Pump-at-work mamas. You get extra kudos on this Labor Day. Why? Because pumping is damn laborious. Doing it at the office is at best, awkward. At worst, it solicits hostility.
Regardless of where you pump, it's labor-intensive. All those plastic parts. The sanitizing. Finding a plug. Hooking your boobs up to a mechanical suction. The careful transferring of expressed milk from container to cooler or bag. The whoosh, whoosh, whooshing.
There’s nothing like breastfeeding to remind a woman that she is mammalian, and there’s nothing like pumping to make her feel akin to a farm animal.
It’s a mean social experiment to insists mothers exclusively breastfeed their babies for six months without any paid maternity leave, a nursing recommendation from both the American Pediatric Association and the World Health Organization. (I don’t consider using paid vacation and sick days as maternity leave. It’s theft of employee benefits!)
Many of us already feel it’s a national crisis and moral issue to be the only industrialized country without some form of federally mandated paid family leave. Jessica Shortall, in her Ted Talk, also makes it an economic imperative.
Shortall, also the author of Work. Pump. Repeat.: The New Mom’s Survival Guide to Breastfeeding and Going Back to Work, created a series of stock photos that parody the realities of pumping at work. Her goal is to combat the ubiquitous image of working moms who are erroneously shown happily working and mothering in the same image.
Below are six of the eleven pictures for your viewing, laughing, and eye-rolling pleasure. They include Shortall’s original captions and hyperlinks back to her campaign. Share them generously! (With attribution, of course.) I’ve saved the remaining five photos to accompany the next post featuring pumping-at-work stories from four candid mamas!
Happy Labor Day to us mamas who labor relentlessly at home, in the office, and everywhere in between.