Breastfeeding Tips for the Working Mom

Returning to work after having a baby can be quite emotional for a new mom. Add pumping and keeping up with your milk supply and your life can seem pretty stressful. How can you make this transition as smooth as possible? What should you expect from your colleagues, your boss and human resources? And how can you help other breastfeeding moms who may find themselves in the same situation as you?

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Episode Transcript

The Boob Group
Breastfeeding Tips for the Working Mom

Please be advised, this transcription was performed from a company independent of New Mommy Media, LLC. As such, translation was required which may alter the accuracy of the transcription.

Robin Kaplan: Going back to work after having a baby is emotional enough and then addedpumpingand keeping up your milk supply and life can definitely seem pretty stressful. Today we are discussing Breastfeeding Tips for the Working Mom and offering ways to make this transition as stress free as possible. This is The Boob Group,Episode 12.

[Theme Music/Into]

Robin Kaplan: Welcome to The Boob Group, broadcasting from the Birth Education Center of San Diego. I’m your host Robin Kaplan. I am also a Certified Lactation Consultant and owner of The San Diego Breastfeeding Center. At The Boob Group, we are your online support group for all things related to Breastfeeding. And don’t forget to visit our website at for more information on how you could become part of our show. You can also join the conversion by following us on Facebook, Twitter and Google plus.

Do you love our showsor want to help support them? Consider making a donation to The Boob Group.Any amount is greatly appreciated, and if you are feelingespecially generous and donate over 50 dollars, we will personally thank you on one of our shows. We are all volunteers here and your contribution helps us pay for operating costs needed to produce great shows for you week after week.

So, today I am joined by four fantastic penalties in the studio. Ladies will you please introduce yourselves?

Jessica Hilt: I amJessica Hilt, I am 36 and I am a Technical Outreach Co-coordinator and FictionWriter. I have one child, who just turned one.

Christina Williams: I am Christina Williams, I am 33 years old. I am in Medical Education and I have one daughter, she is 6 months old.

Susan Carrasco: I am Susan Carrasco, I am 36 years old. I am a Pediatric Occupational Therapist, and I have one daughter, Amelia and she is 3 months old.

Sunny Gault: And I am Sunny Gault. I am a Web Video host and producer. I am the host of our sister show called Preggie Pals, which is all about pregnancy. I have two little boys at home. One who is almost 2 years old and another one who is almost 2 months old, or two months old now that I am breastfeeding.

Robin Kaplan: Well, welcome to the show ladies.

[Theme Music]
[Featured Segments: From Our Listeners - Our listeners love Ina May Gaskin!]

Ashley: Hi Boob Group. My name is Ashley and I’m from Colorado. I think it’s so cool that you were able to interview Ina May Gaskin. I read both her Birthing Book and her Breastfeeding book before my baby was born about a year ago. I love that she put everything down into such simple components. I remember attending my first breast feeding support group after my son was born and feeling so intimidated at first. I think I would have felt so much more comfortable having gone to that group while I was pregnant.I will definitely recommend that to all of my pregnant friends from now on. She’s a gem. Thank you.

[Theme Music]

Robin Kaplan: Today in the Boob Group, we are talking about Strategies for the Breastfeeding Mom, who has to return to work. So ladies, how old were your babies when you went back to work?

Christina Williams: My daughter was 3 months old, and I went back 50 percent time for a month before I committed for the full forty hours.

Robin Kaplan: Okay Christina and how did you work that out with your boss?

Christina Williams: I had talked to her before-hand. My work place has been very baby and breastfeeding friendly, so that was really helpful for me, to make that transition. 50 percent was very great thing for me.

Robin Kaplan: How about you Jessica?

Jessica Hilt: I had a little abit of a different situation. I did not go back to work until Eleanor was 6 months old, and it was a brand new job with a brand new organization, so I didn’t have any relationships with bosses or…., I didn’t even know really, what the job was going to be like, so I wasn’t sure what I could do, and it was full-time, Monday through Friday.

