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Bina Goleminova

SAP North America Innovation Office – Strategy and Customer Experience Team

Sometimes, it’s the littlest things that matter, the things you do not because you have to, that show you’re willing to go the extra mile. I am thankful for SAP and my SAP family, for always going the extra mile.

Bina Goleminova  

#ThankfulforSAP: Sustaining a new mom and her son


Milk Stork

A travel solution for breastfeeding moms. Milkstork is a breast milk deliverey service for business traveling moms. Nursing moms can use overnight express shipping or easy toting of breast milk home to baby when they are on the road.


by Bina Goleminova

 

During the delivery of my second son, Mladen, his heart rate had started dropping and disappearing. He was born not breathing, blue and floppy. I couldn’t see him, because the nurses had tilted my head lower than the rest of my body. I wasn’t worried about what I wasn’t seeing. I was scared about what I wasn’t hearing. I kept asking my husband why Mladen wasn’t crying, and I have no idea if he answered or what he said. After a few minutes, which felt like forever, I heard Mladen cry out, and after a few more minutes, he was placed on my chest.

Over the next fifteen minutes or so, Mladen was slowly starting to breathe normally. His initial struggle, for air, for life, magnified his vulnerability and solidified my determination that we would make breastfeeding work this time. I had a difficult time nursing my older son and only did it for a few months, but becoming good at it seemed all the more important with my second one.

It was no easier, though. It went in ebbs and flows, with Mladen getting sick early on, near the end of my maternity leave. He had bronchiolitis and luckily, he wasn’t hospitalized for it, but feeding him – in any way – was a struggle. By the time I was back at work, he was consuming a mix of breastmilk and formula, which, to me, was still a resounding success. I was determined to keep it going for as long as I could.

SAP made my life as a nursing mother possible. There were plenty of wellness rooms to use as soon as I walked into the office, after my 90-minute commute. I had a routine of calls and meetings, breaks for pumping, then cleaning and sterilizing parts, sometimes three or four times a day. It was never an issue and although, of course, it was difficult at times, my manager, all of my team, and colleagues who knew I was nursing were extraordinarily supportive and understanding. For that, I will always be thankful.

With SAPPHIRE NOW, SAP’s largest global business technology event, on the horizon four months after I returned to work, I was seriously worried about being away from my then six-month old baby, without any significant amount of stock-piled milk at home. I wasn’t sure what to do and even tried to wean Mladen, but he wouldn’t have it, which only meant he wasn’t ready. A co-worker reminded me a recent internal HR newsletter had information about Milk Stork, a new SAP benefit for nursing mothers. I looked into it and decided to give it a try. It sounded easy enough.

The whole sign-up and shipment arrangement process probably took less than five minutes. Before your business trip, you provide your destination, and Milk Stork sends a box that includes everything you need to be able to store and overnight breast milk home. My box was waiting for me when I checked into my hotel.

During SAPPHIRE NOW, I used the first aid station to pump and refrigerate milk throughout the day. On day three of SAPPHIRE NOW, I got my Milk Stork box ready and dropped it off for FedEx. I was planning on taking the rest with me on my flight home.

As anyone who has been at SAPPHIRE NOW knows, it is an absolutely crazy time. Knowing that I was going to be there AND pumping would have been intimidating anywhere else but here, at SAP. No matter what questions I had before heading to Orlando, where to pump, where to store milk, etc., they always got answered. The confidence that SAP had my back, and the convenience of Milk Stork, made the difference between weaning Mladen prematurely and nursing him for another four months. We stopped when he was 10 months old.

When you have a newborn, and are just going back to work, there are so many things you worry about. I was constantly making plans and scheduling things, then updating everything on the go. I worried about Mladen staying healthy, feeding, napping, and producing enough dirty diapers, about my clothes not fitting right, about not drinking enough water, about not forgetting pump parts (which had happened, at the worst possible times), about staying coherent during important conversations I was having on 2-3 hours of sleep.

One thing I didn’t have to worry about was what to do about pumping at work, and how to get through that week at SAPPHIRE NOW. I have always been thankful for the great benefits we enjoy at SAP and for the flexibility we have to integrate our work and home lives. In the grand scheme of things, Milk Stork is a drop in the bucket, a “nice to have”, and probably only helpful to a niche of nursing and travelling female co-workers. I’m sure SAP could easily go without it. But sometimes, it’s the littlest things that matter, the things you do not because you have to, that show you’re willing to go the extra mile. I am thankful for SAP and my SAP family, for always going the extra mile.

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