how am i supposed to find time(or privacy) at work to pump??? i don't have an office job

Jennifer - posted on 10/10/2010 ( 10 moms have responded )

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i don't have an office to hide in or a desk to sit behind. i'm a shift manager at my local pizza hut. more often than not i'm the only manager on duty so i can't leave the other employees unsupervised and we r in our buisiest season right now an i'll be lucky to get a moment to breath nevermind hooking up to a pump. i didn't work when i had my first son and was able to bf him all the time with no problems. but now i have to work and i don't want to stop bfing my second son... i want him to have the same as his brother. i'm worried about going to work and not being able to pump and my milk eventually drying up. on top of all this i'm having issues with the sitter not being available. can't afford another sitter, can't afford the cost of formula, i need to be working... but if going to work is going to cost me my ability to bf and litterally cost me to buy formula and a new sitter... is going back to work gong to be worth it....??????
sorry i got on a rant... just wanted to get some advice on everything... i dont have many people to talk to where i live. any advice will be helpful

10 Comments

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Leah - posted on 10/11/2010

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I work at a McDonalds (so I know your pain!) but almost every state has a law requiring that every employee has the opportunity to pump/feed whenever necessary. Check for it online, and if you find something print it out and take it to your manager. If there is any trouble whatsoever (suspension, saying that you will not be able to at work, saying if you leave the floor for any reason you'll be fired etc.) tell them that you are doing whats necessary for your childs health, and that you will fight any disciplinary action they pull. If they threaten or go through with any disciplinary action--go to the press. They love a story like this.

If your state doesn't have a law about breastfeeding while at work, speak with your manager about allowing you 10-15 minute breaks here and there to do what's necessary. If they don't want to work with you, consider finding another job or going higher up than your manager.
Good Luck! And remember to stick with it, as I've heard there's no greater joy than to breastfeed, and no greater benefit for your baby :D

Momof1 - posted on 10/11/2010

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I work at Panera Bread. I was the first to pump there. I talked to HR while I was still pregnant and told them I would need to pump. When I came back, they said I could pump in a storage room. I felt weird at first, so I pumped in my car. Then another girl had her baby and came back to work. She started pumping in the room, so I started to, also. 2 weeks ago, I went to work, only to find that they tore the storage room apart. Sigh. So now I am back to my car. The other girl pumps in the office, but I don't feel comfortable with that, although I know I have rights and they are the ones who tore the room down, when they knew they had 2 pumpers and maybe one to come.
But I'm not a manager, so I'm not sure how that will work for you, since you need to be there. Our store always has at least 2 managers there. When I went back to work, I worked 7 hour shifts, pumping only once. Now I work longer shifts and pump only once, because now my boobs are used to going longer without breastfeeding. I hope something works out for you. I understand how you are feeling. I thought I would be fired, after I went back, due to pumping, but it worked out.

Jena - posted on 10/10/2010

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I work in a Video Department in a grocery store. I was really worried about this but I talked to my department manager about it and she talked to the store manager and they allowed me to use his office to pump. I was also allowed to use my department managers locker to store my pump. I would have to work 8 hour days alone and paige someone to cover my breaks. It took me a total of 15 min to set up pump and clean up. I pumped on both my 15's and 15 min of my unpaid half hour lunch break. It was tiring but I never had to buy formula.

Lise - posted on 10/10/2010

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I pump in my car. With the way I have myself setup, start to finish is 15-20 minutes.

Brittany - posted on 10/10/2010

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i work at a subway in a gas station and there are only two people per shift including myself and i tell them i need to be excused for a bit to "go and do my thing" lol i told them before i went back to work that it is something i need to do and if other employees can have smoke breaks i should have my time. its possible. you just have to make it work. some pumps have car adaptors if that interest you at all. hope things work out. dont get discouraged. also, i work 6-7 hour shifts and don't pump at work anymore because i have built up an adequate supply and the stretch without feeding doesn't have any affect on my supply. i pump about an hour and a half before i leave for work and feed my son 30 minutes before i leave to insure i am well emptied and nice and full when i come home and feed him asap. after a while you will rarely have to at work but i wouldn't recommend doing this until you know you can. best of luck! don't stress it too much. ;)

Michele - posted on 10/10/2010

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You didn't mention if you are living with the child's father but if so, my suggestion would be to try to stay home. Based on your points, I think you know your answer. Or, bf in the car. I did this many times. I drove to a large lot, moved to the backseat with tinted windows and pumped away. I bought a converter for the car to plug the pump into it and used the car battery. I brought a cooler pack with insertable ice packs because I didn't want my breast milk in the work fridge. Also, I only worked when my daughter's father could watch her. Our belief was that we would stretch our dollar until it screamed uncle just so one of us could be home with our dd and we didn't have to do daycare or sitter. No one else has the same level of love, caring, nurturing, desire to see the child learn, grow, develop good language and behavior skills, etc. as a loving parent. Good luck.

Alison - posted on 10/10/2010

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when i went back to work after my son they had to change things for me so that i could feed my child its in our working laws that the enployer has to alow time for breastfeeding mums time to do this and if your expressing your milk they have to supply a safe place for you to store it. so i had no conserns when i went back to work..i hope you can sort it out and look at your rules of work that might help as there might be something in there about the rules of your work enviroment

Amy - posted on 10/10/2010

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Do you have an office where your safe is? I put a sign up on my office door that says do not disturb. I work retail and have 9 hour days, there are nights that I am the only manager in the building, I'm not supposed to leave the floor unattended either but I do! I let the employees know that I'm stepping off of the floor and to call the office f they need me. I would look into your state laws to see if you are protected to pump at work, also look into your companies policies and procedures and what they say about pumping. You work for a chain restaurant I'm sure they allow some protections. If not express your concern to your manager, the owner, the district manager keep going up the chain of command till someone is willing to take action! Make sure you let them know all the benefits, like fewer missed days at work because your child won't get sick as often!

Jennifer - posted on 10/10/2010

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a typical shift can be anywhere from 4-8 hrs, 5-7 days a week.and i'm on call on my days off. there is only me and one other manager and because there is only the two of us we rarely work at the same time. we're are not allowed to leave the store without another manager on duty. my baby is just tuning 6 wks old and i'm supposed to be back at work by the end of the week. my husband has a full time job with a set schedule. the only thing i can think of is cutting back my hours at work... but that would seem pointless.

April - posted on 10/10/2010

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is there someone you can talk to at your job? you don't have to go into detail, just ask if it would be possible to delegate your duties for a few minutes while you pump?

also...i need to know how long is a typical work day for you and how old your baby is in order to answer your questions in more depth.

also....do you have a significant other? maybe he can change his job around so that you both are not working at the same time? if he is available while you are working, could he bring the baby to your job and you nurse in the car?

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