Robin Kaplan: Yeah. And Sunny, what’s your situation look like?

Sunny Gault: My situation is unique because I am at work right now!


Sunny Gault: So, like, I guess I could like breastfeed at work and in front of all of you and it would be probably be okay. Actually with my first born though, prior to starting this company, I was looking for work. And I actually had some interviews lined up and stuff and because, they weren’t as patient as I wanted them to be, by the time I got out of the hospital and you know, kind of got my life back on track,so to speak, after getting used to just having my first born, those opportunities were no longer available. So, I kind of experienced you know, trying to be in the work force and to do that whole thing; the timing just wasn’t right for me.

Robin Kaplan: Yeah.And Susan, you haven’t gone back to workyet, so what’s kind of your…., what are you thinking?

Susan Carrasco: I am nervous! But am glad to be sitting here with all of you who clearly have made it work and there are definitely obviously ways and support to make it work. But, yes, I was little apprehensive just finding the time during my work day to be able to pump, so, we’ll see how it goes.

Robin Kaplan: Yeah, absolutely. I remember I had a really sweet situation with my previous job and so when I returned to work after both of my sons were born, I got to work two days in the office, kind of like you Christina; two days in the office and two days at home and then the fifth day, I used the time you get off when you have your kids. Why can I not think of this? What it’s called? Thank you, Paid Family Leave Out, there you go!

So, I actually had, 30 Fridays off and so that was fantastic and my boss, the first time around, was unbelievable because she didn’t really care when I worked at home, just as long as I got the work done, so as long as she had an email by 9.00 O’clock the next morningof all the work I had done the previous day, and she wasn’t even that specific, but if I was working on a project that had a deadline, she was really cool that the email came in at about mid-night. And I adored her for that and she was fantastic. So, she definitely made my life easier. And I had also spoken with our H.R. lady before I returned to work,because I really wanted to know what to accept in terms of pumping breaks and location and so, Jessica did you…, I know, since you didn’t really know this H.R. person in the beginning, how did that work since you weren’t really able to establish that initially?

Jessica Hilt: Well, the place of business that I went to was a very large organization that had a very large human resources department, so I expected them to have all their stuff together; that was not true. They, am sure they had complete knowledge of what the laws were for breast feeding and having a mom that was pumping at work, but getting into that situation, I really had an advocate for myself. So the first thing I did is: I did not discuss that I had a child until I had the offer signed and back to the organization. And then I did all the research that I could for, with this company online to make sure what they had set up already. When I found out what they had, I contacted the HR department and said, “I am a breastfeeding mom and when I come back I’ll be pumping. I can see you guys have a lactation room, but I know that its closed until January. Can you tell me if this going to be up?”

So I did all that leg-work before hand and I also cc’d who was going to be my boss at the time, and make sure she was completely in a loop as well. It meant that the first day that I walked in, I really did expect them to have more stuff together, like to have an idea of what…, what to do with me. When it was…, you know, when…, of course I came back at 6 months and you ladies can appreciate this, you start to get a bit tight,[Laughter], about 3 hours after you fed last. So, I remember filling outall the HR paper work and then being like “Okay, I have about a half an hour more before I start bleeding through this shirt”.

So, just talking to them and being very…, a very big advocate for myself. I like to say I didn’t go in waving a boob flag, because I didn’t want to be an activist. I wanted people not to have that kind of defense back to being you know, an activist boob breastfeeding person. But I wanted to also make sure that I got my stuff taken care of. And it worked out well. Lotsof people are super awkward about it though. It was a big eye-opener to me, who was completely calm about it, and who was really nervous and embarrassed to talk about it and what I found the most interesting is, men who have breastfeeding wives, totally relaxed about it! They totally supportive and you know, I remember a guy referencing how many gallons of milk his wife, pumped for their twins and I was like, “Okay, that’s cool!”

Robin Kaplan: I can see you had your allies in there.

Jessica Hilt: I did. You have to find your allies, for sure.

