Pumping Profiles - Meet Nadia from Guatemala

Published on
Written by Courtney Uyeshiro

{Milk It’s Pumping Profiles feature quick Q&A interviews with moms that are pumping milk for their babies while they work. We hope you enjoy meeting these moms and learning a few tips on how they make it all work! These multi-tasking moms are inspiration for us all and are part of the much needed support for moms and the milk they make!}

Nadia, a Breastfeeding and Pumping Working Mom in Guatemala, with Her 12 Month Old Baby Girl (photo taken by her friend) 

{Q} What do you do for work?  Tell us about yourself.
{A} I am a graphic designer, first time mom and I love to read baby related blogs and books.  I am super enthusiasthic about breastfeeding my 12 months old baby girl.

Soy diseñadora gráfica, mama primeriza de una bebe de 12 meses y me encanta leer todo tipo de información relacionada con bebes, soy entusiasta de la lactancia materna.

{Q} You’re from Guatemala!  Can you give us some insight into breastfeeding/pumping at work in your country?
{A} Well I think its common here to pump at work – my closest friends have pumped at work but only for six months. Let me tell you that our laws give you an hour a day for 10 months counting since the day you return to your job, so instead of working from 8 to 5 you can get to your office at 9 and leave at 5 or get at 8 and leave at 4 pm.  But you don’t have a designated room to pump so I’m lucky to be able to pump at my desk.  I close the door and the blinds and that’s it, but several times someone knocks the door and I can not open it right away… but, I do know some of my friends have to pump in the bathroom :( .

Also I think some people turn to formula when it’s time to go back to work, and breastfeed only at night or so.

The point of view I´m giving you is mine, from my own perspective.  I´m a graphic designer and lucky to work at a nice, relatively private office and with all my health and social security benefits, able to afford a double electric pump and having full support from my boss and coworkers.  That´s why I´m telling you it is common to pump among my friends and coworkers… but that is my own experience.

Here in Guatemala it is common to pump but unfortunately it is not that common at all levels … I think is common in certain office jobs but is not possible for moms that work at factories or facilities that don´t allow to pump …  here we have so much poverty so maybe some women are not able to get a pump and they have to work all day so maybe they are not able to pump while working.

Some others may not have a job contract so they don´t get social security benefits - they get paid by the hour and not allowed to take breaks.  There are many different scenarios.  Then there are moms (native women) that wear the baby all day and the baby is allowed to nurse at demand - those are really happy babies because they are always near mommy, those babies rarely cry :).

Nursing in public is not that normal.  I do nurse in public, with a cover of course, but some of my friends didn´t do that because they weren´t comfortable with that…here everybody promotes it but not everybody breastfeeds.

When you leave the hospital after giving birth they give you a can of formula always, whether you plan to breastfeed or not.

{Q} What is your pumping situation at work?
{A} I pump twice a day at my desk.  My boss is very supportive since she is also a pumping mom {a pumping boss - how great!} and my coworkers are fine with me pumping.  The only downside is that every time I close the door to pump, somebody needs something from me and I hate that they knock the door and I have to answer that I can not open the door right away… {good thing she just got a Milk It Kit!}

Usualmente me extraigo la leche 2 veces al día en la comodidad de mi escritorio, mi jefa me apoya ya que ella es también una mama que da lactancia materna. Mis compañeros están de acuerdo ya me apoyan, pero lo único malo es que casualmente cada vez que cierro la puerta para extraerme la leche, alguien toca mi puerta y debo responderles que no puedo abrir en ese momento…

{Q} How long have you been pumping/working and how long to you hope to continue?
{A} I’ve been pumping for 9 months since I returned to work and in the beginning I set the goal of 6 months, now I don’t know maybe 2 more months.

He estado extrayendo la leche desde hace 9 meses, o sea desde que regrese a trabajar, al principio me puse la meta de hacerlo por 6 meses nada mas, ahora no se , Talvez por 2 meses mas.

{Q} 1st baby or 10th?:) 
{A} First. Primero. 

{Q} # of times you pump/how long each day?
{A} Twice a day, 15-25 min each time. 2 veces al día por 15-20 minutos cada sesión 

{Q} Nursing baby at home too?
{A} Yes. Si.

{Q} How are you making it all work at home and at work – any tips for working/pumping moms?
{A} I don’t know how I survive each day hahaha.  It sure is a lot of work and sacrifice, but I love giving the best I can give to my baby and I love to be able to nurse and nurture her.  Thank god I have a supportive working environment and a lot of help at home – my husband supports me and he is so happy with our Healthy girl. 

{Q} Best/Worst thing about pumping? 
{A} The best part is that my baby can get BM while i’m at my office and I can keep my supply. The worst thing is that I’m not able to pump a lot of milk and at the beginning it worried me a lot because I thought my milk was drying up.  I love to nurse but i have to say I hate the pump and washing every little part of it every evening , I feel it takes a lot of my free time Hahaha.

Lo mejor es que mi bebe puede tener leche materna mientras yo trabajo y mi suministro de leche se mantiene. Lo peor es que nunca he podido extraer mucha leche y eso me preocupaba mucho al inicio porque pensé que ya no tenía leche, adoro amamantar pero tengo que confesar que odio el extractor de leche y lo que odio aun mas es tener que lavar cada componente en las noches, ya que siento que pierdo mucho de mi preciado tiempo libre jajaja ja.

Nadia’s Tip for Pumping Moms:  A good tip is try to relax, don’t watch the clock or the ounces, keep a bottle of water with you, prepare your pump Bag the night before and if you can use a handsfree bra so you can type emails, read or even put your make up on.

Aun no se como sobrevivo día a día jajaja ja es mucho trabajo y sacrificio pero vale la pena y me encanta darle a mi bebe lo mejor que le puedo dar, amo amamantarla, nutrirla y consentirla, gracias a Dios tengo un trabajo en el que me apoyan y mucha ayuda en casa ya que mi esposo me apoya y esta muy feliz con nuestra niña sana. Un tip seria que te debes relajar, no ver el reloj o las onzas recolectadas, tener agua para beber, preparar tu bolsa con el extractor y todo lo que necesitas desde la noche anterior y si puedes, usa un bra que deje tus manos libres para poder contestar emails, leer o hasta maquillarte.