Going back to the office after a maternity leave is challenging enough. Catching up on hundreds of emails becomes impossible, especially if you have to step out every two hours or so to pump breast milk for your little one back home. Pumping moms at work know this all too well and more.
Having a fellow pumping mom in the office is akin to having a certain kinship among officemates that hang out during yosi breaks. Your pumping buddy at work becomes your go-to sounding board when you whine about anything from your milk output, to your baby learning to spit out mashed veggies. A pumping buddy really makes the life of a working pumping mom more bearable. Besides, who else can relate to your pumping anecdotes than they?
Raise your hand and share with a fellow pumping working momma if you can relate to these!
1. You always look like you’re running away from home when you leave for work. You’re lugging your handbag, laptop bag, lunch box, a water jug, and of course your breast pump bag.
2. Admit it: You have left your breast pump or a flange at home at least once.
3. Your co-workers already know better than to ask you for a bite of your brownies or cookies, as they’re always the lactation variety. They have also made jokes about being scared that they might end up producing milk—even if they’re men.
4. You keep snacking while working, much more than when you were pregnant. And you keep telling yourself that you burn so much calories pumping, anyway (Yeah, let’s keep telling ourselves that).
20. There have been days—several of them—that you were more stressed about your output than work.
21. You can swear you’re actually spending more money breastfeeding than giving formula, what with all the breast pump accessories, cooler bags, milk containers, ice packs, supplements, and lactation treats and drinks, among others, that you’ve been buying—mostly online, while pumping.
22. You’re likely to be the expert in your department in ice packs and keeping things cool for hours.
23. Whenever you see a pregnant woman in the office, in your head, you already welcome her to the fold.
24. Even when pregnant, you never imagined how challenging being a working pumping mom would be until you actually became one.
25. There’s a 95 percent chance you’re reading this while pumping.
Mom to a baby girl, Chrissy Icamina-Dalusong has yet to get used to the label "mom." The Literature major and university paper editor-in-chief from Ateneo de Manila was with Summit Media for 10 years before shifting to the corporate scene as a Digital Marketing Head.