Robin Kaplan: Absolutely. Christina, how about you? What leg-work did you do before you went back to work?

Christina Williams: I didn’t do too much. My boss had recently had a child and was already…, it was already sort of the norm.

Robin Kaplan: That’s fantastic!

Christina Williams: And so, I just had to make some arrangements to get a curtain put up in the conference room. And that was really all I needed to do.

Robin Kaplan: That’s fantastic! Sunny, what are you…, how do you make this work? Obviously, you are your own boss, and so [Laughter], how are you finding this being back to work for long days, essentially, while you are recording?

Sunny Gault: Well it’s funny because, today is one of those days when today’s a full day of recording for us and you know, I’ve been here, you know, already four or five hours and as you guys are talking, you’re talking about breastfeeding and my boobs are tingling. I have my pump over there in the corner and I’m going “Ideally, I wanted a break between this time and this to go pump and it just didn’t happen and what I’m I going to do?” You’re talking about like your boobs feel like they are going to bleed through your shirt! I think are whatever, like to pop off my shirt. [Laughter]

But sometimes, it’s a challenge because sometimes it’s still out of my control as to what I can and can’t do. You know and we all kind of go through that. I mean, do you think I’m at a little bit of an advantage in that…, most of the work that I do is out of my house, so, you know, I can pretty much…., I think we over in the night the other day we were actually recording. We were recording a segment on Skype and I literally just kind of whipped out my boob and breastfed because my son started to cry and he was hungry. And, and, I was thinking as I was doing it, I’m like “Is this a little weird?!” and I’m like “Well, no because Robin’s a Lactation Consultant, we are recording something for The Boob Group….”, I’m like, I don’t…, can you get more perfect than that? I don’t think you can, if you can’t feel comfortable in that environment? Lord help you!

Robin Kaplan: Exactly!

Sunny Gault: You know what I mean? So, I do think I have it a little easier than most. And I am very appreciative of that.

Robin Kaplan: Yeah. Susan, as a woman who is going to eventually going to join the work-force and you are going to have a baby at home, what questions do you have?

Susan Carrasco: I’m interested in how you keep up your milk supply. I know one of the challenges I’m going to be facing when I return to work is, wonderfully, I work with a bunch of young women, who a lot of them, have breastfed, are breastfeeding or pregnant, having babies.., but the way our work days are structured, it looks like I’ll only have time to pump like one time, during that day. So, I’m interested in how my milk supply is going to stay maintained if, you know, I can’t pump multiple times throughout the day, if you have any tips for that.

Jessica Hilt: I pumped a lot during the day, so, I pumped three times at work, but I also…, one of the great things: This is Jessica and I, one of the great things that I worked out with my new employer was an early work schedule. So I got in at 6:30 in the morning. Immediately pumped. Pumped two more times during the day and then left at 2:30 – 3:00 O’clock. And then I would go home, breastfeed her until she went to bed and then I’d go to sleep and then I’d wake up at 1:00 O’clock in the morning and pump one more time.

Robin Kaplan: Is that because your baby was sleeping through this time?

Jessica Hilt: My baby was the best sleeper ever! Sorry all those babies out there that are not!


Jessica Hilt: Yeah, so Eleanor slept through the night, which is a challenge, because one of the things which they tell you is if you can’t pump during the day is to wake them up at night and feed them. But anybody who’s had a baby that it does not sleep through the night…., if they start sleeping through the night, you are not going to be like “Oh yeah, I’m going to wake them up to feed them!”. No, no, no, no….., not going to happen. So, yeah, I pump a lot during the day. So I think, what the common culture tells you to do is then, to wake them up at night, I guess if they are still waking up, fabulous!

Robin Kaplan: How about you Christina? How often are you pumping?

Christina Williams: Two to three times a day.

Robin Kaplan: You are a lot as well.

Christina Williams: Usually twice. Some days, I just have to get in there. Not for supply in terms of getting enough milk, but because I’m uncomfortable.

