Allyson Downey, an entrepreneur and parent of two, wanted to share everything she learned as a working mom—so she wrote a step-by-step guide for other career-driven mothers: Here's the Plan: Your Practical, Tactical Guide to Advancing Your Career During Pregnancy and Parenthood. In this adapted excerpt from her new book, Allyson shares her advice for breast-pumping at the office.
I’m not going to wax poetic here about the wonders of breastfeeding. (There are wonders! It can be magical and blissful. You should definitely try to do it if you can. But if you can’t, you’ll get no judgment from me.)
Breast pumping, though, is another story entirely. But in most cases, especially at the beginning, pumping while at work is what allows you to continue breastfeeding. (You need to do it to maintain your supply and also not to explode.) Pumping also, obviously, produces milk that you can give to a caregiver to feed your baby, which for some women mitigates their anxiety about being separated from their baby. There’s some consolation in pumping, like, if I can’t be with my baby, at least I can do this for her.
Still, that doesn't make it easy. If you're struggling with balancing breastfeeding with working, know that you're not alone.