Where do you pump at work?

Katrina - posted on 09/09/2009 ( 34 moms have responded )

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I am returning to work next week and will be pumping, but am curious where others pump at work. I don't have an office of my own, so the bathroom will have to work for me. So where do you pump at work.

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Darcel - posted on 09/14/2009

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I looked it up. South Dakota does not have a law demanding a seperate place to pump at work - YET. Some groups are working on it. One good thing about living in CA is that by LAW the job must have a place to pump in private seperate from the bathroom!

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Mindy - posted 1 day ago

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The Affordable Care Act amended Section 7 of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA).
In short, employers are required to provide “reasonable break time for an employee to express breast milk for her nursing child for 1 year after the child’s birth each time such employee has need to express the milk.” Employers are also required to provide “a place, other than a bathroom, that is shielded from view and free from intrusion from coworkers and the public, which may be used by an employee to express breast milk.”

This law is federal so applies to all states.

Here's the link: http://www.dol.gov/whd/regs/compliance/w...

Katrina - posted on 09/22/2009

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Thanks so much for all of the suggestions!! It goes to show that there are a lot of very resourceful moms out there. My supervisor offered his office when he isn't there, he is off two of the days I work. Otherwise I have used bathrooms (that are cleaned everyday and checked often for cleanliness). My supervisor was supportive of whatever I suggested, as long as he "didn't have to participate." :-) He is a good friend and made the uncomfortable conversation topic not as awkward as it could have been. I just figure it out as each day comes because my schedule changes every day.



Those who have been asking where I work, I would really prefer not to say, but I will say that I work for the federal government. I don't work in an office, that's why I don't have one. I staff visitor desks and give informative programs for the public. I am outside a good portion of the day and sometimes evening. But some of the time I have for projects or to work on my programs or lunch has been turned into pumping time. This seasonal job only will last until the end of October into the beginning of November. Then I will be off work until January when I start a part time seasonal job until April (when I go back to this job).



Again thanks for all of the advice and suggestions, I didn't even know about the Medela steam microwave bags before I put this question out.

Carlyn - posted on 09/14/2009

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I pumped in a closet off the main break room. It was just big enough for a chair. It didn't lock, but the door opened in, so I just put the chair against the door and pumped away. I stuck my laptop on a shelf and did e-mail and other work while pumping. Even though the door didn't lock, there was only one time in a full year of pumping that someone tried to come in, bumped the chair, said "sorry", and left.

I also pumped during my commute using an adapter and a hands free pump holder. I just set it up before I left my garage, and broke it down when I got to work. I used the Medela steam microwave bags to clean the horns between uses. Once, when the closet was being worked on by an electrician, I drove my car to a park and pumped in my car during my lunch.

If you have a fairly small company, I think the DVD storage room would work. Just send out an e-mail explaining the situation, then hang a sign on the doorknob when you are in there letting people know that it is currently a "mommy room" and to please knock. You might be surprised by the polite compliance of your peers. After all, many of them once had kids and know how important it is to give them the best start possible. And really, how hard is it to come back in 20 or 30 minutes to get the things you need from the closet?

For other ideas, check out the pumpmoms board at yahoo. They have some great advice.

Sabrina - posted on 09/14/2009

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I work at IHOP on 3rd shift. I pump on the closed section of the store, the other room is open sometimes though. I just make sure I sit where no one can see me. If they do oh-well! I keep doing what I need to do. No one has complained thus far. My co-workers and I have a great laugh about it. I'm poster mom for 'Got Milk?' there. LOL!!!

Natalie - posted on 09/14/2009

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I pump in the bathroom at work...... It is a private bathroom so i am comfortable.... it is quite and i can relax:) just don't forget to lock the door!!!!!LOL

Stacey - posted on 09/14/2009

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I also wanted to add that if for some reason I couldn't pump while working, there is a break room (catchall room) which has a microwave, fridge and a chair off in the corner that we keep a playpen next to so I can pump, or when my babe is up at work with me (occasionally) I can put him down for a nap in the playpen. It's a very quiet, sanitary room.

