Does your workplace have a lactation room?
I’ve been working directly out of my client’s office for about 3 years now. Being a contractor, most of the special benefits are reserved for employees – for example, if an employee is sick, he/she can go down to the nurse’s office and get treatment, while a contractor can’t do that. Thankfully, the lactation rooms are available to both contractors and employees. I don’t even know what the set-up would be at my actual firm (we moved into a new office about a year ago and adopted a new “open concept” floor plan, where everyone is seated at desks, not cubes, and all the offices have glass walls. I don’t know what arrangement they would have to do for me, but for the time being, I am happy to have the lactation rooms at my client’s office available to me.
The nurse’s office here has three lactation rooms, each equipped with a hospital-grade pump (the Medela Symphony). After birth my hospital gave me an attachment kit so I could use their pump while I was admitted, so thankfully I have all the supplies I need. The nurses’ office even has a cabinet where we can keep a bag of supplies! I just leave one set of accessories and the connector that goes to their hospital grade pump in my bag for me to use when I need to. I store the pumping supplies in the refrigerator between uses and wash them at the end of the day and store them in my bag in their cabinet. They also provide bottled water in the refrigerator since we really need to stay hydrated.
I don’t have to carry my own pump that insurance sent me (the Medela pump-in-style advanced) back and forth, running the risk of forgetting it one day and ending up in a lot of pain. I keep my own pump at home so I can use it in the morning and on weekends if needed, and thankfully I have several sets of supplies so I can easily keep a set at home and a set at work.
While pumping isn’t as comfortable as nursing would be, this set up is helping me keep up my breastfeeding relationship with my child longer, as my goal is to go at least 6 months (but I would prefer the full first year). I’m thankful to be able to provide even some milk for Baby H and give him all the good immunities he wouldn’t otherwise be able to have.