Adventures in Breastfeeding: my public pumping quest

Filed under: Babies, Your Pregnancy, Work Life, Day Care & Education

my very un-sexy yet torrid affair with a breast pumpOn Saturday, I went to a coaching clinic at a high school about 75 miles from Portland. We drove through wide, flat fields and small towns to reach Monmouth, Oregon's Central High School. We sat in uncomfortable classroom chairs and I learned about shotput and discus drills to teach my athletes.

About 11 a.m., my breastfeeding alarms were going off. By noon, I was in such distress that I was longing for the squeaky squish-squish of the manual breast pump sitting in the bag near my feet.

So I went up to the guy in charge, thinking to myself, this should be good. "I'm a breastfeeding mama," I told him. "Is there anywhere I can pump?"

While I think I did make him uncomfortable, he held up very well. I was impressed. He looked a little panicked for only the briefest of seconds, then went around letting the clinic leaders know where the lunch could be. He walked me down the hall to the science classroom, which had a little lab supply area between two classrooms that was relatively secluded. As secluded as you can be when you have five doors that open to other rooms, two of which are wide open (to locked rooms, but still...).

I decided it would work. "Do you need..." he said, leaving it hanging. "Nothing! I just need to be able to secure the door!" I said. He found me a chair and left me, so I set my things down on the cabinet crowded with science books and magnifying glasses and bottles of solution of various sorts and got ready to pump.

I was very near the hallway, and wondered if the other coaches walking to and fro could hear the strange whoosh-squeak-whoosh-squeak of my pump. Oh well. I flipped open my phone to the photo of Truman to get the juices flowing (literally) and pumped a couple of ounces.

As I walked out of the room, propping the door back open, I felt so clandestine, as if I was having some torrid affair with my milk-garnering device. A few hours later, I did another session, this time without escort. I secured my four ounces of milk in my bag and felt so proud. I negotiated a strange environment with success, I juggled my part-time work and my kids, and most importantly: I got milk.

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AdviceMama Says:
Start by teaching him that it is safe to do so.