Breastfeeding and Working

Okay, this is a topic that I find near and dear. Breastfeeding was an absolute blessing for me with Bailey. I’m sympathize with those ladies that can’t due health reasons. I support those that are breastfeeding or wanting to. And those that just don’t want to take the time out to do so, please let me try to change your mind.


Working While Breastfeeding


Breastfeeding and working is very hard. If you work for someone who understands and supports what you are doing it makes it a little easier. If you don’t have those things, it’s even harder. You have to start asking questions almost immediately after finding out you’re pregnant about your company’s policy. Most now have policies in place where you are given a certain amount of time to pump, a sanitary place to pump that locks, etc.


I had to actually complain to my HR department, because I was told to pump in our restroom. Who was about to pump my child’s food in a place that everyone does their business, not me! I mean who thinks of these things? Do you eat your food in a restroom? NO, so why should my child’s food have to be “fixed” in a restroom. You have rights, and you sometimes have to fight for them. I ended up getting a room that was not being rented and had a lock on it! Fight for what you know you deserve.


I worked with the public, which meant that I would have to excuse myself from my job to go pump. I got 2 or 3 -15 minute breaks to go pump. They were almost like smoke breaks. (This is something you can argue if they don’t want to give you breaks and they give smokers breaks.) My co-workers knew that I wasn’t going off and chilling in a room. I would leave my area after locking up, and pump for 15-20 minutes. Then I would go back to work. I would bring my lunch and eat while pumping. It takes preparation and planning. If your job doesn’t have a refrigerator or freezer than make sure you have somewhere to store your pumped milk.


I’ve listed some of the basic non-medical pros and cons that I try to let other women know when they ask/mention breastfeeding.


Pros


Financially


So I don’t know if you have stopped by the baby aisle lately and checked those prices for formula out. They are making a killing. I mean you typically need a can for home and a can for daycare every time you buy. Walmart’s Parent choice brand runs from $9 and up for a 12 oz, while your basic Similac starts at $16 and Enfamil at $17. All before tax. That’s 3 to 4 scoops (depending on brand) per 6 oz of bottle. This doesn’t count daycare fee amount. I was out of money bottles and inserts when she as in daycare and a few packages of storage bags for my pumped milk.


I was lucky and dumb. Being gifted a breast pump, I didn’t make my insurance send me one. I should have, that way I wouldn’t have had to carry mine to and from the house for work. Being honest, if you don’t plan on breastfeeding, take it. You may change your mind and you pay your insurance for things like this.


Bonding


As much as I tell her to get out my face multiple times a day because she stays under me, it was the best bonding experience. This was the highlight of my time when she was younger. We had to work together and I had to nurse her the first few weeks so she would be use to latching. There were times where we would both get frustrated and want to scream and cry (I only did it a few times even though I wanted to more than a few), but once we both got the hang of it, it was amazing.


To hold her and look into her eyes while knowing that she was getting what she needed from me just as she had in the womb made me feel special. She was always a daddy’s girl, and here I was able to give her something that only I could do. Not to mention that my body responds to her. She’s sick, and the milk I produce changes. I mean how amazing is that! Talk about a mother’s intuition.


Ease


I’m a walking bottle! I don’t have to worry with her getting so fussy and wanting a bottle and I have to stop and fix it. I was able to literally popped it into her mouth. She didn’t like being covered, so I wasn’t always covered in public. It’s what they were designed for so the people were going to be okay. In the middle of the night there was no having to fix a bottle or warm it up. When she got a little older she would get it out herself because she slept with us. I will say she got her share of milk in the face from both of us dozing off and my milk not stopping, but she’s good lol!


The Looks


The looks you receive when out and breastfeeding are the best! People either are extremely for or extremely against. You will see this as a con as well. I actually loved the looks. My breasts were placed on my body to feed my child! The fact that they have been sexualized isn’t my problem, it’s yours! I even asked a few people if they would like some. I mean let’s be truthful for a second. They are breast. Kids see them all the time, and breastfeeding is more prevalent now as history starts to repeat itself and we are more aware of the benefits. Let’s make it clear, it’s not going anywhere anytime soon.


The Snapback


Listen! My child took everything from me. I was a 4/6 when I became pregnant. I was about a 8-10 while pregnant. After two weeks of giving birth I was back to my pre-pregnancy weight. And was loving it, especially since I finally felt balanced with my new breast thanks to her. By the time I got married I was down to a size 2! Ya’ll she took everything. I’m sure my wedding dress would not fit the same way it did. I have since realized that I didn’t increase my eating like I should have which caused me lose more than what I would have liked. But let me just say, it is a great natural weight loss post labor.


Cons


Feeding


In the beginning you are essentially the only one that can feed this child. You are getting up every two hours to feed this child. I had it easy because my mom stayed with us the first week Bailey was here and I had to force them to allow me to see my child other than feeding time for her. I also had Kwele who was there every bit of the way. Some nights he would roll me over and hold her up so I could get some rest.


The Stares


You don’t like what I’m doing, keep walking! The looks would be different if I had them out flaunting them, but I don’t! In the beginning, it wasn’t easy to have such a strong backbone. Those words were just thoughts in my head. You feel belittled because they are gawking at you for feeding your child. Men stare and look at you and you feel dirty at times. I didn’t always go to a secluded room to feed her. Why? We don’t go to a secluded room to eat when we are out. Sometimes you learn to deal with it and sometimes you don’t.


Nursing/Pumping Rooms


I’m glad to see that breastfeeding has created a movement, and that it’s better than when I did. You can now walk into malls, stores, churches, etc and see nursing rooms. But there are still many places that don’t. For those that don’t let me let you know, in NO way shape, form, or fashion will I feed or pump in a restroom. You don’t eat your breakfast, lunch, or dinner in a restroom! You don’t prepare you food in the restroom! Why would you think it’s okay for my child to have to eat in there? So just know that I will be exposed in some shape form or fashion to nourish my child.


End Result


I hope that this helps a little for those moms out there that may be frustrated. If you are currently pregnant, I hope that if you haven’t decided to breastfeed you now are a little more willing. To those ladies out there that wish they could, again my heart goes out to you. Please do what’s best for you and your family in the end!


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