May 6, 2013

Figuring the whole milkmaid thing out

I've been practicing with the pump so when I return to work, I'll be confident and know what I'm doing.  The pump is easy to set up and break down.  It's a double-pump, so I can do it in about 10 minutes, which is good.  I'm figuring on two pumping sessions while at work:  one at lunch and one during my 15 minute break.

State law (and Federal law as well, I think) provides for me to take breaks to pump, as well as designating an area that is not a restroom for me to do it in.  Granted, the breaks may be unpaid, and the area set aside may not necessarily be the Ritz-Carlton.  An outlet present would be nice but not necessary:  the pump does have a backup battery, and I have a stack of rechargable AAs.  

I'm not worried about my main job.  The schedule is flexible enough that I can pump when I need to, there's several unofficial areas that are used for pumping, and the staff is supportive...heck, a few of them are even pumping themselves, not just nurses but doctors too.  It's also a unionized facility, so should my pumping ever be a problem, I can call the union to go all Gangbusters on them.

But to be honest, I don't ever see my pumping as becoming that bad of an issue.  It's a really awesome organization. 

It's the agency job I'm concerned about.  The site they usually send me to has a lactation room, so the "where" is not a problem.  It's the "when" at the agency job that I'm worried about.

The patient flow at the site is unpredictable, so I can't say with certainty that I can pump at 1000 and 1300 every day.  If things are slow and no one else is at lunch/break, I can take time to do these things...and to be perfectly fair, the site does make every effort for us to get our break and lunch, especially as if we miss them, they have to pay us at least time and a half under state law.  If things are hectic...well, to be honest, there are days where even with the best efforts made by the site, I've had to miss my break or lunch.  Rarely, I've had to miss both.  So there may be times when only one session is all I can get in.  If that.

I'm not sure how my pumping would be treated by both the agency and the site, but I'm not planning to ask for special favors:  I'll just use my break and lunch to do what I have to do.  Heck, I may not even tell either of them that I'm pumping, lest it be used against me and I'm suddenly not scheduled as often.  Well, I may tell a couple of people who I think could point me to dark corners that I can use in a pinch.


I guess all I can do is prepare the best that I can, and we'll see what happens.  At least these laws are an improvement over what it was like several years ago.  They're not bulletproof protection, but they do help somewhat.

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