If someone asks me, “What is the best breastfeeding book for working mom”, I would undoubtedly choose this book, “Work. Pump. Repeat” by Jessica Shortall.
If you are a working mom looking to continue breastfeeding after you return back to work, this book is a MUST for you.
Let me repeat once again, this book is a MUST READ for every working mom continuing breastfeeding.
If you are interested in getting this book, but not sure if it’s worth for you, then you should continue to read my review of Work. Pump. Repeat.
In this review, I’ll share what you can find in this book, things I love from this book, and what this book may lack of.
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- Author: Jessica Shortall
- No of page: 208
- Size: 6.2 x 0.8 x 9.4 inches
- Available in:Kindle and paperback
This book covers most of the things you need to know about planning to continue breastfeeding after returning to work. Starting from the:
Learn how to pump for the first time, what to expect when pumping, how much milk you need to express prior to work, how to estimate milk your baby need to drink when you are away, and how to feed your baby expressed breast milk, and importantly: how to avoid overfeeding with bottle (you need to educate your baby’s caregiver about this, and choose the bottle teat carefully- more details in the book).
2. Pumping at work place
Do your planning even before you take your maternity leave (identifying where you can pump, negotiating with your boss and HR personnel regarding your plan to pump at work (ehm, professionally), and how to deal with coworkers who comments on your ‘pumping’ thing.
3. Dealing with pumping during business trips
What is the objective of pumping (very important to remember over and over again), what to do with the milk (throw or keep), and if you are travelling with expressed breast milk (EBM), how to deal with TSA officers (there are rules regarding this that you need to know), how to pack EBM carefully so that it can come back safely to your baby, including a little bit on how to mail your EBM by mail (seriously, you can do this!)
4. Troubleshooting common problems
Admit it, breastfeeding can be hard. Even more when you decide to juggle between pumping, breastfeeding, and working. You may forgot your pump part, you may skip pumping session, you may really hate your pump, you may just want to quit breastfeeding altogether. What to do in dealing with these problems? This book gives you quite a wealth of insights about how to solve these.
Shortall positions herself as a friendly fellow working mom who cheers you up on your pumping journey. Reading her book is just like reading a personal email from a best friend who truly cares about YOU, your struggle, and your goals. Never once she doctrine that ‘You should continue breastfeeding no matter what, if you quit then you are a BAD mom’ kind of thing.
She totally understands how it feels to be a busy working mom who juggling between work and raising kids, plus pumping milk for our baby.
She shares her experience and stories (which are quite fun and hilarious by the way). And not only that! In writing this book, she interviewed hundreds of working mothers and include their stories in the book as well. You will get lots of jaw drops reading their stories, which some of them are quite extraordinary.
While sharing her knowledge, she includes a LOT (and I mean, really A LOT) of practical tips regarding pumping.
Some of my favorite chapters in the book, which I believe you would love these too, include:
1.Planning of negotiation with boss / HR regarding your pumping plan
She even include a sort of letter/conversation template on how to start a discussion about this. Admit it, it is not fun to tell your boss about boobs and breast milk and such, right. In fact, it can be embarrassing, especially if your boss is male.
Therefore, she suggested to analyze your situation, way before you take your maternity leave. I love how she advises us to take this matter professionally. Though by right, we can always pull out the governing rule saying: hey, you should give me my right to pump for my baby, it’s better not to start with this.
Rather, start by explaining what you need, or maybe even some extra explanation why breastmilk is important for your baby, and assure your boss that pumping won’t make you loose your work performance.
Shortall even goes to very nitty gritty detail about how to approach your HR about allocating space to pump, what you need inside the room (chair, table to place the pump, power source, or even fridge perhaps?) and what to do if no spare room is available.
2. How to respond to coworkers comment regarding your breastfeeding choice.
Your coworker can be supportive buddies, lucky for you, or can be nosy enough to confront your decision to pump milk for your baby. This book lists various ways how to respond, from a nice simple reply to some sarcastic ones, depending on the type of comment you receive, lol. I really laughed out loud reading this part. Love it.
3.Defining your breastfeeding goal.
Shortall is very clear that she support your decision no matter what. Your goal may be different from others, and that’s totally okay. You breastfeed exclusively, great! You breastfeed and supplement at the same time, great. Don’t let other people’s comments steer your goal and make you feel depressed and guilty to your baby.
4. Pumping while traveling
While not all working moms travel for work, I believe this section is a gold mine for those who frequently travel for business trips. From what to bring in your travel, how to deal with TSA officers especially if you carry expressed breast milk, how to pump inside the plane (at your seat or in the plane toilet), how to negotiate with the hotel and such, and how to bring your milk back home, almost all the thing you need to know is presented in this book.
The only time I’ve ever read this kind of information is only by scouring motherhood forums. Even then, the information is scattered here and there.
So, having it all together in one book is really a plus.
5. A lot of other moms’ stories.
I think I told you before about this. But to me personally, this is such a valuable thing from this book. Reading other moms’ stories makes me feel grateful and realize that I’m not alone in my pumping journey.
Things I hope to see more in the book
While there is a chapter about how to stockpile breast milk prior to returning to work, I hope to see more information on how to add in pumping schedules in between nursing session (other than morning pump).
Also, the section on how to bring milk back to home can be much more clearer by adding a bullet list what to do right from before checking out from the hotel. I read somewhere that you could use dry ice to keep you milk frozen longer, but it is not highlighted in this book.
What this book is not about
- Basic breastfeeding book, as in how to tackle common breastfeeding problem and what to expect while breastfeeding. For this, you better read Breastfeeding solution by Nancy Mohrbacher, or The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding.
- Book for increasing milk supply. While a lot of working mom experience drops in milk supply, this book only discusses about this in general, and for a more comprehensive detail, you can refer to A Breastfeeding Mother’s Guide for Making More Milk by Diana West (see my review here).
Having said all the pros and cons, I still believe that this book is really a very comprehensive guide for navigating your pumping journey as a working mom.
Not only I love this book, see what others have said about this.
If you are still not sure whether you will like this book, fret not. You can read the FREE chapter here.
I hope this book review helps you to better understand what kind of content Work. Pump. Repeat can offer for you. If you have any questions regarding this book, feel free to ask. I’ll be happy to answer your questions.