Real Moms Share Their Pump at Work Stories
Popsugar Moms: It's a dilemma all breastfeeding, working moms must face where to pump once the maternity leave ends. While some companies provide new moms with a private, safe space, others force women to pump in disgusting, degrading circumstances.
So Popsugar Moms asked there readers to share their stories about trying to pump in the office. From the funny to the frustrating, we hope their experiences convince employers to create more mom-friendly environments for their female workers.
"I worked at the same hospital that I delivered in . . . We were a birth center and set up a pumping room for any of the ladies who worked at the hospital to use as needed. The room could hold three moms at a time. It was nice to be able to talk with someone while I pumped." — Pam A.
"The company I worked for built a small room with [a] lockable door inside the gym locker room for breastfeeding moms. We felt very supported." — Diane C.
"Our office had a doctor's office in the basement with a room dedicated for that. They even had a fridge in there!" — Linda S.
"I had a private office, and everyone was understanding, except the owner of the company, who also was a woman. She never had children of her own and came down hard on those of us who did. One day when I was pumping, she asked my boss to have me come to an impromptu meeting. I explained it would be a few minutes but was told I had to stop and come right away. Needless to say, the meeting was absolutely pointless and lasted only five minutes." — Karin N.
"I was working as a surgical physician assistant when I had my first. I pumped between surgeries in the locker room on a bench — no privacy." — Mandy M.
"Even though I work in a restaurant that's connected to a hotel, I still have to pump in the unisex bathroom. I have good support, except for one guy who has made some gross comments." — Andrea O.
"I had to pump in my car, unless it was really cold. Then I pumped in our shared break room in front of everyone. I would sit in the corner where everyone would hang coats and purses. And yes, I would hand people their belongings and also hang them up . . . midpump." — Wendy H.
"I worked for an attorney and had to pump in the bathroom. It was really awkward for me when other people came in. And trying to explain to people why there were bottles in the fridge. But hey, you do what you need to do." — Elizabeth S.
"I had my own private office so I simply shut the door and pumped away. [The] only embarrassing time was [when] I forgot to mute the phone on one of my conference calls and someone asked what that stupid noise was. LOL." — Christie S.
"With my first one I had to pump in a very small office that all of us had to share. The door had a huge window and there was a camera in there, too! Plus I had to hold onto both sides of the pump at once and eat all at the same time. Sometimes it got very interesting. LOL." — Lisa C.
"I was fortunate enough to have an office with a door that locked. My co-workers made signs with cows on them for me to hang on my door when I was pumping so that they could be sure not to disturb me." — Jennifer M.
"As a first-time mom and the first person to have a baby where I worked, I was given an office but asked to answer phones and do work while I pumped. I would pump once in an 8 to 5 workday. My milk supply dried up within a week of going back to work." — Jill L.
"The designated 'lactation room' is a shared conference room that co-workers are constantly dropping into unscheduled and aren't respectful of the times we have it scheduled for pumping. Also, there is no key to the door lock and our nightly cleaning people lock the door every night, so we have to find someone to pick the lock every morning." — Tisha T.
"My boss at the time hated my new family commitments and made it very difficult [for me]. She moved my hours around, had me on a different route, and cut my hours to part-time. I thought I was going back to a stable position, where I could pump at work. Nope! She stuck me driving a long route from [Portland, OR,] to Seattle and Portland to Yakima, WA. I pumped in truck stops [and] parking lots with lots [of] people around. It was awful. I was so stressed out my milk started drying up." — Amber-Lee S.
"Our office does not have a designated pumping area so I was sent to pump in the supplies closet because, 'no one ever really goes there.' Ha! I was about 10 minutes into pumping my first day back and a woman walked in on me. I inevitably decided to leave the company and stay home. Now I can breastfeed and not deal with the pump all that much." — Brooke H.