White House Reporter Breast-Pumps in Car While Covering Trump's Hospitalization

·3 min read

During his hospitalization for COVID-19, President Donald Trump left Walter Reed National Military Medical Center for a casual joyride that endangered the lives of his staff. White House correspondent Hallie Jackson, however, left Walter Reed after working three days straight and sleeping six hours and holding a press conference with Trump’s doctors — and pulled out her breast pump in the car to get to work on her other job: mom.

“Me, my Spectra, and the White House press corps…” Jackson began her Instagram caption, alongside a photo of her in a mask and nursing cover-up, pumping like a boss in the moving van. “This happened on the way back from Walter Reed Sunday, during the president’s hospitalization, in a van carrying the small group of reporters who travel with the president. It was my turn that day. I hadn’t pumped since 7 that morning.”

Jackson adds that due to spearheading live coverage of the President’s hospitalization, she was not only unable to pump for many hours; she was unable to keep up with the other “shoulds” that would sustain her pumping, either — such as, you know, hydrating and getting enough rest. But she’s not about to let the stress make her feel like she’s not a good enough mom to baby Ro.

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me, my Spectra, and the White House press corps… This happened on the way back from Walter Reed Sunday, during the president's hospitalization, in a van carrying the small group of reporters who travel with the president. It was my turn that day. I hadn’t pumped since 7 that morning, and by the time we set up the live shot at the hospital, held a news conference with the president's doctors, and then – the dagger – hit traffic on the Beltway, it was 12:30 and now or never. So after I fired off a pool note letting everyone know we were headed back to the White House, I pulled out my trusty pumping bag. @jacquelynmartin asked to take a photo. (She thought @frankthorpv would appreciate it.) It's just a picture, but to me it's a snapshot in time: on day 3 of nonstop coverage, on about 6 hours of sleep total, during one of the most intense weeks in my professional life. Not a day went by this week where I didn't miss at least one pumping session. All the things you're supposed to do to keep up your milk supply went out the window: regular removal, hydration, plenty of rest (lololololol) But you know what? It's okay. Yep, I sure did struggle with guilt and anxiety about the absolute avalanche at work consuming my life. But a little self-compassion goes a long way: I'm doing my best. Most moms are. And it's going to be okay. I've been lucky to be able to lean on a lot of people this week for help, like the women journalists in the press corps who have been through the new-mom crush-of-news wringer before. And I'm lucky to have Frank, who ended the week as exhausted as me. Home full-time with Ro right now, he cooked breakfast in the morning, did tummy time in the afternoon, and baked cookies for dinner after I finally collapsed through the door at night. He picked up my slack, and my mess. And he cheered me on every minute of our round-the-clock coverage. Superman. Anyway. That's the story behind the photo. After a break today, and @meetthepress tomorrow, we're down to the 3-week sprint to Election Day. It may've been #mamasfirstpoolpump – but I doubt it'll be the last. 📸: @jacquelynmartin 🙏

A post shared by Hallie Jackson (@hallie_gram) on Oct 10, 2020 at 7:45am PDT

“On day 3 of nonstop coverage, on about 6 hours of sleep total, during one of the most intense weeks in my professional life,” Jackson continues. “Not a day went by this week where I didn’t miss at least one pumping session. All the things you’re supposed to do to keep up your milk supply went out the window: regular removal, hydration, plenty of rest (lololololol). But you know what? It’s okay. Yep, I sure did struggle with guilt and anxiety about the absolute avalanche at work consuming my life. But a little self-compassion goes a long way: I’m doing my best. Most moms are. And it’s going to be okay.”

You hear that, moms? That goes for you, too — even if you’re not an awe-inspiring Chief White House Correspondent in the middle of documenting the total crisis of both healthcare and democracy that 2020 has been and continues to be. Whatever your job, whatever your point in parenting, whether you are breastfeeding or formula-feeding or potty-training or talking a teen through puberty: You are doing your best. And it’s going to be okay.

Just don’t forget: As Jackson concluded her post, we are now heading into “the 3-week sprint to Election Day.” So take your badass mom self and all your struggles and successes alike and GO VOTE.

These public breastfeeding photos prove moms are the ultimate multitaskers.

Launch Gallery: These 27 Gorgeous Photos of Black Mothers Breastfeeding Are Sending a Revolutionary Message

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