Today’s Topic: Boobs…

…and the milk they supply. I have finally reached my tolerance level for st00pid-ass statements made by otherwise intelligent young science peeps. So I’m staging an intervention, bloggy-style. After this post, I no longer want to hear any bitching about dedicated pumping offices, or somebody’s gonna have one pissed off, sleep-deprived and engorged mama on their ignorant ass.

Here’s the dealio on boobs. They enlarge to the uncomfortable size of melons when you get preggos, then swell even further with milk (engorgement) after shoving out your sweet little parasite. This swelling is painful, but eventually is alleviated as your body figures out how much milk your baby needs. The milk provides all the wonderful nutrients and antibodies your baby requires – more efficiently and for a fraction of the price of formula. After this balance is achieved, the milk must be expressed at regular intervals. Otherwise, your boobs will again swell and leak, possibly through the nursing pads you put on this morning, staining the brand-new shirt you bought since none of your old shirts fit over your new jugs. Additionally, when your boobs are forced to store instead of express this milk, they send a message to your body to stop making milk, leading over time to a decrease in your milk supply.

So when I tell you that I need the designated pumping office now, I actually mean NOW. I will not wait for my nursing pads to overflow. I will not let my boobs become sore from engorgement. And I will NOT lose a cheap and effective nutritional source for my baby. Get outta of my way, or you’re gonna get knocked over the head with a breast pump.

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11 thoughts on “Today’s Topic: Boobs…

  1. Hear, hear!

    You left out the bit about how you can get blocked ducts and mastitis if you don't express your milk regularly.

    My last company had the lactation room share space with the regulatory documents storage space. And there were always at least a couple of us who needed to schedule time in that room. I can't say I miss that….

  2. Uhm, why is someone in the dedicated pumping room & not pumping getting annoyed that some one wants to use the room, for its exact purpose??!!!! Would anyone get annoyed if I asked them to leave the freaking dedicated dark room to develop blot IF they weren't developing blots??!!!!!!

  3. VERY good question, SM. It seems nobody in this department really wants to talk about icky things like “lactation” (*shudders at the word*). So the fact that it's the lactation room is considered a mere rumor by some. Grad students see empty desks in the room and assume it's also an office (which it is when nobody in the department is pumping). It's largely a communication issue. I'm working to correct this, one student at a time, but it's starting to get old. Before too long, an uncomfortably informative memo is going to appear in our break room, courtesy of yours truly.

  4. oh… is there a big sign at the door??! Maybe something along the klines as “This room is for nursing mothers primarily, in case of not in use – others can use it but only temporarily” ??

    I know. I'm way too nice. Part of me would like you to just start whipping them out and start pumping in front of them. After all, if it makes them that uncomfortable, they'd leave?! (I understand if the idea would make you feel uncomfortable though, since it's your body but it just makes me annoyed that this simple little thing [room to be able to pump and work and not be at home all the time with child] is such a hard concept.)

    All the best!

  5. Good for you to stand your ground! It sucks that you have to put yourself on the spot to make them all get the picture that this room is needed for lactating, but fuck 'em if it makes them uncomfortable. They should be uncomfortable that they were being so thoughtless about it.

  6. I agree with chall — make sure there is a big sign on the door. Is it possible that not everyone is aware that it is a designated pumping room and people think it is empty office space? Definitely make sure everyone is aware upon entering that the room has an intended purpose and must be vacated when necessary!

    Apparently someone was using the room with our poster printer as a pumping room, but left no sign on the door. The door was left unlocked so I walked in to get my poster and felt terrible — I just had no idea! Nothing circulated that it was being used as a pumping room, the grad student is in a different department so I had no idea anyone was nursing at the time, and there was no indication that the room was in use so please do not enter. Some people may not be trying to give you a hard time or doubt your need… they may just not know!

  7. @Chall and SS – I post a “do not disturb” sign on the door when I'm in there, and the door is locked, so I haven't had a problem with people entering. (Although there have been some looks when I put the sign up, and people still knock on the door when the sign is up – WTF).

    Everyone knows that it is the pumping room, but there hasn't been a formal announcement. Mainly because there isn't always someone in the department that is breastfeeding. The comments that have been made indicate some people don't understand why it's necessary. A few students (including females) felt bad about statements they had made after they learned the consequences of not pumping on time (pain, infection, decreased supply).

    The biggest problem, IMO, is that the department as a whole hasn't completely embraced the idea that a dedicated lactation room for students and postdocs is important. It's kind of a half-ass arrangement, as I'm now finding out. And that attitude tends to trickle down to some of the students/postdocs. Which then makes us lactating moms feel like we're intruding on their space, instead of the other way around.

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