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Thread: traveling for work first month postpartum

  1. #21
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
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    Default Re: traveling for work first month postpartum

    Are you taking Baby with you or not or have you decided? You get 1-2 weeks notice of an interview is that right?
    Nursed my sweet daughter 3 years, 3 mos.

  2. #22
    Join Date
    May 2006
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    21,267

    Default Re: traveling for work first month postpartum

    Personally, I'd say "screw it", instead of potentially screwing up breastfeeding due to creation of an oversupply. But it's a very personal choice!
    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. #23
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    Feb 2013
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    79

    Default Re: traveling for work first month postpartum

    I think bringing baby (and a family member to watch baby) makes the most sense to me. IMHO, interviews are not the time to be changing hearts and minds. I have a lot of friends in academia, as well as my spouse, so I know how tight jobs are and how weird the culture can be. (And I'm in academic medicine, which has its own hang ups and problems). You get the awesome job, then you work on normalizing breastfeeding and family. My old male chair was kind of a jerk about leave and how I needed to be participating in departmental life even if I wasn't back to work clinically, so I nursed my 5 week old in our department meeting. I was sitting near the door and happened to be latching her on as he came in, and the look on his face is stlll being talked about my the other mamas in my department.

  4. #24
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    Feb 2012
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    Default Re: traveling for work first month postpartum

    i will likely (but not for sure) have 1-2 weeks notice. i think it likely that if the interview has to happen in the first ~4 weeks i'll take baby; after that i might decide case-by-case.

    @boob.traveler - hilarious! i'm very lucky to be in a very supportive job/department right now.

    @mommal - thanks. it's a hard decision. i never had to deal with oversupply but reading other peoples' experiences - i don't want to!! and i don't want to go nuts with stress over oz so early, either - i just want to enjoy the early postpartum time.
    DS1 6/7/11
    DS2 10/29/13

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

  5. #25
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    Jun 2012
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    169

    Default Re: traveling for work first month postpartum

    I personally would not pump in the early days - oversupply is no fun at all. Imagine taking baby to interview or dinner and your OALD makes baby have a choking fit and then shoots the dept head in the eye!!! Better to avoid OS/OALD problems as they do complicate nursing and especially NIP. It is really hard to be subtle while baby gags and milk spews everywhere and your nice interview clothes get sopping with milk and baby-regurgitations.

    I am a post-doc and I took baby to some low-key informal ~2-3 hr academic meetings with colleagues (other post docs, former phd supervisor) at 2 mo. I took DH with me. Baby slept in snugli the whole time and (I think!) I was able to talk intelligently about our research. However, that is nothing like the high stress situation of a job interview. Later when taking DD with me to any kind of academic setting I always feel torn between baby and research. Sometimes a conversation is just going somewhere interesting, and the baby poops her pants, wants to nurse, spits up, whatever, and then by the time I get that resolved the conversation has moved elsewhere. You already have one so I assume you have btdt! Or when I'd normally stay chatting after my talk, DH is waiting with baby and I have to run off to meet them. So personally I would not bring baby to an actual interview or talk, but I would feel ok about bringing baby to an informal thing like a dinner with dept members or lunch with grad students, as long as DH or other caregiver was right there and could be handed the baby to take somewhere else with minimal fuss. I don't think it would be a problem (in my field) to have a newborn baby with you so much as for the baby to garner any kind of significant attention, which would detract from your "professional" appearance (I believe this is stupid, but if people have told you not to mention having kids, then apparently "professional" in your field means not thinking too much about babies). And babies do kind of attract attention, don't they?

    I just took DD (now a toddler) and DH with me to meet with potential departments I would apply to in Country X, but it is different here because you apply to a National Fund to get a position, and you take that position to a local dept. So if you have reasonable credentials you can shop around for the dept you want, and it's not like your situation where you are competing fiercely at the dept level. Never-the-less, I wished I had asked DH just to take DD somewhere else for the day, because the first thing she did when meeting with the Dept Head was to ask to nurse. I said yes because I have never really limited nursing in public with her, and thought it would be worse if I said "no" and she had a tantrum. Then when meeting with Dept Head's wife (also in the dept) she fussed....and then wailed when DH tried to take her outside. All normal things that she does I guess, since she is a toddler, but....suddenly I realized that this is not really an appropriate place to bring her. Of course with a newborn it's a little more manageable, and most likely she'd just sleep....but there's a risk, even with "well-behaved" children, that they'll do stuff that interrupt a work environment...and there's a risk when bringing a kid to an actual interview that you might not be able to put your best foot forward, if anything goes "wrong" (like poop, barf, fussiness, or squirting milk).

