Breastfeeding

I want to pump in my cubicle...

Am I crazy?  My building has a "mother's room" where I pumped 2x/day for a year with DS # 1, so it's not like my cube is my only option.  The room is on a different floor and we have to pick up and drop off a key each time, so it's just a hassle.  I was pumping up to 5x/day total with DS # 1, so it would be nice to be able to get in more pumping while at the office.  There's nowhere on my floor / closer to my desk that I can pump.

If I can do it in my cube instead, I'd be able to pump 3x while at the office instead of 2 and I wouldn't have to make up any missed work time.  I'm still pregnant with DS # 2 so I have a little while to figure this out.  My plan would be to discuss with my nearby coworkers, manager, and HR if necessary to make sure no one would be offended or bothered.  I think the noise would be the main issue - I feel like I could pump under a nursing cover (maybe with a "pumping in progress" sign on the back of my chair so someone approaching my cube might have warning) or put a sheet up over my cube opening or something for visual privacy.  

My main concern is that my cube is literally right outside 3 VPs offices - not private at all.  I'm not so much concerned about my comfort as with the comfort of those walking by while I'm pumping.  I almost feel like it would be less of an issue if I don't even put up a sheet, since the sheet might draw more attention than anything.  I wouldn't want anyone to think I'm doing something I'm not supposed to be, or be like "why does she get to put up a sheet across her cube opening when the rest of us can't?" or whatever.  

I definitely feel like it's more of an "issue" since we have a place I can pump, I just don't want to use it.  Thoughts? 

Re: I want to pump in my cubicle...

  • I would think they would tell you to use the mother's room, since that's what it's there for, and they are providing you with a private place to pump.  I definitely understand about the mother's room not be convienent.  I'm lucky in that our mother's room is right around the corner from where I sit, but there is another pumping mother in another building who has the same complaint - the room is too far away.  I know that she has pumped in her cube, but not told anyone.  I don't know how she could get away with no one noticing (my pump is so loud, everyone would know what I'm up to).  Plus I would be worried someone would walk up to my cube as soon as I was trying to get everything in position.

     I've found that, at least in my work place, people kind of freak out about pumping.  There was actually a report of someone pumping in the restroom.  Apparently it made other people "uncomfortable".  I can see where it would make some people feel uncomfortable, especially if you don't have kids (you don't understand) or if you are a man.

    Of course, every work place is different, and people have different attitudes depending on where you live - so you never know unless you ask. I just think at my work, it would be a big NO.  Especially with the VP's right outside of where I sit.

  • I would talk with the people around you and then mix it up. Maybe use the room twice and your cube once, or something. 

    I have a room at my work, but in order to boost my supply I've recently added a 4th pump on my lunch break and I pump in our break room with a cover. I simply ask if anyone else in the room minds and tell them that I'd be more than happy to use the other room but so dar, no one has minded (even male doctors without children or wives and thus no experience with pumping!). The only weird thing I got was a woman walking into the room and started tip toeing and whispered "oh, you're breastfeeding" to which I said, "no, I'm just pumping and trying to combine my breaks." She then started using a normal volume and walk. So, probably if you talk with the people around you they'll probably have no issues with it. 


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  • This would never fly at my company.  The mothering rooms are there for a reason, but ours are much more accessible than yours.  It wouldn't hurt to discuss with HR though.  I would also discuss with HR how inaccessible your mothering room is and see if they have any plans to make the process a bit easier for employees.

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  • image DottyBlue:

    This would never fly at my company.  The mothering rooms are there for a reason, but ours are much more accessible than yours.  It wouldn't hurt to discuss with HR though.  I would also discuss with HR how inaccessible your mothering room is and see if they have any plans to make the process a bit easier for employees.

    This would never fly at my company either .. in fact I believe my company would feel like it was border line sexual harrassment if I pumped in my cube - maybe your cube is more private then mine?  - My mothers room is downstairs - but I have my own key - maybe you could ask if they could make more keys and have them checked out for the whole duration of your pumping?  (like the whole year etc).  

     I pump on my way to work and way home and twice in the mothers room 

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  • Thanks for the replies!  There's someone in HR I'd feel comfortable talking to about it, so I think I'll start there.  If I had a more private cube, I'd just try it after talking to those around me, but with VPs nearby I feel like I need to make sure I'm playing by the "rules".  We also have a lab on our floor that I could probably steal for 15-20 mins that's close to my cube.  It doesn't have a lock on the door but there's hardly ever anyone in there and maybe if I put up a sign (or just closed the door and used a cover in case someone walked in) that would work once a day so I could get in that 3rd pumping session.  People go in there and close the door to have private phone calls...  

    I definitely hear you with the car pumping - with DS # 1 I pumped while I was getting ready (before he got up), fed him before I left, pumped twice at work, pumped on the way home, fed him when I got home and throughout the evening, pumped after he went to bed, and nursed during the night usually at least twice.  Whew my boobies are tired just remembering all of that! 

  • ilanatilanat
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    I used to pump in a locked conference room since my office does not have a mothering room.  Is there another room you could use that is closer?  Also, can you bring work with you into the mothering room?  Perhaps your company could set you up with a laptop so that you can do work while you are pumping?  I always did work while I pumped at work.  Also, when the conference room was being used, I used a big computer closet to pump and also brought work with me there.  Maybe there are other "rooms" you haven't thought of.  

     

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  • I have a friend who pumped in her cubicle by choice.  She just used a nursing cover.  I think it really depends on your company and your co-workers though.  How comfortable will they be if they walk in on you?  Will HR be angry that you're not using the room provided?  You can mention the inconvenience, but they're not required to provide you with a convenient room, just a private, lockable, non-bathroom, so that, unfortunately might not help.
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