Stacey - posted on 09/14/2009

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Well, I'm lucky enough to be able to pump while I'm working for the most part. I work for a jewelry designer and make jewelry, so I can pump while I'm sitting there making jewelry. One of the other girls I work with doesn't mind (I use a nursing wrap to cover myself up) and my sister works with me too and I don't even cover up when she's there. My boss doesn't care either. I just try and make sure I'm covered up when she is around. But that's my situation. I'm sure in many other jobs it wouldn't be this easy! What kind of job do you have?

Stina - posted on 09/12/2009

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With my first child, I worked on call in the kitchen I worked in while pregnant. I talked to my boss about a time and place to pump. He offered up his office and covered the little window with paper so I could have privacy. I also worked part time at a place with all women... we took breaks one at a time so it was no big deal to pump in the break room.



it helps to communicate with your supervisor. Let them know what you need and what you are willing to do so it works for everyone.

Jennifer - posted on 09/12/2009

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I am a therapist, so if no one is on the mat table in the therapy room, I pull the curtain and set up there. All the other therapist are women so far so it works out well. Otherwise, I have pumped in the bathroom or in the computer room if no where else.

Salem - posted on 09/12/2009

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I have a one-room office that I share with a male co-worker, so I have been sneaking into a vacant office down the hall from us and locking the door. I drug a chair in there and just sit facing the wall and reading a magazine...dreary, yes, but it's working so far.

Tabitha - posted on 09/12/2009

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I personally have a private office that I can pump, but I have heard of mom's pumping in bathrooms or cars and if in the medical field a open patient room.

Goh - posted on 09/11/2009

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My office nearby have shopping mall. So everytime during my lunch break, I will go over to the shopping mall's Nursing room.

Nicole - posted on 09/11/2009

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When I was working, I pumped anywhere but the bathroom. I don't cook in the bathroom so I won't provide baby food in there either.

Katrina - posted on 09/11/2009

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Thanks again for the suggestions and advice. I live in South Dakota and as far as I can figure out they don't have any special laws/regulations regarding breast feeding. We have a medical room, but it is reserved ONLY for people with medical emergencies. I plan to talk to my supervisor today, but there are really no offices available. The suggestions to pump in my car are great, it crossed my mind because I have an adapter for that. My pump can also take batteries. There is a room that might work, not an office but a room with AV equipment (DVD players and such) that I believe I could use. It would be as clean as an office and it is tucked off in an area that I don't think I would be bothered. Plus it has a lock, unfortunately all of my co-workers have the key. My place of work is extremely short of any private space because our main function is to work with the public, plus I am a seasonal employee which puts me at the bottom of the list for just about everything.

Grace - posted on 09/11/2009

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i'm a doctor, and i usually pump milk in our admin office ;) no one dares bother me!

Janel - posted on 09/11/2009

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I have pumped everywhere, but I like my car and office best. If possible try not to go in the bathroom, and may I recommend those microwavable sterilizer bags that medela makes...it's a lifesaver in the breakroom and doesn't gross everyone out. Oh and if your phone has video camera on it, a few videos of baby for inspiration really works for me to help let down. Good Luck!

Wendy - posted on 09/10/2009

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I was on the road when I was breastfeeding as well as in an office. The great thing about cars is you can get an adapter for your pump to plug into your lighter or other power port and if you sit in the back seat and have a shade block on both back windows (unless you are lucky enough to have a minivan or other car with tinted windows. I would take my lunch in my car and pump while I was in there, a little more privacy than the bathroom which will definitely help your milk flow. If you are able, I would definitely recommend renting a hospital grade pump with a dual pumping hookup (medela makes a great product) because it cuts your pumping time in half, the dual stimulation actually can help with milk letdown and if you get coordinated enough (trust me it can be done) you can eat at the same time :) Between my two children I breastfed and pumped for a total of 3 yrs, and was a bf consultant for moms with premies (both mine were) and for new moms. Hope your week goes well.

Tammy - posted on 09/10/2009

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The company I worked for when I returned to work while still BF'ing had a "sick room" where someone could lay down if they felt ill, and it locked. I used that, although I had to request that they put a chair in there since the cot was too far away from any outlet and it was rather inconvenient to pump while standing. Worked out ok, other than I always took the pump home dirty because I never did figure out how to wash & airdry the parts at work!

