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Work. Pump. Repeat.: The New Mom's Survival Guide to Breastfeeding and Going Back to Work

4.35  ·  Rating details ·  1,269 ratings  ·  144 reviews
The practical, relatable, and humorous guide to surviving the difficult, awkward, and rewarding job of being a breastfeeding, working mom.
Meet the frenemy of every working, breastfeeding mother: the breast pump. Many women are beyond “breast is best” and on to figuring out how to make milk while returning to demanding jobs. Work. Pu
Hardcover, 208 pages
Published September 8th 2015 by Harry N. Abrams
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Average rating 4.35  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,269 ratings  ·  144 reviews

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Start your review of Work. Pump. Repeat.: The New Mom's Survival Guide to Breastfeeding and Going Back to Work
* So much practical advice for parts, goals, storage, practice runs, backup shirts and parts at work, flying with baby -- just amazing and relevant and straight forward and supportive all around. Refer back to it and kindle highlights!
* do NOT apologize.
* try to feed milk cold from the fridge #shamgoals
* be alert for over feeding
* get a ziplock bag stash going at work and in my bags
* "If someone is not getting the hint and keeps asking where I’m going, sometimes I will just say, “I ha
Katie Geiken
Oct 01, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2015
This book was just what I was looking for. The perfect combination of advice and peptalk. 50 blogs about breast-feeding and going back to work all rolled into one book.
Aug 04, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This book is excellent. A must read for breastfeeding moms going back to work. So much valuable advice and encouragement.
Aug 19, 2017 rated it liked it
This is a guide for new mothers who wish to continue breastfeeding and, therefore, must pump after returning to work.

I read this book because I wanted to feel a little solidarity, and I was curious if there were any tips or tricks I hadn't heard before even though this was not my first rodeo. I did find out a few new things. I learned that one is not supposed to shake breastmilk or combine milk at two different temperatures. I have always shaken bottles to mix the separated milk and just dumped
Jan 04, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
brb, buying a copy of this for every single new working mom i know
Nov 11, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I purchased this book after I had already been back at work (and pumping there) for a few weeks. It was mentioned by one of the ladies in my mom's group, though she hadn't read it but was asking if anyone had. I pretty much immediately purchased it on kindle and read it at night while nursing the baby.

Do I wish I'd had it sooner? Well, I don't think there was anything in here that is absolutely necessary knowledge for someone in my position. My job is pretty great when it comes to nursing mother
Lindsey Gilger
Mar 27, 2017 rated it really liked it
This would have been 5 stars if I've never used a pump before. However, I've been pumping for a few weeks now so some of the information was irrelevant to me. However, I loved the overall tone to the book. As a FTM I am constantly questioning myself and my choices. I google more often than I should and generally doubt myself everyday. I love that she let all moms know they are bad asses and the choices each mother makes is for the good of their baby.
Definitely a great book for FTM. Just skip ov
Sep 28, 2016 rated it liked it
This is a helpful book mostly for those moms who never had to pump before. For me, I found it a bit redundant since I was exclusively pumping from the start due to latch issues. However, it did give me some good ideas for when I returned to work and how to manage my pumping schedule. It's a good read for new mom's who have to return to work who are nursing. ...more
Margaret Heller
Sep 26, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I'd already pumped for a year for one kid before reading this, but I still got a lot of great ideas and encouragement as I prepare to do this again for my second child. Such a positive and realistic attitude that is hard to find in anything about breastfeeding while working. ...more
Alexis D Proper
Nov 29, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Great resource

I love the practical advice for pumping at work and how she wants what is best for me - no judgements.

May 02, 2017 rated it really liked it
Helpful, quick read that I hope prepared me well for my return to work.
Jul 20, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Very fun to read...written with a brutally honest tone, dry humor, and practical tips
Heather Morrison
Jun 12, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I wish I would have found this book about a year ago when I was returning to work after my first child. Although I finished my breastfeeding journey a few months back, I still loved this book and would highly recommend it to not only moms preparing to return to work while breastfeeding, but also employers, managers, HR professionals, and those who want to be supportive coworkers.

Learn how to be a supportive ally because most working moms could use it!