Robin Kaplan: And I’ve had some moms too who are teachers and so to pump at recess, there’s not even enough time to pull out the pump and do everything and so they pump during lunch. And so oftentimes, they will pump right when they get to work before they start. So they get to work a little bit early, pump before they start seeing their students, pump during lunch and then, depending on when their baby’s going to feed, after they are done with work, they might pump before they go home or they might get home in time for that next feeding. And so, you know, it all just depends on how …., how the mom’s, you know, able to manage her uncomfortability actually, so the more uncomfortable you get consistently, it can start to decrease your supply. Sunny, how about you? When you are here for a full day, do you get in pumping?

Sunny Gault: Sometimes, sometimes not. I really like to try to space it out, but like I said, sometimes things happen, sometimes we are postponed for whatever reason and that chunk of time that I thought I was going to have, I no longer have. And that was the case today. So, yeah, I mean, it’s going to be just one of those things. Where I think it is going to affect my ability to pump or you know, to get you know, as much milk as I wanted to get out of today. Because, I kind of have a quota in my head. I’m kind of like, hey, if I could get you know, x amount of ounces out of today and put it in the freezer or however I’m going to store it, I think that’s a successful day. So I like to have those little goals. Will I get as much out today because I kind of skipped my window of opportunity…, I don’t think so. I think my boobs are going to be like,“Okay, your full enough.” You know, I think I’m going to be a couple of ounces short at least.

Robin Kaplan: It’s possible. And the other thing too, is that it doesn’t have to be…., as long as it’s not every day. I mean you do this, this long day Sunny, once a month and so, you know, I remember going to a concert and I went for like 8 hours without pumping and I got home and I was completely full, but I didn’t necessarily sabotage my supply because it was kind of a situational thing. And ladies, I guess, just before we take a break, I’d love to know: What were you most anxious about before you returned to work? And was it rightfully so, to be anxious about it? Or did you find that it actually went a lot easier than you thought it might be?

Christina Williams: I was very concerned because my daughter wouldn’t take a bottle. And I’d been working on it for 2 months and no luck. So, that still continues to be an issue for me at 6 months. So she doesn’t really take much during the day. She eats it all at night. So, that, that doesn’t pact me in terms of going back to work because I’m not very well rested because I’m up most of the night feeding her.

Robin Kaplan: Yeah.

Jessica Hilt: The thing that I was most worried about was having a stock of frozen breast milk because I knew that I was not…., because I had practiced pumping before I went back to work and I was not pumping as much as she would eat at the boob. So I knew that I needed some kind of supply in my freezer. And I was very nervous about building that up, and I did build up a supply and I did go through that supply. So, it was absolutely warranted, but you know what? You work things out. You can’t be too stressed about it. It’s, you know, you are a mom on so many different levels than just getting the breast milk into the kid. So as long as you kind of keep that in mind and realize that sometimes you have to give up, you know, at 9 months Eleanor switched to formula for half of her milk supply. Everybody told me, “Oh, she’s eating solids, it will get better.” But it never did for me. But, I’m a mom on so many different levels. It can’t be that it’s just about breast milk.

Robin Kaplan: Absolutely, thank you for sharing that though. That’s super important. Absolutely. Alright, well, when we come back, we’ll be discussing some tips for pumping schedules and also, again, kind of talking about ways that we can increase our supply and keeping it up and putting that stock, you know, that stock pile in the freezer and all that kind of stuff and hopefully, reduce a little bit of stress when you go back to work. So, we’ll be right back.

[Theme Music]

Robin Kaplan: Okay. So, we’re back and during the break, Susan decided to share with us a little bit of something she had tried that was brand new, which could be very helpful for moms who are returning to work, who may not want to get to work a few minutes early to pump while they are at work. Susan actually on her way to this taping today, so Susan, how did you maneuver that in the car and…. Now I would be afraid of spilling the milk all over the place and you are in such a pretty shirt right now.
[Laughter] So will you please share?

