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Old 07-31-2012, 11:05 AM   #1
Liadan23
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What to do about pumping?!

I couldn't decide whether i should put this here or in the pumping section. But I figured since this is a working mom issue, this might be the best place. if not, i'll move it

i'm pumping for my 8 week old. generally, this isn't a problem. i have a very flexible work schedule that allows me to pump 3 times a day, generally without interference. if i have a meeting, i can usually work around it and pump either before or after.

BUT, thursday, i will have to travel to a supplier location for a meeting. they're an hour away, and the meeting will probably take a couple hours. i don't know what to do! i'll have to leave as soon as i drop the kids off to daycare. i usually pump in the mornings, and then feed the baby right before dropping her off, so i'll be mostly empty, but there won't be time to pump again beforehand. my boss and i will be carpooling, so there will be no pumping in the car. and i have no idea what to do while i'm there! i can't walk in carrying my pump with me, it would be kind of unprofessional. i'm not sure what this place will be like, most companies i deal with are the kind that you have to have a badge and be escorted at all times anyways. so i can't leave the pump in the car and then ask for an escort to pick it up, walk all the way back in, and pump while i'm there. besides, it won't be such a long meeting that there will be set breaks or anything where i could go pump. the best i can come up with is to take some bathroom breaks and hand express into the sink while praying no one randomly walks in on me. which, luckily, may be unlikely since i work in a very male dominated industry. although, working in a male dominated industry makes it difficult for me to feel comfortable standing up in the middle of a meeting and being like "excuse me, we'll need to take a break so i can go pump" i can't believe that i'm on kid #2, and i pumped for a year with the first one, and this is the first time i've been in a situation where i cannot figure out a way to work this besides having to dip heavily into my very small freezer stash for milk for dd on friday, i am going to be ready to EXPLODE by the time we get out of there! ugh. any suggestions?

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Old 07-31-2012, 11:53 AM   #2
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Re: What to do about pumping?!

Do you have a nursing cover? If you do, I would sit in the backseat and pump in the car with a the nursing cover on. I have pumped in all sorts of less than private places with the use of a nursing cover.

Do you have a relationship with any of the people at the company you will be going to? If so, call them and explain the situation. Ask if there is an empty office you can use for a few minutes right before and after the meeting to pump for a few minutes. It should at least give you some relief. I attended a one day convention last year at a convention center, and called up the convention center staff and worked out a location with them to pump. And as far as the pump not looking professional, can you stash the pump parts in a messenger bag or briefcase? I take my pump with me in a floral backpack that works much better than what the pump came with. I work in the corporate offices for a bank and have never had an issue with someone saying my bag was not professional enough.

Hoping that everything works out for you on Thurs and it all goes smoothly!
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Old 07-31-2012, 11:59 AM   #3
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Oh mama, the things we go through! Just a couple thoughts:
-Can you move your pump to a more "professional" looking bag? That way you can bring it in with you (however - be prepared - I work in a similar secure kind of situation and there are often random bag checks and questions like, "Ma'am? What is this?"). Once you're in the meeting, just stash it under the table and nobody knows the difference.
(edit - I should add that my pump came in a plain black shoulder bag. I have had many comments about my laptop. Apparently it looks like a really crappy laptop bag, unless you are a nursing mom, in which case they won't find it unprofessional. Most men, I have discovered, are completely clueless... I think any solid, dark colored bag would probably be just fine)
- do you have a manual pump? Can you stash THAT in your work bag?
-Assuming that the boss you are riding with knows that you are pumping, and that you are meeting at your regular office, can you drop kids off a few mins early, get to work and pump, and then meet boss?
-Can you arrange to meet him earlier, get to meeting site earlier, so as to have a few mins to pump there? Perhaps claim concerns about traffic or directions... then "Oh, well it looks like we're early. I have something I need to take care of..."
-Can you hang out after the meeting for 15 mins to quickly pump before getting back in the car? Perhaps boss man can play on his blackberry/laptop/schmooze/grab a sandwich? I can imagine that an hour ride back, with boss, feeling like you're going to explode, would be... awkward.

