I have survived pumping at work!! I am up to 14 months and counting of providing breastmilk for my Little. The first 5 of those months were exclusively pumping. It has been a long and hard road that has led us down some interesting paths and left me with some great stories to share!
Returning back to work at 8 weeks postpartum was such a difficult task. Adding to that, we were still having issues working through a tongue and upper lip tie that left me exclusively pumping. Finding the time to pump 6 times a day that included a 9 hour work day with a full 2 1/2 hours of commuting to boot was super hard. With a 19 month old and newborn in tow, I learned early on that a pumping bra to reach hands free pumping would be a staple in my life. Getting creative and doing my hair and makeup during my morning pump was just the beginning. I slowly graduated to being a little more daring and pumping while driving during my horribly long commute. I even started a cashier's morning off right in the McDonald's drive thru when my cover fell off and she stood in horror has my nipples were sucked into those clear plastic tubes!
We have a dedicated Mother's Room in the basement of my work building. It is nice enough with a couch and a ton of magazines but is missing an essential pumping requirement, good wireless service! I lasted about 2 weeks without the internet and went on the hunt for a new place to pump. I tried to convince my mangers that I should pump at my desk but they insisted that the screeching of my pump and flow into my bottles would be distracting to my cubemates :)
I finally found a vacant office. There it sat with lots of outlets, a lock on the door, an empty desk and 4 glorious bars of service. It even had huge windows with a view overlooking a courtyard that our lovely city has provided. The huge windows made it really easy to clearly see on the day I was surprised by the window washer. I'm sure that he was super pumped, pun intended, that day!
Other mom's caught on to my magical space and I was soon sharing my little slice of heaven. I was not a happy camper the few times that I went to pump and found my office occupied. I learned that something was going to be as essential as my hands free pumping bra, a solid pumping schedule. It has likely saved me from attacking a coworker on days when my boobs feel as though they are going to explode. We try to be respectful and considerate of each other, texting or emailing when we are going to be late.
I have provided a link to download the schedule template that we are currently using. Happy pumping!!!!