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Thread: brainstorm with me

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2006

    Default brainstorm with me

    My husband works in non-profit and is the head of a very small organization. He works hard, does a lot on a small budget and I'm very proud of what he does. He worked alone for a while but got money to hire some others. One, the second in command if you will, got hired and then dropped the bomb that she was pregnant. I told him, I wouldn't tell you I was pregnant in a job interview! Can't blame her at all. He's been very supportive, giving her time off whenever she needs it. It's been hard, though since he just hired this person and now he'll be out of a worker for 7 weeks.

    Now if I were going to do it all over again with a first child, I would have tried to get myself in a position where I could bring my kid to work for a while because she was so quiet and content in a sling at my breast that often people would forget she was there. I wanted my dh to offer that arrangement to his employee, but he pointed out numerous reasons why that would not be a good idea in their situation. Hm. Fine.

    Then I said to him, where is she going to pump?! The office is one huge room: no cubicles or anything, just three large desks in a huge space.. and a giant store front widow at the front. There's a back room with coffee and then there's the bathroom. It seems the only way she's going to be guaranteed privacy is in the bathroom. There's only one toilet. The bathroom is harsh, but big. I'm thinking if I got a comfy chair in there and a table...

    He asked, How many times will she need to pump?? I could see him suddenly thinking, great, she's going to need even more accommodations! But he didn't say that. He knows better and the last thing he wants is to be a jerk about this. But he's also ignorant about this because the mother of his child is a stay at home mom and his child never took a bottle.

    So, I'm taking this on. This woman will not fail at pumping and breastfeeding while working at MY husband's organization. This organization is all about children's health, by the way.

    What does this lady need? How long does it take you to pump and how often did you do it at first? What kind of arrangement do you have at your work?
    Any advice or ideas?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2007

    Default Re: brainstorm with me

    First of all, I your and your husband's commitment to helping this woman do this!

    I am fortunate to be able to close and lock my office door to pump. It usually takes me about 20 minutes, and I do it mid-morning and mid-afternoon. If I weren't close enough to go home during lunch to nurse, I would add a third session mid-day. I can say that pumping hasn't been disruptive for me or my employer at all in terms of working; if anything, I'm willing to do whatever I need to do to make it worth my employer's while to support it, whether I need to come in early some days or be flexible in other ways.

    Again, kudos to you and your husband. I hope this mama realizes how fortunate she is to have people who are so supportive of her!!

    I don't know about others, but if it were me, a comfortable chair and a table with maybe a small lamp (and where I could put my pump and pictures of my baby while I pump) would be fine.
    Last edited by Thomas's Mum; January 29th, 2008 at 08:51 AM. Reason: corrected misspelling

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2007

    Default Re: brainstorm with me

    I would say a small clean room with comfy chair and a table. how often will depend on how many hour away from baby she will be. Baby will need 1-1.5 oz per hour of separation, so that might help you gauge, i would say my average pump session got me about 3 oz. BUT everyone is different. HTH

    also, a non-drafty place....I know I way this a lot, but it was what really helped me, being warm is key!
    Last edited by GageWsMom; January 29th, 2008 at 08:56 AM. Reason: gotta be warm

    Mom to Gage 12/28/06

    Wife to Trinity 6/21/03 my best friend

    ed for year, finally done!!!!
    for more than a year now!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    miles from nowhere

    Default Re: brainstorm with me

    for you and your husband!! I hope this lady realizes how lucky she is.

    I pumped as often as 4 times per day in the very beginning, but that didn't last long. Within a few weeks I'd settled into 3x per day and down to 2x per day by about 7 months. Each one was about 20 minutes

    It isn't unreasonable to request her to use her break times to pump, but if there is work she can do while pumping (reading or something like that) I wouldn't ask her to make that up. I was lucky to be given one 'free' 30 minute pumping session per day and it was so nice because it meant I didn't have to make up 30 minutes at the end of the day (it meant I could get back to baby sooner). I used my lunch to pump, but was given permission to eat my lunch at my desk while working so that I didn't have to try to eat and pump at the same time.

    I'd also recommend your husband look at the laws for your state to make sure he is complying.
    “We are not put on earth for ourselves, but are placed here for each other. If you are there always for others, then in time of need, someone will be there for you.”

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2008

    Default Re: brainstorm with me

    You guys are awesome for helping her out! This is really key for women working, support at work to breastfeed.

