Jessica Shortall

Author of Work. Pump. Repeat; activist for working parents, LGBTQ community, humans

Jessica Shortall is a working mother of two, a social entrepreneur, a writer, and a traveler. She's the author of Work. Pump. Repeat: The New Mom's Survival Guide to Breastfeeding and Going Back to Work, out September 2015 with Abrams Books. She is also an activist for LGBT rights in her adopted state of Texas.

Jessica's meandering career has taken her near and far in the search to do good intelligently. She served in the U.S. Peace Corps in Uzbekistan, drinking more vodka than you'd expect for a Muslim country. She co-founded a non-profit organization in the U.S. which is now active in 40+ cities. She holds an MBA with honors from Saïd Business School, Oxford. She spent 5 years as the Director of Giving for TOMS.

Jessica has a Facebook community and blog, mostly about breastfeeding and working motherhood. She tweets on the same topic at @PumpAtWork, and on everything else at @JessicaShortall.
Trump: The Voice of Business on Breastfeeding and

Trump: The Voice of Business on Breastfeeding and Work

While many of his public statements run contrary to conventional political wisdom, Trump is accurately representing the voice of American business on this one. Many CEOs, managers, co-workers, and human resources professionals all over the country are following the same playbook when it comes to new mothers who need to pump breastmilk while on the job.
30/07/2015 17:05 BST
What Gay Marriage Advocates Aren't Telling

What Gay Marriage Advocates Aren't Telling You

You know all those same-sex marriage advocates who keep saying that marriage equality is not going to have any impact on "traditional" marriage? The message is always the same: our quest for marriage doesn't have anything to do with your marriages, and it won't change a thing for you. They're wrong.
24/02/2015 15:49 GMT
Dear Lactivist: I Am Not a Milk-Delivery

Dear Lactivist: I Am Not a Milk-Delivery System

I am talking about a minority of breastfeeding advocates here. Most of you lovely people do not do what I am about to talk about. And "lactivists" are super important. And all of you - including the ones I'm talking about here - are amazing people who are working hard for women and babies.
10/10/2014 14:09 BST
Breastfeeding Support Is Ignoring Working

Breastfeeding Support Is Ignoring Working Motherhood

Ellie's piece resonated with me on a lot of levels, and I am so proud of her for advocating for something that ALL women and babies, of all socio-economic levels, everywhere, need and deserve. But it also got me thinking that something continues to be missing from this conversation. (I can say this, knowing that Ellie will have my back!)
01/09/2014 11:18 BST
In Breastfeeding, 'Good' Beats 'Perfect' Every

In Breastfeeding, 'Good' Beats 'Perfect' Every Time

When I was pregnant with my second child, I thought about perfect and good. So this time around, I called three friends and made them promise: when my daughter was three months old, they were to call and ask me if she'd had any formula. I would not lie. If the answer was no, they had to come over and give it to her themselves.
02/08/2014 14:48 BST
Surprise! I Don't Hate Raising My

Surprise! I Don't Hate Raising My Kids

So, fine. I do righteous indignation well - just ask my sister for examples from the zero to twenty years period, and my husband can take over from there. But this argument has been made, and made pretty well.
29/04/2014 11:16 BST


Sometimes I don't want them to touch me. Not, like, not EVER. But there are some times - a moment, a minute, an hour - when I really think I'll just take leave of my sanity if someone touches me. I think breastfeeding has a lot to do with this.
15/04/2014 10:28 BST
It's a Shame About

It's a Shame About Breastfeeding

I am having a major insight this week. Here goes: Guilt = response to what one does. Shame = response to what one IS. Which one is at work for me, and for other breastfeeding mothers?
07/04/2014 14:20 BST
Top 10 Hacks for the Working, Breastfeeding

Top 10 Hacks for the Working, Breastfeeding Mother

Pumping breast milk is a part-time job on top of the full-time job, not to mention that other little thing about going home and raising a baby. So it's no wonder that working, breastfeeding women are vertiable magicians when it comes to hacking their jobs, their breast pumps, and their surroundings to make it all work.
02/04/2014 13:41 BST
It Takes a Village to Breastfeed a

It Takes a Village to Breastfeed a Baby

I'm ready to stop because I work full-time, which means I have to make time to pump breast milk during every single work day, and this is not easy. In the past year, I've been on a dozen business trips, which involve incredible planning and logistics to leave enough milk at home, and to pump and travel with dozens of ounces of milk.
28/03/2014 11:29 GMT