Archive | 10:10 pm

pumping on a psych ward

14 May

Alternative title: anna’s tatas on display in the most unflattering way

For the first three weeks of my psych rotation, I’m on the dual diagnosis unit at Presbyterian, where patients are treated who have both a substance abuse issue and some other psychiatric disorder.  It’s a fantastic learning experience.  But, on a ward where you require a key to get in to a linen closet-size hallway bathroom and there is exactly one break room for all staff, you can imagine that places to pump are limited.  And Presbyterian is an old hospital.  With decade-old sugar packets and rancid peanut butter jars lining the cupboards of the break room, I would not be shocked to see a rat, or at least a cockroach, scurrying across the floor.

This is where I’m pumping between patients, crouched behind the deep dish-washer sink.  I’ve hit my head three times on the damn paper towel dispenser.  My attending has gotten a full-on view of my cattle-like breasts at least twice.  And I think I’m starting to get carpal tunnel due to awk pumping positions.

The first time my attending saw me pumping, he turned around quickly and apologized emphatically.  In an effort to make him feel not so embarrassed, I thoughtlessly stammered, “Oh!  No no, I don’t care at all!”  To which he replied, “But dooo!!!”

Fair enough.

(Side note: I have received nothing but support and encouragement in my efforts to continue breastfeeding.  One of the therapists recently offered the use of her office on another floor, I just haven’t been able to take advantage of it due to time constraints.)

Right now, my experiences have only added a little extra comedy to my days back in clerkships.  But they have made me think about what I’ll choose if I have infants while in residency.  I’m thankful for the wealth of options I, and more women, have.

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