Maternity leave is up, and it’s time to get back to work (though I’d argue that caring for a newborn is some of the hardest work you’ll ever do!). The transition from stay-at-home mother of a breastfeeding newborn to high-functioning, schedule-keeping, pumping mama is never easy, but I’m here to remind you that it can be done. This is my story of how I worked 13-hour days, kept up with my career, and pumped enough to “breastfeed” exclusively (bottles of pumped milk count!).
When my first child was 12 weeks old, like many moms in the U.S., I went back to work. Lots of us work long hours, and as a floor nurse at a hospital, there was no getting around my 12.5-hour shift. With travel time, that meant I was often away from my infant for 13 or even 13.5 hours at a time, sometimes missing his entire waking day. Luckily, he woke to breastfeed at night and I could