We Need Your Help!

Mike Schaffer

Posted By: Mike Schaffer

Your eyes are not deceiving you! Mike Schaffer is here to provide our first-ever male breastfeeding perspective.

,With two incredible baby showers in the books and the move to our new house just a few weeks away – and the due date in less than a month, my wife and I are finally able to take the time to hammer out some logistics about our new life as parents. We still have a lot of unanswered questions for specifics and need your help!

For several reasons, my wife won’t be able to take a long maternity leave.  We’re looking at just six weeks.  That’s the bad news.

However, her company offers an incredible daycare to employees and we are in a great position on their lengthy waiting list.  That’s the good news.

With our baby at daycare in the same building, it will be easy to breastfeed several times a day – and pump comfortably in her office, as needed. The daycare would be literally a four minute walk and elevator ride from her desk.

Our preference, of course, would be for both of us to hit the pause button on the real world and take as much time as possible with the baby.  Or at least stay home for longer than six weeks.  However, that’s just not an option for us.

Breastfeeding and pumping require a surprising amount of "things."  Special pillows. Special covers for the special pillow. Bottles. Pumps. Burp cloths. Creams.  

And here are our questions for you, experienced parents (please leave answers in the comments section…we need your advice!):

  1. Is it better to lug the "stuff" to and from the office every day, or double-up on certain things and have a set each for home and office?
  2. How did you get comfortable enough at the office to pump or feed?
  3. Did you have any issues with your boss and/or co-workers?
  4. How did your baby adapt to breastfeeding in a new and unusual place?

Naturally, I’ll update you in this space on what we decide…but your advice will go a long way!

9:00am on Wednesday July 13


3:17pm on Wednesday July 20

my son is now 10 months. I'm lucky in that I have my own office and my company and co-workers are completely understanding. I spent the extra money on a Medela Freestyle. Worth every penny! I can pump and do email and work without a problem "letting down." I keep bottles at work for pumping but bring the one pump back and forth to work. I transfer milk to the breastmilk bags. Pictures up of him help with the let-down or even a slideshow from photobucket that I can run on a split screen help. In the beginning I would call to check and see how he was doing right before pumping that helped. As for nursing in new places. My son like the other commentor says doesn't care as long as Mom and boob are present. We've nursed everywhere from Target bathrooms on 10,000 feet in the air. Mother's scent and milk is all they need to know what to do.

9:56pm on Wednesday July 13

Hi, I have enjoyed reading your posts and remain excited for you two! Not sure if you will get my comment but just wanted to wish you guys congrats in advance! My son will be 9 months this Sat. I returned to work when he was about 6 weeks old as well. My boss/co-workers were very supportive. I tried doubling but found I did not need to because time was often limited at work. Nevertheless, I was always grateful for the privilege of being able to pump. I pumped twice a day during work but may be moving to once a day soon since my babe is now exploring solids. :-) My baby adapted well. He enjoys being fed (breastmilk via bottle and now some solids) by his grandma as well as dad...Hope I was able to help a little! Enjoy the journey and I look forward to updates!!!

11:18am on Wednesday July 13

1. Have a nursing pillow (Boppy, etc.) and burp rag/s at work. Lug your pump with you...you may find yourself needing it somewhere other than your office, and it's expensive. I also keep my Simple Wishes pumping bustier at work for hands-free pumping.

2. I let my boss and department know that I nurse/pump and that I would put a sign in my office window to indicate that I was pumping and that I'd be available in 20 min. or less. They were supportive or indifferent.

3. I didn't have any issues. It was a little awkward for the male staff at first, but they were respectful of it.

4. As long as Mom and a boob were present, he'd nurse anywhere!

P.S. In the beginning I also kept my More Milk Plus tincture and Motherlove Organic Nipple Cream in my pump bag (Medela Pump in Style). My sign for my window has a picture of bottles full of milk, just a stock photo from my computer, and said in large letters "Please do not disturb" then in smaller letters at the bottom "Will be available in 20 min. or less...pumping in progress" as a reminder.

11:12am on Wednesday July 13

With my 2yr old, I could only take 8wks leave... feel your pain on that.
I lug my pump and anything that needs to be cleaned often, bottles/flanges/cloths every day. I keep a tube of lanolin, sterilizing wipes, at my desk. I bring weekly a cloth or something that is washed in Dreft (or other baby detergent)
There's no private office for me, I pump in a conference room w/the blinds shut and a sign on the door. In our old building (before space was mandated by law for pumping/feeding moms), I used a testing room w/a sign on the door. It wasnt perfect, but my HR person was great about ensuring I had a place in private, which made it (emotionally) easier, and my immediate boss was flexible with giving me time to pump, even before it was required by law.
I was pumping during the day, nursing at home, since my son was at a sitter about 25mins away, near our home. Now our sitter is 10-15mins away, but still logistically difficult to BF during the day.
My best advice for your wife is to try out different scenarios/schedules and see what works best... flexibility is key.

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