Shauna - posted on 09/10/2009

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I pump on the way to work and on the way home in the car. I am only away from my baby 4 hrs a day right now so this works. I spend half my drive doing this.

Nikki - posted on 09/10/2009

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First question is what state do you live in? Look up the laws supporting breastfeeding in the workplace. Some states require employers to provide a sanitary room to pump in - the bathroom is NOT a sanitary place to pump. I pump in an extra office that isn't being used at the times that I pump. I wash my accessories in the bathroom and purchased my own microwave to steam sanitize them after each use.

Katrina - posted on 09/09/2009

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Thanks for all of the good advice and ideas. The bathrooms I would use are staff only and very large also has a lock (not multiple user). They are not the only ones available, so I wouldn't be taking the only one away from co-workers. The thing is where I work offices are at a premium and I know they don't have a room designated for pumping. I was told that I was the first woman in my division to have a baby in a long time, most of them didn't even know what the maternity for our government agency looked like. My big worry other than place to pump is finding time. I will do it, but I split my time between an information desk and being outside with the public visitors who come to see the memorial/park I work at. I will talk to my supervisor to see if he has any suggestions beyond the bathroom, but unfortunately I don't think he will. But who knows.

Maegan - posted on 09/09/2009

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In the bathroom. Not the most comfortable place but it works and I am only pumping for like 15 minutes.

Tanicka - posted on 09/09/2009

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they may have a special place for that i work at a university and the actually have a special room for pumping. at the nurses station. look around and or call the job and ask them they have to make something work other then the bathroom if you do not want to use that they have laws that make a lot of work places adhere by. be sure to ask. i will try to help you find some info about it if you would like. my email is tastephe@gmail.com

Laura - posted on 09/09/2009

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ICK! Stay out of the bathroom! I've had to do that a couple of times, and it is ridiculous. The mere thought of the germs blanketing that place creeps me out!
I tried finding private offices to pump in, but they were in short supply. I finally just got a "hooter hider" (essentially the same thing you use for breast-feeding in public) and covered myself with that. We had a common room (like a lunch room) that I used. I was up-front with people and told them I was using my breast pump, and they were free to the leave the room if they felt uncomfortable. The way I see it, I was covered up, so they could deal with it. I would, however, recommend discussing this situation with your boss. He/she might have better suggestions. The key is to be sure you feel safe, sanitary, and comfortable where you pump. Good luck, and keep us updated on how it turns out!

Shellie - posted on 09/09/2009

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you should check with your manager and state laws that deal with breastfeeding because MS is working on laws to help breastfeeding moms returning to work and being given a place to pump or nurse at besided the restrooms.... besides who wants to eat in the restroom right??

Jessann - posted on 09/09/2009

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When I worked at Sonic, I would go to my car and pump with a blanket covering myself. This was best for me. I first did so in the restroom, but it was not fair to the other workers, because it was only one women's stall.

D.Denise - posted on 09/09/2009

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Sadly, the bathroom is the most available place to pump, though not the MOST sanitary. It's especially inconvenient if there's only a SINGLE bathroom and you have to utilize it while others are waiting. Others get annoyed if you are using the electric pumps and wonder what that sound is while in the bathroom. There were no clean ready made rooms available to lactating women, though there should be! Good luck! :)

Sara - posted on 09/09/2009

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I worked in a small retail store and pumped in the break room. I just put a lock on it and my employees were aware so I wasn't disturbed. Good luck!

Meaghan - posted on 09/09/2009

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What state are you in? There may be some laws to protect your right to pump in a private place.

I started out pumping in the public bathrooms but quickly got tired of hear "What's that noise?" from other around me. With the help of a co-worker who pumped in the past we found a supply closet (which isn't as bad as it sounds) for me to use.

Karissa - posted on 09/09/2009

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Hmmm... when my daughter was 4 weeks I went back to work part time at K-mart and I pumped in my managers office during a 15 min break I had... and then when I went back to work full time at a home owners association I pumped in the bathroom... you learn to make it work!!

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