It's working for Megan Kellogg
“Our work is not like a 9-5 sort of job. Here I am, preparing for a show that is opening next month … with only three 10-minute breaks, one of which needs to be my time to pump.”
Megan Kellogg didn’t expect to be back at work so quickly. But just two months after her son Jayden was born, she landed a coveted spot in the opera chorus with Washington National Opera for The Flying Dutchman, premiering at D.C.’s prestigious John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts.
Kellogg jumped at the opportunity, but knew she would have to have the conversation about how, when, and where she could pump while at rehearsals and performances.
“Our work is not like a 9-5 sort of job,” said Megan. “Here I am, preparing for a show that is opening next month, working three days a week for nine hours a week, with only three 10-minute breaks, one of which needs to be my time to pump.”
The stage manager arranged an office for Megan to use, the same office that the manager had used years before to pump as a new mom returning to work. Megan acknowledged that 10 minutes isn’t much time, but she’s making the most of it. “I have to run to the room and pump as much as I can. When I get home, my son loves to eat, so I don’t want to have pumped right before then.”
It’s working though. Megan credits her ability to pump as helping her transition back to work, even though it is slightly sooner than she would like. “Most women return at three months,” she explained. And her husband, another opera singer, has had his own transition challenges watching Jayden at home. “We had trouble finding a bottle that worked for him,” Megan said. “But after a few days, they both got the hang of it.”
Megan’s advice for pumping moms in the theatre? If possible, talk to your union or stage manager. “I work for an AGMA (American Guild of Musical Artists) house, I think they are great at looking out for the chorus members to make sure we have the access we need — including pumping moms,” she said. “I’m really glad it’s working out as well as it has been.”