    Have you seen the website "the professor is in"? she has a great blog on getting jobs in academia, and I remember reading one post on babies and interviews.

    My only other advice is to keep on top of big news in your field as much as possible. I like to nurse at the computer while looking at recent abstracts or short articles. When the campus visit comes you'll feel on-top of recent advances and will be able to talk about current research intelligently.

    Best of luck!

  6. #26
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    Feb 2012
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    middle of IA
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    Default Re: traveling for work first month postpartum

    thanks, pteroglossus. i'm very familiar with the professor is in but haven't seen (and can't find) that post - if you see it or can remember any other key words, would you let me know? thanks!

    i do worry about the problems of too much early pumping not just for OS in the longer term, but also if i spend 2 weeks pumping and nursing double-time to go on an interview, then will i be leaking and spraying everywhere because i'm not pumping enough? and riskign mastitis? urgh.

    i think you're dead-on in terms of the split attention with kids at professional things. i've done my share of that too and unless i'm in a room with other moms (and their babies), it's always like that.
    DS1 6/7/11
    DS2 10/29/13

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

  7. #27
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    Oct 2012
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    Default Re: traveling for work first month postpartum

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*auderey View Post
    secondary question for y'all - given all the uncertainties, i could go nuts pumping very early to try to build a stash for being away. and risk oversupply, plus all the stress and time of doing that. or i could just say, screw it, and use whatever donor milk i have from my neighbor and then formula. way less stressful but ...

    wwyd?
    Agree with previous posters not to go crazy pumping! Then you'll find yourself distracted by REALLY full breasts and leaking while you're talking to a potential future colleague. And potentially set yourself up for mastitis if you are not able to pump enough while you're interviewing.

    ETA: Just saw your post pop up at the same time... I guess we are thinking along the same lines!

  8. #28
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    Feb 2012
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    Default Re: traveling for work first month postpartum

    it's just so hard to wrap my head around "choosing" formula (even though in a sense it's not really a choice) and the shame-feeling-like-a-failure for asking for donor milk! which is not rational, of course, but a feeling i have nonetheless.
    DS1 6/7/11
    DS2 10/29/13

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

  9. #29
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    Oct 2012
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    Default Re: traveling for work first month postpartum

    All right then, let's think about nuts and bolts. If you DO take baby, you need one day's worth of milk, because the second day you'll have the milk you pumped from day one. So, let's say, 15 ounces. So if you pumped an ounce a day for a couple weeks you'd be there. Or if it's not till after a month out even just an extra 1/2 ounce per day. I don't think that amount of pumping is likely to give you a crazy oversupply, or be so stressful that you will drive yourself crazy or interfere with your ability to bond with baby etc. (I went back to work at six weeks with babies number 2 and 3, so I had to start pumping pretty early on to build up my first day stash.) On the other hand, if you don't take baby and you're gone for three days, you're looking at up to 90 ounces of milk, which means pumping quite a bit more than that - probably multiple times in the day - and there I do think you start risking a more significant oversupply and adding a lot of stress to those early weeks. So in that case maybe worth going the formula/donor milk route. I mean you're certainly not a failure for doing that - just trying to make the best of a difficult situation! Honestly a new mother really shouldn't have to make that kind of choice, but we don't live in an ideal world, so it is what it is.

  10. #30
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    Feb 2012
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    middle of IA
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    Default Re: traveling for work first month postpartum

    thanks, it really helps to have you write out the nuts & bolts! even though i should theoretically know all those things, i think i'm not totally rational about them for myself. so i could, for example, just decide to pump once a day and get what i get and leave it at that. and i do think it more likely i'll only leave baby when baby is older, which means more time to build a supply. there's too much uncertainty in this whole process, i feel like making a decision like this in advance (pumping once a day and being ok with supplementing above that as necessary) will help me be a lot calmer postpartum. instead of being in panic mode.
    DS1 6/7/11
    DS2 10/29/13

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

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