Since returning from maternity leave in August, NBC’s chief White House correspondent Hallie Jackson has been very busy at work.
On Saturday, Jackson shared a photo of herself on Instagram on Saturday that many new moms could relate to. In it, she’s using a breast pump while riding in a van with other politics reporters headed to the White House. Learning to pump at work is a predicament many women have had to navigate, and it’s made even more challenging when you need to stick to a breast milk schedule but lack the time or privacy on the job.
“Me, my Spectra, and the White House press corps…” Jackson captioned the photo of herself in the car with her breast pump and a scarf draped over her. “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.”
Jackson, 36, gave birth to her first child in March, a girl named Monroe. Since then, she’s been pulling back the curtain on what it’s like to be a working, new mom, showing the ups and downs and even bringing her little one on set with her.
“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,” Jackson continued. “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.”
She went on to explain that she “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.”
Jackson also gave a shoutout to her partner and Monroe’s father, Frank Thorp, who is a producer at NBC News.
“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.”
“We’re down to the 3-week sprint to Election Day,” Jackson concluded. “It may’ve been #mamasfirstpoolpump – but I doubt it’ll be the last.” (The White House press pool is a small group of reporters who cover the White House.)
Many fans could relate to the new mom’s situation.
“You’re an absolute rockstar! So proud,” wrote one commenter.
“Hang in there, Hallie! You are a warrior,” wrote another.
“Good for you! A working mom is 2 full time jobs…maybe 3 for you!” posted another. “That little girl is lucky to have you as a role model!”