Oh the places you’ll pump, mama! This ode is dedicated to all pumping mamas who need a laugh. With gratitude to Dr. Seuss.
You have bottles in your bag,
You have milk in your boobs,
You can steer yourself
Any direction you choose.
You’re on your own. And you know what you know.
And YOU are the mama who will decide where to go.
You’ll look up and down hallways. Look ‘em over with care
About some you will say, “I don’t choose to go there.”
With your head full of brains and your bag full of ice,
You’re too smart to pick a pumping spot that’s not nice.
And you may not find any
You’ll want to go down.
In that case, you’ll want to
Head straight out of town.
But you can’t of course,
Because that milk is leaking.
And you need a spot quick
Where no one is peeking.
Perhaps you’ll find space in a lounge just for you,
Or perhaps in your office you’ll know what to do.
But maybe you’re out and about across town
In which case you’ll need somewhere to set your stuff down.
A bathroom will do with your battery pack;
Just prop up that pump and do not look back.
Some days that milk will just squirt on right out
While your pump goes thump thump
Making you want to shout.
But some other days you’ll just sit sit sit sit,
And the milk just won’t come. Not one little bit.
So you’ll wait, breathe, and squeeze
To get a drop or two, maybe
While staring at pictures of your little baby.
And when you relax and the milk starts to come
You’ll feel some relief that your job here is done.
Until next time, of course, in three hours or four
When those breasts will fill up and you’ll need to pump more.
Take heart, my brave pumping friends, wherever you be,
In cars, planes, or trains, where the world can see.
Whether you eek out a single ounce or ninety-nine,
It turns out your baby will turn out just fine.
(By Lori Mihalich-Levin, January 2015)
Want more practical tips on working parenthood? Check out my book, Back to Work After Baby: How to Plan and Navigate a Mindful Return from Maternity Leave