Susan Carrasco: Sure. So I knew, unfortunately my baby hadn’t woken up and I dare not wake her up because she doesn’t sleep very well, before I left to feed her, so I gathered up my pump supplies and I put everything on before I left the garage and put the little apron over my shirt and everything and pulled out and turned it on and started to work, or on the way here to the taping because I knew I was going to be gone for you know, a few hours and as I mentioned earlier, with my job, it looks like during my work day, I’m only going to have this one opportunity, so I thought, I’m going to have to pump on my way to work or probably on my way home, or something like that, so I might as well start practicing now. [Laughter] And it actually went really well, it was a little awkward because I had to like lean really far up forward and people were looking at me like “What’s she doing?” [Laughter]

Robin Kaplan: What’s Granma doing?....

Susan Carrasco: Yeah, yeah, but I got 4 ounces so I’m pretty happy!

Robin Kaplan: Nice. And when you arrived today, how did you take the equipment with being kind of flashing everyone in the parking lot?

Susan Carrasco: Right. Well I had my…., my little baby breastfeeding apron on, and I just left that on. And just took all the parts off underneath the apron really. It’s just kind of like you are breastfeeding in public, if you use an apron or a blanket, I just did that. And I bought a cooler in the car, I have the ice-packs in there, you know, just threw all the parts in a zip-lock bag and there we go….

Robin Kaplan: Fantastic!

Susan Carrasco: Maybe I’ll try it on the way home!


Robin Kaplan: I am so glad that you brought that up because for those of us who don’t want to take an extra 15 minutes when you get to work or 15 minutes before we leave because we just want to get home and see our little one. That is a fantastic option and so I love that you shared that, so thank you. For those of you who are Christina and Sunny and Jessica, you know, what supplies do you bring with you when you actually pump at work? I’ve heard of great ideas: actually bringing in an extra shirt, just in case you have a “Milk and pump malfunction”, essentially, where you leak through all over the shirt you drop it on? So, what other…., what other things do you bring with you at work?

Jessica Hilt: The thing that I wish I would have done sooner in the whole pumping experience, is just buy two sets of everything that you pump with. Because, you can’t…., a lot of times, there is 20 people in your kitchen still rinsing out their equipment, is a pain, or I had a time where somebody had…, I had left the thing that I usually clean the pump in the cabinet and somebody had used it to clean out a chilly bowl…, I’m not going to be using that anymore!


Jessica Hilt: Just to save yourself, it’s just a few extra bucks. And that way, you don’t want to do all that cleaning right after, because a lot of times, you just want to get back to your desk, so that nobody notices or gets upset, that you’re pumping yet again!

Robin Kaplan: And so were you just talking about the flanges essentially, not necessarily the tubing but…?

Jessica Hilt: Not necessarily the tubing, no. I mean the tubing kind of…., you don’t ever clean it anyway.

Robin Kaplan: Yeah, exactly.

Jessica Hilt: And I would even say, in your head, you should not necessarily have an extra pump, but you should have an idea of somebody who might have an extra pump for you, because I dropped my pump and broke the face plate off of it, which of course at 9 o’clock at night, you are freaking out because you have to pump the next day. Luckily, I had a friend of mine who was like “Yeah, I have an extra pump!” I don’t know why she has like three! Lisa, I know you’re listening, why do you have three? [Laughter] So that would be my advice. Is: going back to work, just buy, buy a few extra things that would make your life easier.

Robin Kaplan: Okay. How about you Christina?

Christina Williams: I couldn’t recommend getting extra membranes enough. Inevitably, one will get stuck to something and not make it in your bag, you will rip it…, there just…., extra membranes…., I have about 10 of them in my desk and I’ve had to use several of them. So extra membranes…., somehow I managed to get milk in my tubes a lot, so I got an extra set of tubes, and now that I have an extra set, I’ve never had to use them, but I’m glad that I have them.


