to learn!
Work. Pump. Repeat: The New Mom’s Survival Guide to Breastfeeding and Going Back to Work has arrived. The author is a true expert, a mom of two with 22 cumulative months of pumping under her belt, and countless hours spent interviewing working, breastfeeding moms.
We first met Jessica Shortall, author and breast-pumper extraordinaire, on Twitter. She’s smart, funny and on a mission to share her hard-earned expertise. Work. Pump. Repeat goes beyond the basics to include practical tips such as:
- First-day-at-work pump-bag packing list (Don’t forget the wet wipes!)
- Breast pump friendly fashion advice (‘Heather gray is not your friend.’)
- Return to work ‘dress rehearsal’ instructions (Preparation = reduced stress.)
- How to pump in unusual places (Includes the back seat of a moving vehicle, a storage closet and on an airplane.)
- How to wash pump parts (And what to do if there is not a sink available.)
- Getting your milk past airport security (Checked luggage or carry-on?)
Best of all, she shares it in her down-to-earth, no-judgement style.
“For me, one of the most helpful techniques in my journey of pumping in many strange places was just knowing that so many women had done this before me, and were doing it with me, so to speak. There’s a masochistic sorority made up of women who pump at work. In my experience, there’s no one-upmanship—we are not trying to outdo each other with our crazy stories. There is, instead, a desire to laugh and cry together over the lengths we have gone to in order to keep providing breastmilk to our babies. None of this is particularly fun, but there is a real badge of honor that goes with the territory, and while most people will never know what you did for your baby (or where you did it), your fellow working mothers know, and we salute you for it.”
“So . . . go forth, working mama. Pump your milk in strange places. Get mad about it if you need to. Text your girlfriends while it’s happening to share in your misery. Remember that you’re doing this for your kid, and the thought of that little person just might get you through until you’re home, holding that baby (and/or a glass of wine) and remembering why you put yourself through such craziness.”
(Reprinted with author’s permission. Work. Pump. Repeat, p. 120-121.)
Hats off to all working women who provide pumped breast milk for their babies. This practical, no-nonsense book, Work. Pump. Repeat: The New Mom’s Survival Guide to Breastfeeding and Going Back to Work will help to make it just a little easier.
You can find Jessica’s book on Amazon here.
Cindy and Jana are Registered Nurses and International Board Certified Lactation Consultants who have assisted over 20,000 families.