The Balancing Act of Pumping while Working

By Beng Calma-Alcazaren of Drip Manila

Mommy Beng, Daddy Juan with Leon and Maria
If there’s a will there’s a way. This saying could not have been truer for me when I was a working Mom in advertising. Yes, advertising can be crazy- long meetings, unpredictable schedules, location shoots, late nights but imagine that kind of life with a new baby? Even crazier.

But because I wasn’t home a lot, I was determined to compensate for my absence by committing myself to pumping at work. The whole experience was truly one for the books- it was a combination of drama (tears whenever I was stressed and milk just wasn’t as plenty as I hoped it would be), comedy (hurrying the pumping process on several occasions that I actually forgot to attach the breast shields to the bottle; yes it resulted to wet pants), suspense (anticipating when the milk would finally flow more regularly and forcing myself to relax), and many more.

The commitment and dedication paid off. I was able to keep a steady stash of milk good enough for 13 months and I even got to share some of my milk to other moms who needed help. When my second baby came along, the experience was no different but the only difference this time was I was slightly more prepared to take on the pumping adventure again. Fortunately, I was able to keep at it for 12 months and I am happy to say that I have two children who were fed breast milk all the way in their first year of life.

Here are a few tips to help you in the journey:

  • Be prepared: Make sure you have everything you need: pump, cooler bag, ice packs, nursing cover, and a few items to keep you relaxed (a book you’ve been wanting to read, magazines, chocolates or any treat that makes you happy).
  • Find a quiet and comfy place to pump: My former office was baby-friendly; we had a room dedicated to nursing moms but if this is not available, try to find a spot where you can be alone. People are generally understanding and accommodating to new Moms so don’t be shy.
  • Set a schedule and commit to it: for new Moms, pumping 3-4 times a day is best with 3-hour gaps in between. It can be quite disruptive especially if you have a busy schedule but it is important that you find time for this. It is the only way to keep your supply up.
  • Lastly, enjoy! This is something we forget to do a lot of times but believe me, once your milk supply starts to dwindle and you’re about to pack up all that pumping paraphernalia, it can get quite nostalgic so be happy and smile. You’re a miracle happening in real time!
About the Author:
Beng Calma-Alcazaren is wife to Juan and mother to Leon, 6 and Maria, 2. She recently left advertising and now works as marketing consultant at UA&P and their family's travel business, Kenstar. She is also busy gearing up for her band Drip's third album.
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