Robin Kaplan: I always had an extra set of batteries, because every once in a while, I…, or I don’t know where the plug went, you know, where to plug into the wall, and then the batteries would die and so luckily I had this very nice colleague, this male colleague who’s wife was breastfeeding at the same time too, and he would be the person I would, you know, talk to and everything and share ridiculous ‘milk malfunction stories’ and stuff like that. And so, I remember walking in there and I was like, “Okay, I need batteries.” And of course, his mind was going in bizarre directions and I’m like “No, my pump’s not working, like I totally need some.” And so he went all over the place to find me 4 double A batteries so I could pump and it was so nice, but definitely having just extra things to help either plug in, or the batteries to make it work actually. How about you Sunny?

Sunny Gault: Yeah, I was going to say the one thing that I always make sure that I have and probably having extra of it, is a really good idea too, is some sort of really good labeling system because if your place that you’re working at or that you are at when you have to pump, has a refrigerator. You know how things get lost in refrigerators. And I actually had a situation where I was going to be out for most of the day and I was in an office-type of environment. It wasn’t my place of business, but I was in the office and someone almost drank my milk, because they didn’t….., it wasn’t labeled! [Laughter]

Sunny Gault: And I was like, “Are you kidding me?! Breast milk looks different than cow’s milk!” Okay?

Robin Kaplan: Exactly.

Sunny Gault: You know, things kind of disappear in like an employee type refrigerator situation. So I would just say, thank goodness that I had my labeling system and don’t ever forget that, you know, have some sort of thing to put it in, label it “Breast Milk”. I don’t know what you have to do, but, I can’t even imagine if that guy had actually drunk my milk.

Jessica Hilt: I no longer have to pump at work, but now I carry all the milk for my tea in breastfeeding stuff, because I know, nobody will drink it!


Jessica Hilt: So, I just store it in my fridge and it will say like “Breastfeeding” on it, and I just…., and then I just pour it my tea and hope nobody notices.


Robin Kaplan: And actually, I didn’t have extra pieces for my pump, which is brilliant and I don’t know why I never thought about that, but I always kept an extra zip-lock bag, actually like one of those freezer size ones, and then what I would do was I would throw the flanges and stuff in there, I’d cap my bottles, put them in the…, I didn’t have a fridge, so I just kept it in the freezer bag, not a little freezer bag, a little cooler. And then I would actually get those pieces out and pump straight through them again, because originally I had been washing them in the bathroom, with everyone else and a couple of stalls in there and I was just like, “Eeeh, I just don’t really, really want to get into this conversation with these people about it”. And because breast milk is viable for 10 hours, you know, up to 10 hours in a 72 degree room, I figured well, then it should be fine on my pump. So and then, I just washed all the pieces when I got home. But then, you know, if that’s not something you are comfortable with, I love the idea of just having extra pieces as well.

Susan Carrasco: You know what I do, is I have a wet bag. People will use for cloth diapers? So it has a pattern on the outside. I put all my pump pieces in it and then I put it in the fridge with all my other stuff. And then, no one can see it, no one gets weirded out by it, and I just pull it out when I have to pump again.

Robin Kaplan: Oh! That’s a great idea too. Love it! So kind of going on this whole thought of you know, what advice do you have? So we have the advice on how to essentially make sure people don’t drink your breast milk and also [Laughs] you know, all your pieces of stuff like that, for say, for someone like Susan who is going to be going back to work eventually, what is your favorite advice to kind of offer this brand new mom who is going to be returning to work and pumping?

Christina Williams: Schedule it in your calendar.

All: What do you mean by that?

Christina Williams: Put in an appointment for yourself on your calendar. Because, inevitably, an hour will go by, beyond when I was supposed to pump, because I get distracted and I don’t remember until, “Holy cow!” I am hurting! And then at that point, I’m in there forever, it’s uncomfortable, I’m not really getting as much as I wanted and I just schedule it for myself.

