What I Need To Pump

Mona Hickey

Posted By: Mona Hickey

I went back to work at eight weeks. The biggest fear I have is that my milk is going to dry up. I can't stress out because it zaps milk supply! How do I keep zen about something I have become obsessed with?

There's been some talk at work about moving offices, physically moving our staff into another building. This is not my favorite topic to discuss at my job. I love talking about where to eat (Indian buffet) or what I plan to do during three-day-weekends (sleep, obviously). But the idea of having to move my entire office, computer, files, phone, etc. makes me anxious. It not only means I have to reconfigure where I get the actual work done, but the bigger question is: where will I pump?

The building suggested is much older than the sweet, silver, Jetson-like interiors of the building currently housing me. While I haven't done a complete site visit, I know there isn't air-conditioning, one of the true pleasures my building bestowed on me during the summer. I also know that the private offices are limited, meaning that they would be parceled out to the senior staff. Lowly office folk will be offered an open space situation or a shared office, no cubicles or partition walls to provide any boundaries and in my case, no shield for my in-office pumping sessions.

While I haven't had a problem with pumping in a bathroom, the backseat of a car, an empty conference room, it's difficult to face a future when I won't be afforded my own office to secure my baby's food. It's a completely different feeling pumping in a washroom than pumping in my office, a space where I can complete the various tasks at hand and pump breastmilk without leaving my chair.

Where the office is an open space and open spaces are great for discussions, for quick check-ins with other staff, but for pumping? I feel close to my co-workers, but not that close. Not close enough that the only way I could expose my chest would be if I were charging money for the show — which I am not above doing! I didn't get a raise this year!

There will be more meetings about the office shuffle. I've given up the office fantasy that we'll get a foosball table or a fancy refrigerator with an ice-maker. My only request is that I have a private space to pump and that I get to use that space whenever I want to during the day. There will be a few more months before any plans are finalized and my pumping fate sealed. For now, I'm enjoying the time I get to pump with the door shut, out of sight.

4:16pm on Monday November 1
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