I also enjoyed the fact that this book was
Jan 13, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This is a great book for first time mother's who are getting ready to go back into the workplace and still want to give their baby all the great benefits of breast milk. After reading through this, I've come to realize how truly blessed I am to have an employer who supports working mom's because not every employer does. This book will help you prepare for those situations and help you to expect the unexpected. And remember, your worth is not measured in ounces. ...more
Hannah Kubacak
Oct 20, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This book said exactly what I needed to hear before going back to work after having my baby. So much of the motherhood literature that I had seen prior to this book was targeted toward stay at home moms or completely lacked any information about pumping at work. So many sources talk about the benefits of breastfeeding, but there is a definite lack of helpful information about how to continue breastfeeding after maternity leave. I'm glad I found this book. ...more
Caitie Hannon Milcinovic
Sep 05, 2019 rated it it was amazing
So practical and also laugh-out-loud, heartwarmingly funny. Can't believe this is practically the only resource out there on this topic! At the very least, read the last page for a big pep talk / mood booster. ...more
Emma OKeefe
Sep 13, 2021 rated it really liked it
Wish I had read this with my first child.
Oct 29, 2018 rated it really liked it
I appreciated this book a lot--very practical and non-judgy. Makes up for what is lacking in other "comprehensive" breastfeeding books that give working moms one short chapter or induce guilt. This does not go into specifics of the mechanics of breastfeeding so is a good supplement for other information about that--it is much more about the logistics of pumping, dealing with workplace issues, maintaining supply, things like that. ...more
Jaclyn Caschetta
Aug 18, 2021 rated it it was amazing
I got half way through this on audible and needed to just buy it. I desperately wish i could go back in time and read this before my first-born. I feel so much more confident and prepared to pump at work when I go back after my 2nd baby. Ugh - SO GOOD. So helpful. Best book I’ve read yet about my freakin boobs.
Kate Caldwell
Apr 16, 2018 rated it really liked it
This book was really helpful to read as I slowly come to terms with going back to work and wanting to continue to breastfeed my baby. It's harsh at times but I think the tough love and honesty is a good reality check on tackling something that I'm guessing won't be easy or fun. I appreciated how supportive and nonjudgmental the tone is and definitely recommend it! ...more
Mar 20, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This book is so incredible! Highly recommend for anyone who is planning on working while pumping/breastfeeding
Mar 26, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Just what a working mom needs
Apr 12, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: parenting
This book was exactly what I needed! Jessica Shortall is honest, down to earth, supportive of any decisions moms may make, and at times hilarious to boot! I picked up this book just a short week before returning to work, and wish I'd had the time to finish it prior but this definitely helped me get through these first few weeks of pumping and working! It was chock full of helpful tips - from how to talk to your boss and others about getting pumping time and space (which really empowered me when ...more
Aug 24, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I received an advanced reader copy from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

Having breastfed/pumped for a grand total of 5 babies (one set of twins) for three years and five months, I was really excited about a helpful book that really gives the scoop on pumping. I had to teach myself nearly everything about pumping at work by scouring the internet (kellymom and Babycenter were great), and I wish I had thought of writing this book myself! Hospitals, even those with lactation consultants,

Seriously, THIS is the book I was looking for during the last months of my pregnancy, and it didn't exist then. I eventually found all the information herein, but I had to hang out in several different online communities to piece it all together. God bless Shortall. She skips over all the stuff you already know, or probably read about in the six other breastfeeding guides you bought: the benefits, the different positions, how to assess a latch, etc. -- and jumps rig
Dec 17, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I was really nervous about going back to work and pumping. This book was a great read for reducing anxiety and helping you make a plan. Thank you Jessica Shortall, for a well written, informative book on this crazy journey of going back to work and pumping!
Oct 09, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fic
I thought this book was helpful, even though I was already back at work when I started reading it. There were tips and tricks that I hadn't been told or shown before hand. It also helped give me some confidence in the fact that sometimes there were going to be bumps in the road, even if you have been breastfeeding and pumping for a few months. Also, when it came to supplementing, I am glad this topic was brought up. Many mothers and organizations push for exclusive breastfeeding, that some mothe ...more
Aug 26, 2016 rated it it was amazing
School officially started for both Colton and me this week, and it was a doozy. Obviously I couldn't have gotten through it without @coltonwb and @willkristinwu, but the necessary support that surprised me was this book. I'm trying to pump breastmilk for Sloane while I'm working, and it's been a challenge already. I have LOVED nursing her this summer and I want to keep it up as long as I am able. This book has addressed every single one of the challenges I came across this week. It gave me the l ...more
Jul 26, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This book was what I needed. I start work in a week and a half, and I feel so much more confident after reading this. It is truly a cheerleader book. Even the end talks about Mom Guilt, and how sometimes women are shamed about pumping, going back to work, not breastfeeding, or many other options. The author repeatedly says how we are awesome moms, if we pump for 2 days or 2 years! I feel confident that I can pump as long as I need to. When I am time to be done, I will decide for me and try not t ...more
May 21, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: parenting
Really? A whole book about pumping at work? Yes!

This book made me feel incredibly lucky (we had to figure out pumping and bottles right off the bat due to some initial nursing issues, so I didn't need that primer, and my work is incredibly supportive of breastfeeding), and I still found tons of practical advice. Better flanges, handling work trips, doing a dry run before returning to work.

I also really enjoyed the author's tone. She writes the way many of my best girlfriends talk--friendly, ca
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Jessica Shortall is a thirty-something working mother of two, with a career dedicated to the intersection of business and doing good. For five years, she was the first Director of Giving for TOMS Shoes, a job that had her literally circumnavigating the globe with a breast pump.

Jessica started her adult life as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Uzbekistan, and has worked in the non-profit, start-up, corpo

News & Interviews

When author Amor Towles published his second novel, A Gentleman in Moscow, in 2016, everything changed.   Towles’ first novel, Rules of...
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“Guilt is a response to what you think you’ve done wrong. Shame is feeling that who you are is wrong.” 5 likes
“If breastfeeding is causing you terrible anxiety, ruining your performance at work, hurting your relationship with your kids or your spouse—all of these are valid factors. You are more than the milk you make, and you are in charge of your body.” 2 likes
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