Jessica Hilt: That’s excellent advice. I scheduled it on my phone for an alarm, but I also scheduled it on my calendar. You can make it on Outlook, you can make private appointments that block out time, but don’t necessarily show anybody what you are doing. And so, I would always block it off on my calendar. So if my boss or if somebody in my company were trying to schedule an appointment with me, they wouldn’t always do it over the time that I was pumping. And that happened…., the first month, it happened a lot, and that’s why I actually went to that method and it worked brilliantly. If somebody was really desperate to see me, they could come and say, “What about….?” And then I’d say, “Okay, then we can move it here or here….” But then, I had more control over it. So for sure….

Robin Kaplan: That’s a great idea. How about you Sunny?

Sunny Gault: It kind of goes back to the support. You know, obviously, for what I do, I have the support of all of you and whoever would even be in this room, I know that they are supportive of what I’m doing. And I think that, that is important too. That – Don’t listen to the Ney sayer, you know, you are going to walk into a situation, probably where there are going to be people that are uncomfortable with it and that’s kind of unfortunate, but know that the more that they see it and they encounter it, the less weirded-out they are going to be. But surround yourself with people that are going to be supportive and I think that’s, that’s going to help a lot.

Jessica Hilt: I would definitely say, as far as like making sure that you have a support system. Make sure that you have a pumping buddy. Somebody who’s been in that situation before, somebody who you can text and say, “I only got two ounces”, which is devastating. It’s devastating when you’ve just pumped for 15 minutes and you have two ounces sitting there, staring at you and you feel terrible. And being able to text someone and say, “I just pumped for 15 minutes and there’s only two ounces!” and they text back like “Yeah, but are you drinking your water?”, or “Oh, that’s fine, you’ll pump more next time.”, or whatever. Just somebody that you can, you know, say, this is what’s happening to me and get that kind of…., that support. It is. It’s all about support.

Robin Kaplan: Absolutely. I found too, just having my HR on-board as well, and so that way, going and speaking with them ahead of time, at least I had an option to do that. And setting up when I was going to be able to pump and how much time, you know, was okay with everyone and so that way, I just…, I was fortunate that I had my own office so I would just put a sign at my door “I’m busy, please leave”. You know? And I remember the first day I was back, they hadn’t installed a lock on my door…., and I had put a sign on my door and someone from the finance department walked in, while I was like pulling my shirt back down. And…, it was a woman, but I was like “Did you not repeat the sign? Like did you not hear the ‘Whoosh, whoosh, whoosh!’ You know, like come on?!” And so, it was nice for me to go over there and for some reason, the rest of the day, they couldn’t get a lock in. And so the HR woman actually left her office for 15 minutes in the afternoon, so I could pump in her office and have a quiet space because she had a lock on her door. And so, that was huge support as well as their ‘buy-in’ for it, and so they knew that I was going to continue to come to work because they were going to provide me this space and time to do it and I ended up staying there for another two years. So, it was really in their…, you know, in their best interests, but it was also…., it was just so helpful because she was my ally too, so that was something I would offer as well.

Jessica Hilt: Somebody just came back to work in our office and…, she…., the ‘new ‘ lactation room, the one that was not open when I was…, when I was doing it, she could not find it. And when she found it, it was locked and she didn’t have the pass code, and then it finally dawned on me, “Oh, I have an office and you don’t! Come into my office, I will leave….” And she was so relieved.

Robin Kaplan: That’s awesome.

Jessica Hilt: And it’s all…, it’s just that Karma. You know, I got it, I had it so good, I had so much support and then I could give it back. And that’s, that’s The Boob Group, really!

Robin Kaplan: Yeah, absolutely. So, and actually, I did mean to ask you guys, so where, I mean you have lactation rooms in your facility, Jessica, but you also have your own office as well, where you can pump?

Jessica Hilt: I didn’t have my office at the time, I’ve just moved into that office. But because we didn’t have the facility, we found…, they tried to put me in the bathroom, which is against the law.

Robin Kaplan: Yes.

