Sunday, December 6, 2009

Returning to work

On November 16th I returned to the office after my 6 week maternity leave. With Butters I was very torn on coming back, but with Elli not so much. I guess this time I just had a better handle on how things would work and more confidence that we could do all of this. Still the morning I left part of me just felt bad. This would be the first day that she was on a bottle all day. I had no clue how much she would eat while I was gone. I left what I thought would be enough pumped milk in the refrigerator at home and told W that there was frozen bags in the freezer incase she powered through all of it.

Now returning to work this time was a little easier in one respect. When I went back after Butters was born I was determined to nurse as long as possible, but there was no place for me to pump at work except the bathroom. So up until the day I was laid off I pumped 3 times a day in the handicap stall. I had a metal folding chair in there but it was still not ideal at all. I would routinely have women come in and get irritated that I was in there pumping. My pump wasn’t really loud, but for some reason it bothered them that I did that. When I got hired at Sikorsky I did something similar because I honestly thought that if I raised questions with HR that something would happen to me.

That all changed when I went to the home office. There they actually have a lactation room that you can schedule with in outlook. The room is equipped with a chair, small couch microwave (for steam cleaning), sink, and small refrigerator. I was extremely impressed! So this time when I found out I was pregnant I asked at my office what could be done and was basically given the brush off and told the bathroom again. After talking to W and a local nursing mom’s group I decided to contact HR and ask if there could be some kind of arrangement made. Luckily since the laws up there are different than here (and better) the HR representative told me that they would help me. When I returned I was informed that one of the unused offices had blinds put up and I could go in there and pump and lock the door.

Since returning this has been great!! I pump 3 times a day and I’m not on an exact time schedule. I generally pump somewhere around 0630, 0930 and 1230 then head home around 1500. The door has a basic lock on it and I’ve never been bothered by anyone regarding the 10 to 15 minutes I’m gone to pump. When I’m done I transfer all the milk to a large container and take the parts to the bathroom to be rinsed out. I’m happy to say that at this point in 3 pumping sessions I’m getting somewhere between 18 and 20 oz a day and she is eating between 12 and 16 a day while I’m gone. This allows for some of the milk to be frozen every week.

So in general things are going well and its been good to get back to work and on somewhat of a schedule again.

1 comment:

Sarah in Huntsville said...

Ah, pumping at work. I have my own office, so finding a place to do it wasn't a problem, unless I was in the field. But the comments from coworkers, especially the males...those got old after a while.

Of course, I pumped for so long, eventually the comments stopped and everyone just accepted it. But it was awkward enough at first - it would have been much worse if I'd had to pump in the bathroom stall. That's so completely unacceptable that you had to do that! But it's awesome your HR group was helpful this time around. Good luck!