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Thread: Finding a new "pumping" friendly job. Ideas?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
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    Houston, TX
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    Post Finding a new "pumping" friendly job. Ideas?

    Hello, working mommies.

    First of all, I just want to say that I admire each and every one of you all who have been able to hold onto a job while bf by pumping at work, especially if you have had multiple children! I have one beautiful baby boy who is 7.5 months and I'm proud to say that I was exclusively bf until he was 6 months-old. When he turned 7 months, I started working late hours so we had to supplement one feeding maybe twice a week with formula. The stress lowered my milk supply, as did introducing solids (which I won't do again for the next baby until he/she turns 8 or 9 months). Even those SAHM, I admire you too for working so hard to continue bf and maintaining a household. Whichever way you go about it, both are equally taxing yet rewarding and I've learned how tough it is to be a mommy. It's definitely worth it, but since I'm a first-time mom, I'm having a hard time deciding what to do with my current situation. I'm an admissions counselor at a local university, and although I love working in higher ed, I am so burnt out and really want to have a change of pace. I'm considering either staying at home, or finding a different job. Since it's so hard to not work (financially speaking), I just would like to ask you, what are some ideas of jobs that offer "pumping-friendly" space? I know by federal law we are granted the time and space, but not all employers are supportive. Any ideas?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    20,652

    Default Re: Finding a new "pumping" friendly job. Ideas?

    Universities are usually among the friendliest places for pumping moms. Like the uni where my husband works, which has dedicated pumping rooms, campus daycares, and allows faculty members to bring their babies and kids to work with them (but generally not staff- there's a white collar vs. blue collar thing going on, grrr!).

    If you're maxed out and burned out, I would either look for a way to stay home or look for a way to make your current job more friendly. Work with campus HR to develop better pumping accomodations, look for a job in your field with shorter hours or less responsibility. See if you can go to part-time work. Seriously, I wouldn't give up on the job you have. Not in this economy!
    Coolest thing my big girl said recently: "How can you tell the world is moving when you are standing on it?"
    Coolest thing my little girl sang recently: "I love dat one-two pupples!"

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    middle of IA
    Posts
    1,885

    Default Re: Finding a new "pumping" friendly job. Ideas?

    i'm with mommal on this.
    DS1 6/7/11
    DS2 10/29/13

    Nursing, pumping, cloth-diapering, babywearing, working professor mama with the awesomest SAHD ever.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Posts
    157

    Default Re: Finding a new "pumping" friendly job. Ideas?

    I agree with PP and want to also remind you that your current situation is SO temporary. I know it doesn't feel temporary and I totally understand where you are coming from with a 7.5 month old - I was there too last year. But after 1 yo, things change so much. It's only 4.5 months away, and will go by in a flash!

    Once your baby is 1 year old, your milk supply should be established and you should be able to work all day without pumping, then get lots of nursing in the evening and night. Check this with others on the forum, but that's my understanding. You only pump until 1 yo.

    Is it possible to take unpaid leave from your current job to get a break until then?

    I also work at a university and have found it to be very accommodating for breastfeeding, although I am a post-doc so my hours and spaces are flexible. My DD is 17 mo and nurses all the time if home with me, in fact she still will rarely drink any other liquid (except bathwater), probably because we have not really insisted. Yet, during the week I go to work all day and DH brings her in just once at lunch for me to nurse, and that session is not necessary, just something we like to do and DH likes the break.

    I want to reassure you about this because at 7.5 mo I could not imagine how I would ever work properly again, how I would ever be able to balance baby and work. I did not want to work at all at that time, I just wanted to be with my daughter. Around the 1 yr point that really changed for me and I got back into my job again.

    I have just spent 2.5 months on an overseas appointment and have been reviewing my accomplishments during that time. I accomplished everything I hoped to, and much more. I LOVED the work, the people at the university, the time in my office alone to focus. DD and DH got to bond a lot more since he was now primary caregiver. At the end of the day I have a beautiful little toddler who comes running to greet me signing milk and shouting nuk nuk nuk! Yes, I am tired at the end of the day but I go to bed early and get enough sleep even though we co-sleep and she nurses many times during the night. If I think back to 10 months ago, when she was 7 mo, I was just dreading this international trip and wondering if I could somehow wrangle my way out of it. I could not imagine it would be possible, let alone enjoyable. But it proved to be amazing! I am so happy with my job and career again and looking forward to the busy year ahead.

    If you love working in higher ed, and if you liked your job before baby, I really think your current situation is so temporary, you should try to take a leave of absence and go back when baby is a bit older.

    Everyone should get 1 year maternity leave (many countries have it). I just don't understand sending mothers back to work so early when we are not ready.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
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    middle of IA
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    Default Re: Finding a new "pumping" friendly job. Ideas?

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*Pteroglossus View Post
    I
    If you love working in higher ed, and if you liked your job before baby, I really think your current situation is so temporary, you should try to take a leave of absence and go back when baby is a bit older.
    YES. at 7.5 months the pumping seems endless and horrible. but it gets better so soon. power through!

    also - this is all with the caveat that you actually DO have a flexible workplace. i think most of us who are chiming in here are coming from the point of view of faculty/grad students, not staff, and it can be VERRRY different. so if your workplace is not working for/with you, then tell us details and we can help you brainstorm.
    DS1 6/7/11
    DS2 10/29/13

    Nursing, pumping, cloth-diapering, babywearing, working professor mama with the awesomest SAHD ever.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    20,652

    Default Re: Finding a new "pumping" friendly job. Ideas?

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*auderey View Post
    Y
    also - this is all with the caveat that you actually DO have a flexible workplace. i think most of us who are chiming in here are coming from the point of view of faculty/grad students, not staff, and it can be VERRRY different. so if your workplace is not working for/with you, then tell us details and we can help you brainstorm.
    Just because universities tend to be flexible and responsive to the needs of working moms doesn't mean that your particular workplace is! And there's totally a two-tier thing going on with the faculty/students vs. the staff. My DH's colleagues and grad students have little trouble bringing their kids to work, so long as they continue to churn out research. The department secretary, on the other hand- there isn't the same flexibility! Very uncool.
    Coolest thing my big girl said recently: "How can you tell the world is moving when you are standing on it?"
    Coolest thing my little girl sang recently: "I love dat one-two pupples!"

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