For the campus interview for my current job, I had to leave my 7-month old daughter for several days. I left her, but brought the breast pump. I know I'm not the first one who has had to worry about how to gracefully bow out from the interview for a quick trip back to the hotel to pump milk. But I've never heard or read anyone tell their story before. So I thought I'd put it out there.
Breastfeeding moms need to pump their milk (for me, at least a couple times a day) to ensure the milk supply continues. My nursing friend called it "pump-and-dump." In this instance, you're not trying to save up that milk, just keep it from drying up.
But at campus interviews, they think they own you for 48-hours. It might be very awkward to tell the person doing the schedule that you really need to go back to the hotel before dinner. If you don't tell them the reason, they might think you're anti-social, or stubborn, or not a team player. After all, no other candidate asked for such special treatment! If you do tell them, you might wonder at dinner, "Is it just my imagination, or are they staring at my breasts?"
My milk supply was pretty reliable. So in my case, I just suffered through it and pumped at 9pm, once back from dinner. In retrospect, for someone who must pump earlier, I would let the chair of the search and the person in charge of scheduling know that I needed some time back at the hotel for...what? Medical reasons? Personal, medically-related reasons? I wouldn't want to just say "personal reasons"--too vague and too open to interpretation (is she a diva? is she lazy? ....).
In my department, I'm open about such things. But on a job interview, I just don't want to go into details.
Any stories or ideas out there? Have you been interviewed as a lactator? What would you advise someone to say or do? How to make it not quite so awkward?