Jessica Hilt: They heard due that first, thank goodness there was not an out-let, because then I didn’t have to pitch too much of a fit, but then they an empty office. And there was actually a little bit of push-back because, there were men outside the office and they would be disturbed by the pumping sound. I don’t think so.


Jessica Hilt: So, luckily, you know, they just put me in the office and it worked out well.

Robin Kaplan: That’s nice. How about you Christina, where do you pump at work?

Christina: I’m in the conference room, which now has a blind.

Robin Kaplan: Oh, that’s what you mentioned. Yeah.

Christina Williams: Yeah, I was in the storage room a few times before that, just temporarily, but it’s worked out really great.

Robin Kaplan: Okay. Fantastic! Well, ladies, thank you so much for your advice and insight on how to continue breastfeeding and maintain your milk supply after returning to work. And you had such fantastic ideas, thank you.

[Theme Music]
[Featured Segments: Overcoming Societal Booby Traps - Why aren’t hospitals more supportive of breastfeeding?]

Robin Kaplan: Before we wrap things up, here is Lara Adello talking about Ways to Overcome Societal Booby Traps.

Lara Audelo: Hi Boob Group listeners. I’m Lara Audelo, a certified lactation educator, Retail Marketing Manager, Best for Babes and owner of Mama Pear Designs. I’m here to answer some of your most common questions about how you can achieve your personal breastfeeding goals without being undermined by cultural and institutional Booby Traps. Such as: Why do only half of hospitals helps moms initiate breastfeeding in the first hour after birth? Let’s start with our babies very first feeding. Research from as far back as the 1970’s has shown that timing of the initiation of breastfeeding is important, preferably in the first hour. It’s such a special time that some have dubbed it, “The Magical Hour”.

The evidence is strong enough that initiation of breastfeeding in the first hour was made one of the 10 steps to successful Breastfeeding. In CDC Surveys filled out by hospitals for 2009, only 51 percent reported that greater than 90 percent of healthy full-term breastfed infants, initiate breastfeeding within one hour of uncomplicated vaginal birth. This is up from 44 percent in 2007, but the current percentage only half, shows that we have long, long way to go. The lowest numbers are in the South East and the South West regions of the country, with the rates of 39 and 43 percent respectively. Andthe West has the best rate at 59 percent.

Wondering what the 10 Steps say about the timing of the initiation of breastfeeding after Caesarean Birth? Well to comply with this step in the case of the Cesarean Birth, babies are to be placed skin-to-skin in their mother’s arms within a half an hour of their mother’s ability to respond to them. The rate of compliance with this practice isn’t measured by the CDC surveys. If you are planning a hospital birth, don’t let this Magical Hour get lost. Include your wishes in a birth plan that also has details about breastfeeding and make sure to discuss your plan with Labor and Delivery Care person. A special thank you to Tanya Lieberman, IBCLC, for writing The Booby Trap Series for Best for Babes. Visit for more great information about how to meet your personal breastfeeding goals. And my business , for breastfeeding supportive wearables. And be sure to listen to The Boob Group for fantastic conversations about breastfeeding and breastfeeding support.

[Theme Music]

Robin Kaplan: Do you have any advice you’d like to share about your experience returning to work as a breastfeeding mom? We would love to hear it. All you have to do is call The Boob Group hotline at 619-866-4775, leave us a message, and we would love to share your advice on an up-coming episode.
Coming up next week, we will be discussing how Cranial Psycho Therapy can improve breastfeeding. Thanks for listening to The Boob Group, because Mothers Know Breast.

This has been a New Mommy Media Production. The information and materials contained in this episode are presented for educational purposes only. Statements and opinions expressed in this episode are not necessarily those of New Mommy Media and should not be considered facts. Though such information materials are believed to be accurate, it is not intended to replace or substitute for professional medical advice or care and should not be used for diagnosing or treating health care problems or disease or prescribing any medication. If you have questions or concerns regarding your physical or mental health or the health of your baby, please seek assistance from a qualified healthcare provider.

[00:33:06] End of Audio

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