Happy World Breastfeeding Week (a few days late)!
We celebrated this weekend by attending the annual La Leche League family picnic. It was wonderful to get to see so many friends.
I’m incredibly happy to be celebrating this wonderful time in a baby’s and mother’s life. Combining work and breastfeeding is this year’s theme.
At first, I didn’t think I related to this theme at all. After all, I have avoided having to combine pumping and working outside of the home. When Gracie was a tiny baby we were so strapped for cash that I took on a contract position online as a community moderator for a website called Work it, Mom! It was a community for “working” mothers. I now and always have despised the term “working mother”. It’s not as if mothers who aren’t employed don’t work.
I felt so strange interacting with women as a Work at home mom when my employment was through the website that they were visiting for support and to unwind…and I was working only 3-4 hours per week. But I was easily able to combine my job with breastfeeding. Even if some of my work did take twice as long with a baby in my lap. I took on a couple of other clients to supplement that income. It was nothing big, just a translation job here and there, and a moderation job here or there. Then, in the winter of that year, the Work it, Mom! job dried up, and so I was left with my freelancing.
When I was pregnant with Ava we bought a house, and moved, and somewhere in the shuffle I gave up those freelancing pursuits.
I was at home full time without considering how to make money for the family for a while, and then when Ava was 15 months old I found a job as a breastfeeding peer counselor. I was planning to take the IBCLC exam, and the job was a perfect fit for our family, short hours and in my field of interest.
I worked there until the week before the twins were born. Months before the birth I tearfully gave my notice. I decided to give up the job because I wouldn’t be allowed to bring my baby to work with me, and I had decided against any separations from the baby unless absolutely necessary. Little did I know that we were going to be having twins and that returning to work would have been much harder than I was even imagining.
So there you have it, my experience of combining working and breastfeeding. If I had had other options readily available to make an income for my family and minimize separations from my babies, I think I would have taken them. It’s my hope and dream for the planet that we make opportunities like that more readily available for all women.
It seems fitting that at this juncture that I should announce that I’m starting up my own Lactation Consulting practice…however, I’m having some trouble getting the page up and running. So in the meantime, here is the link to a place where one can schedule an appointment. . Tommy will be home with the babies at the times when I will be scheduling clients. I’m very excited for this new step. I’m looking forward to doing in home consults, returning to one of my passions and expertise, and getting to do so in a way that works for my family.
Anyway, happy world breastfeeding. May we come up with creative solutions to working and breastfeeding.
And if you would be so kind as to share this link with anyone in the KC area who needs a lactation consultant, I would be very grateful.