Let us know how it works out! Hope all goes well for you-
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Old 07-31-2012, 12:20 PM   #4
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Re: What to do about pumping?!

I had class for a week in a similar situation and just braved the embarrassment and brought my pump with me. Had the freezen ice pack and brought the milk back to the hotel and everything. They found a room for me.
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Old 07-31-2012, 01:29 PM   #5
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Re: What to do about pumping?!

I would just wait. I'm pumping for my 13 week old and only pump at work once a day right after lunch.
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Old 07-31-2012, 03:23 PM   #6
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Re: What to do about pumping?!

I had to pump 3 times at work for my kiddos. Not an available option otherwise. I would pump in the car between daycare and work.

I would explain to your boss the situation tactfully. Ask if you can call ahead and speak to a receptionist to find out if there is a private spot for pumping, or if he would mind if you pumped in his car over lunch. Tell him that later on, when you are more used to pumping, you will be able to go longer, but since the baby is so little, your body can't handle it right now.

Then, I would pump as soon as you return from work.

I have been brutally honest with the principals (male) in the two schools I work in, and they have been extremely receptive. It is the law that they have to let mamas pump here, and most are extremely supportive of a mom trying to do the best she can for her baby.
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Old 07-31-2012, 03:31 PM   #7
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Re: What to do about pumping?!

Hoep you can figure something out. i know my male bosses have been very supportive even if it does kinda embarass them. I

f there was a long enough break i would just excuse myself and pump. I am betting most will not even realize that bag you carry is a pump.

Is your boss male or female? for me having a male boss in the front seat i would not be comfortable pumping in the back seat nor would I assume my male boss would be.

Personally I would get a small hand pump and express enough to keep yourself comfortable through out the day. keep a small cooler bag in your purse for the pumped milk. maybe carry a larger bag that day.
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Old 07-31-2012, 03:55 PM   #8
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Re: What to do about pumping?!

my boss is male. i'm totally not comfortable pumping in the back with him in the front and i think he might have a mini heart attack at the very suggestion. i know i need to just get over my discomfort with discussing pumping with him, but i dunno, i just feel weird about it. with both my kids, in 2 different workplaces, i've been the first person that worked there that had a baby. or at least that anyone else working there can remember. so all the baby stuff is new and strange to them and they don't know how to handle it, and i feel like a freak. they've been very understanding and accomodating of everything, so it's not that i've been met with rudeness in the past or anything. mostly just surprise and confusion. i think though i'm just going to talk to my boss about it tomorrow and see what he recommends. i talked to him today about how long it was going to be and i think we might be back by noon or 1, so i may be able to hold out (although jeez it will be uncomfortable ) but if something delays us or something else comes up, i want to just let him know that i will need to find a place to go pump and i'll have it with me just in case. and, the pump is in a plain black bag. but yea, many of these places check so it's not like it'll be a secret what i'm carrying. but that's alright. we'll see. thanks for all your help! it's good to at least know i'm not the only one out there dealing with this
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Old 07-31-2012, 04:31 PM   #9
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Re: What to do about pumping?!

You are definalty not the only one.

LOL!! I am pretty sure my male boss would have a heart attack too if I suggested pumping with him in the car. He doesn't have kids either.

I did have to do a really long day once (DS2 was about 5 monhts) and I was super sore and very very hard by the end but i made it. . If you do end up having to wait that long be prepared for a lot to come out really fast at first. I had to do a slower setting at first until some of the pressure was relieved.
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Old 07-31-2012, 04:48 PM   #10
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Re: What to do about pumping?!

Most of the guys I know either look away or something. Just ask. What type of car?maybe he can put a screen type thing so he doesn't see in back. Try to pump b4 if u can I suppose. If u pump every 2 to 3 hrs consistently will help ur supply. I had almost 2000 oz to donate in less than year.
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