    A nice chair, a small table, a close outlet (or power strip) and some place rinse parts out (although this can be done at home, if she's got enough horns to last her the day)
    Does he have a little mini fridge for her to store the milk while she is there? Most people have those already for lunches.
    Depending on if it's cold or drafty in the room, he might consider a small space heater with a safety shut off. Being warm really helps!
    Most mom's need to pump as often as baby normally eats, which can be every two hours, I'd prepare him for 4 sessions at the beginning. Then eventually it will taper off, probably to one or two short sessions by a year old if she is weaning then. If she wants to pump past a year, most mom's can get by pumping once a day.
    Also depending on how comfortable she is with it, you might make her a sign or something to put on the door. Some mom's put a picture of their baby, and something to the effect of "my mommy is pumping!"
    I often have to use whatever office is available, so I have a traveling sign I put in my bag, or I have to make up a sign. I had a one that said "PUMPING - that means don't come in" my boss came by one day and wrote "iron" under pumping.
    It helps to be flexible and have a sense of humor. The sign helps because there's no one to knock on the door or try to get in while she's pumping, that can cause your let-down to stop or slow down big time!!
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  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2006

    Default Re: brainstorm with me

    I agree with all of Jessica's suggestions. Is this the only bathroom in the place? Is there really no other room that will work?
    If not, the bathroom it is, but other people might need to use it, kwim?


    Loving mama to JP (DS, 1/03 ~ nursed 6 mos), EL (DD1, 9/05 ~ nursed 4 yrs), EJ (DD2, 3/08 ~ nursed 3 yrs 9 mos), and
    JM (DD3, 6/12 ~ currently nursing), all born naturally
    Devoted wife to SAHD P, my hero
    A few of my favorite things that I've discovered on the forum: co-sleeping, baby-wearing, tandem nursing, baby-led solids, cloth diapering, APing, selective vaccination...the list goes on

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2006

    Default Re: brainstorm with me

    Yeah, I know what you mean. It is the only bathroom. Here's the layout: You enter from the street and the whole front wall is window. One HUGE room in front where the desks are. No cubicles. Walk all the way to the back of the room and go through the back door. You enter a small room with supplies; cleaning stuff, shelves with extra pamphlets and fliers, etc. There are two more doors. One is the door that leads to the back parking lot. The other is to the only bathroom. One toilet, a regular sink and a big tub sink like you'd find in a janitor's closet. I'm told that there is an outlet in the bathroom. I wish I could set up a private corner in that back room, but I don't think she could avoid traffic there since it's small, it's the only way to the bathroom, it's where the coffee and supplies are kept..

    I do wish she could just keep her babe under the desk or in a sling for while!!

    The great part is that she doesn't live too far away so she will be able to run home at times to nurse baby, who will mostly be with the daddy.

    Keep talking llladies! This is great help.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2006

    Default Re: brainstorm with me

    Hi awnja and all of the other posters in this thread,

    I think it is great you are looking for ways to make it easy and comfortable for the mom to pump. I agree with all of the previous posters about how many times and how long it takes. After a while she might be able to read reports while pumping.

    I wanted to add one more thing she is going to need--lots of water!

    The bathroom sounds big--is there a way to put up a curtain or a screen to wall off the pumping area so it won't feel quite so much like the bathroom? Then she could set up her pumping station and not have to re-do it every time, another plus. I also thought about a screen in the big room but that would be too close to the other employees, I think.

    She may be self-conscious about pumping and may not want to pump near her colleagues. I have seen reports on various threads from moms who pump in the car with the help of the car adapter and a nice blanket that smells like baby.

    Hope this helps!

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2006

    Default Re: brainstorm with me

    Most mothers who work FT need to pump 3x/day, sometimes a little more, sometimes a little less. In a perfect world, many would agree that a lactation room would include privacy, a comfy chair, a small table or desk to put the pump on, a sink to rinse stuff, a safe place to leave the pump at least kind of set up (saves time), and possibly a small fridge. A dedicated room for this is preferred, but lots and lots of mothers pump in other locations - a corner with partitions, their car, a storage room, even the bathroom. Perhaps you can put up a screen or something, so she feels less like she's in a bathroom? Also, if it's a bathroom, consider providing air freshener of some kind, so if it's stinky when she goes in there, she can do something about it. At least, I know I don't like stinky bathrooms!

    PP have mentioned a small heater, this is good, since it's hard to relax and let down when it's cold!
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  10. #10
    Join Date
    Dec 2006

    Default Re: brainstorm with me

    Is it possible to have a discreet sign on the breakroom/stockroom door when she goes in to pump? You said there arent many employees, so its shouldnt be too much of an inconvenience to ask that she have privacy for 15 minutes or so?
    Nursing the girl with kaleidoscope eyes

    Mama to Daniel (12/3/06) and Lucy Jane (8/28/08)

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