Last week I shared a post that I wrote on Facebook about my journey. I think that sharing these posts are important, because when you look at me you may think that I’m strong and that I’ve always been this way. What you don’t see is the time that I am on my knees crying out to God asking for Him to give me this strength, power, and grace to keep going. As I mentioned in a previous post, breastfeeding has not been easy for me. I internalized it, suffered a lot in silence, and wanted to quit so many times. That’s why I’m so passionate about doing what I can to help you on your journey.
If you are a breastfeeding mom and you have either had to go back to work, had to travel, or leave the house without your child then you know the challenges of pumping and maintaining your supply. There aren’t always lactation rooms available and when you pump, you HAVE to pump! Even if there is a room available, you may miss critical meetings or events if you are in the room pumping in isolation.
One weekend I had to attend a 2-day board meeting. I brought my twins with me, but I couldn’t bring them into the meeting. Therefore, I had to pump throughout the day to ensure that they had enough food. When I got to my first pump break, I looked at the agenda and knew that I didn’t want to miss it. I started talking to one of my colleagues and told her that I needed to pump, and didn’t want to miss anything. She told me to stay in the room and to not be ashamed or embarrassed. I was unsure and scared, but I did it anyway. Here is the post that I wrote once I conquered this fear.
I learned a very important lesson today about conquering fear. My twins are exclusively breastfed and this weekend I had to attend all day board meetings. I brought my babies with me to North Carolina, but since I was away during the day I had to pump. Initially, I wanted to know where I could pump in privacy, but I was concerned that I would miss a lot of the discussion. I spoke to one of my colleagues and she told me to stay in the room. I expressed concern that people could feel uncomfortable with me pumping. However, she said that is a part of motherhood and to stay in the boardroom and be a part of the discussion. That was the best advice that I could have gotten. I was about to remove myself and my insights from the meeting because I was scared about what other people could think. Note that I said “could” think and not “would” think. It turns out that my fear was unfounded, I didn’t get weird looks, and some people even complimented me for staying. I share this because sometimes we voluntarily take ourselves out of the game because of the concerns and thoughts in our own head. Don’t talk yourself out of keeping your space and seat. Stay in the boardroom.
If you decide to stay in the boardroom, then here is what you need to do:
- Wear a nursing bra underneath of your clothes. I love the Simple Wishes Hands-Free Breastpump Bra, Pink, X-Small-Large.
- Sit by a plug IN the room
- Keep your pump and pump parts within reach so when you need to assemble you don’t disrupt the meeting by looking for the parts
- Put on your breastfeeding cover. I love the Boppy Nursing Cover, Boho/Gray because of the coverage
- Assemble the pump pieces underneath the cover or attach the pump in the restroom and then come back into the room
- Hold your head up high as that motor is running
- When you are done, you can either stay covered and remove the bottles in the restroom or other private place, or you can disassemble underneath your breastfeeding cover
- Keep a cooler with an icepack for the bottles. I love the Medela Breastmilk Cooler Set.
I’m sharing this with you because I want you to understand that your viewpoints are valuable. Your impact to the organization is important, so figure out how you can stay in the room and be an active and engaged participant. Who cares what others think? You are a mom and you are an intelligent, phenomenal woman. Imagine what more we can do and the impact that we can have if we just stay in the boardroom. Remember, our actions now will make another mom’s easier in the future!
Leave a comment in the Phenomenal Moms Facebook Group to let me know how this helps you!
If you know a single, savvy, millennial mom, then pass this on to her and invite her to the group.
Aisha Taylor is a single mom of twins, personal financial coach, work from home entrepreneur, and #1 Amazon Best Selling Author of the book “5+5 FNPhenomenal Ways to Save $100 This Week Without Killing Your Lifestyle.” Aisha has been featured in ESSENCE and Jet Magazine. She is also the Founder of FNPhenomenal (Frugal –n- Phenomenal), a movement designed to help single moms transform their finances, enjoy life, and stop living from paycheck-to-paycheck. It’s time for you to be Financially Phenomenal!
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