“Don’t cry over spilled milk” was a phrase that was created by a man, not a nursing mother. I will admit I have CRIED over spilled milk. My twins were 9mo old and my supply was drying up. I did not cry, I balled. I now look back and laugh a little because at the end of the day it was not the end of the world. I wanted to make it the full year, but I did not and that’s fine. This article is not judging in the least bit, we at Grade A Teaching, firmly believe that fed is best, formula or breastfeeding, it does not matter. What matters is trying to somehow balance a life of children at your job and your child(ren) at home.
How to tell if you have pumped at work:
1. I reiterate you have cried over spilled milk
2. You know which rooms have working locks on their door
3. You have either discretely hid your milk in the fridge or posted one HUGE note
4. You never realized bathroom breaks were even more of a scarcity
5. You know that noise “wha, wha, wha, wha”
Here are some helpful tips:
It is important that administration, department heads, any co-teachers, or assistants know that you pump. Be open, it is 2017. This is also important from a professional standpoint. You do not want people to think you are slacking and disappearing on a regular basis. Please note: some men may blush and be embarrassed when you discuss this with them. This is okay, the point is that they know you are not blowing off work and can be sensitive to your needs.
Location, location, location
This is not just a phrase used in real estate. I was told to use a room on the other side of the school with three other pumping teachers. We had a 15 minute break in the morning. It took me 3 minutes to walk there and 3 minutes to walk back. This gave me no time to do any actual pumping. This situation was not going to work, so I helped myself to a utility closet next to my classroom that LOCKED. Was this ideal? No. Was it semi-gross? Yes. You do not need to do this, but decide what scenario/situation works best for you and is in YOUR best interest.
Tie on the doorknob
If you think someone, and I mean anyone could possibly come into the room, create a sign or some discrete signal that you are not to be disturbed. This can be true even when the door locks. Remember keys are floating around everywhere in a school!
Each morning, think “Will this outfit work for pumping?” During my pumping days, I said goodbye to dresses. I did not want to be caught butt naked because how else do you pump in a dress. Button-up shirts and loose fitting shirts (slide the pump underneath) were my go to.
Keep Extra Supplies Handy
I found this one out the hard way. If possible have an extra of everything at school. Several times, I accidently forgot some important part of pumping at home and I was stuck (with very sore and large girls). It is also important to keep an extra shirt or sweater handy in case something leaks! It is important that you have a secure and reliable place to store your milk. If you have an overflowing faculty fridge, invest in a heavy duty cooler pack.
Don’t be hard on yourself
I was amazed that my supply dropped as soon as I went back to work. I guess the stress and less frequent feedings took a toll. Teaching is hard; trying to teach and find several 10-20 minute sessions to pump is even harder. We cannot tell you what to do, but know that we have been there. Do not beat yourself up if you have to stop for your sanity or if you go longer because you savor those quiet kid-free moments. As I mentioned before, I dried up at 9mo with my twins. I tried my hardest to keep going, but my body had other intentions. And you know what, my twins are happy and healthy kids regardless.
Must Haves for the Pumping Teacher:
First, check to see if your insurance pays for one. If not, try this amazing pump! This pump is lightweight and you are not tied to an electrical outlet. Click Here
Milk Storage Bags
Do not go cheap. Click Here
Breast Pump Wipes
I did not have time to fully wash my pump after my morning go round, but I did not want to leave my pump dirty, so these were heaven! Click Here
Hands Free Pumping Bra
You do not want to sit and hold those pumps to your chest each and every time! Get yourself a hands free bra. There are two types, here are our suggestions for both: The wrap around that you put on only to pump Click Here and the bra that you wear all day and has flaps Click Here
A Subscription to Grade A Teaching
You will need something to read and enjoy as you pump! CLICK AT THE BOTTOM TO SUBSCRIBE