Breast Pumps in the Office: Are Your Co-Workers Cool With It?
July 11, 2011
by Sasha Emmons
When I went back to work and pumped after the birth of my first child, I encountered few difficulties other than congestion in the pump room (there were a few of us just off maternity leave). But I once overheard colleagues, none of them parents, from another office expressing disgust over a new mom pumping in a common room set aside for her to pump at certain times. Exactly how they expected this new mom to work in the office and still breastfeed was unclear, all they knew was that it was “gross.”
Plus: New Law to Protect Pumping Moms
They’re not the only ones. In a recent Motherlode post, a new mom confesses she's struggling with pumping after her officemate filed an HR complaint over seeing her black pump bag open with empty bottles visible, saying it “grosses her out.” Mind you, the mom doesn’t pump in the office on the days her colleague is in; she goes to a storage closet/pump room, although other colleagues have also complained about the pump’s appearance there. Besides being super offended, the mom is also puzzled over how to proceed. Is it kosher to wash her pump parts in the kitchen sink? Can she store breastmilk in the office fridge?
Plus: Why I Love My Breast Pump
Did you experience any discomfort or discrimination over pumping at work? How did you handle it?