The decision to go back to work full time after having a baby is hard. Really hard. As the maternity leave dwindles down, the dread starts setting in. You know you have to go... back.... ugh. I don't get how anyone can possibly get excited about it. You just have to deal with it. It sucks!!!!!
If you decide to pump while you are back at work, then you have an entire new set of worries. They typically go like this:
Is this going to hurt?
How will I know I am pumping enough milk for my baby while I am gone?
Do I have a plugged duct?
Am I going to get mastitis and die?
How am I going to find the time to do this at work everyday, several times a day?
Where am I going to do this?
How am I going to safely transport my milk?
Where do I put everything?
How do I explain this to other women who have no children and don't understand?
How do I explain this to men who don't understand?
What about all those mandatory lunch meetings?
What about off site training courses?
What happens if I don't pump enough milk for the next day?
Why does frozen breast milk develop such a terrible taste and is it safe for my baby?
How do I sterilize all these parts?
This is so overwhelming, can I possibly do this?
If anyone cares, I can write a future post about breastfeeding survival at work 101, as I do feel I have earned professional status in this arena. (Yeah, like this may be the one and only thing I am good at.) I pumped full time with my last child for 17 months and currently things are going OK with my 10 month old. My breast pumps are getting a lot of daily use. I have developed some "best practices" that have kept me going that I will be happy to share. (This isn't the original direction of where I wanted to take this post, but it's just where it has gone :-)
So, my dear very old Pump In Style, we are like old friends. Even though I hate you at times and can't wait until I no longer need you, I do appreciate you. I have to remind myself just why I appreciate you:You save me money.
You help me maintain a long term nursing relationship with my baby.
You help me feel connected to my baby during the day when I can't be with her.
You give me an excuse to sit alone for a few minutes in solitude so I can read or think in peace.
You are keeping my periods away.
You keep me humble.
You remind me of God's amazing gift to women in our ability to bear children and provide for them.
You help me to burn 500 calories a day without working out.
You are helping me naturally space my babies without having to chart or contracept.
If I see any other woman with a black pump in style bag, I am your immediate friend.
You have provided me with humorous moments, (mostly stories of when men ask what is in the little black bag, or when someone pays a compliment on the "computer case".)
I can sell you on eBay when I'm ready to dump you.