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Breast Pumping at Work

Should Breast Pump Parts Be Hidden in the Workplace?

Just how offensive is the lowly breast pump? After years of neglect, the US government is finally making breastfeeding a national issue, requiring employers of large companies to provide new moms with dedicated time and space for pumping (not including the bathroom, and issuing a report outlining steps "all sectors of the community" can take to remove the hurdles women face when trying to nurse. These actions are having the desired effect, with more women trying to feed their lil one's mom's milk after they return to work.

But in a recent post to The New York Times Motherlode blog, a reader suggested that her co-workers are not adjusting with the movement as quickly as employers. She sought advice for dealing with a co-worker who was "uncomfortable" seeing the pumping mama's breast pump parts peeking out of her unzipped bag (mind you, it was tucked away in a bag, not sitting out on a desk or a sink). Commenters noted that they too had negative experiences with colleagues who didn't like to see them washing their pump parts in communal sinks, or seeing their pumped milk in the shared refrigerators. Do you agree with them?

Image Source: Thinkstock
Join The Conversation
ilanac13 ilanac13 6 years
it's actually more so my 'embarrassment' than anything else that i'm saying that they should be discreet. everyone knows when you've just had a baby, but it's one of those things that you don't necessarily need to broadcast out there that you're pumping at work even though it's 100% acceptable and natural. I've been a pumping mom in the past and when i have my baby in a few days, i'll rejoin that group. it's still my goal though to be discreet and not have everything 'out there' for the whole office to see
kmckay kmckay 6 years
silver- I agree with you. It's not glamorous but it isn't embarrassing either. I get so irritated by people who get all squimish about human milk but have no problem chugging down a glass of cow's milk. I'm not asking you to drink my milk- just don't act like it's snot! I'm a teacher so I took to pumping in my classroom hidden from hall view and fortunately had a sink in my room also. I kept my parts tucked into my bag at all times mostly so I wouldn't have to explain to 22 8yr olds what they were :)
Dr-G Dr-G 6 years
This is actually really funny because I think about this a lot as I am toting my pump parts to rinse them in the communal sink. I often wonder if others care, but then I think "why should I have to put them in a bag while they are dirty to bring them to a bathroom to wash?" It's funny and I think if someone is uncomfortable then they should just grow up. Pumping isn't exactly glamorous or enjoyable, we do what we have to do! It is also very tedious to pack away and zip up the pump, I leave it unzipped with a few stray things hanging off it in my office too.
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