Is your workplace lactation friendly? — The Bump
Breastfeeding

Is your workplace lactation friendly?

I am probably meeting with our HR director to discuss my agency's nursing moms policy. ?Currently, our internal p&p states we comply w/ the new federal law about allowing for nursing breaks and private space. However, they still haven't designated a true lactation room. ?As I don't have my own office w/ a door, I have to ask my boss to loan me his office 3x a day. ?While he is gracious, I have a feeling this is going to get old fast. ? For those of you who pump at work and don't have private offices, what do you do? What is your work's policy? ?I want to get a sense of what it is like for others. ?Space is a luxury at my work, but I feel my agency could be a lot more supportive of nursing moms. ?Hence, my meeting with HR. ?I also shared with him the Surgeon General's press release from last week about nursing and the workplace. ?Have any of you tried to strengthen your workplace's support of nursing?

Re: Is your workplace lactation friendly?

  • I am a vendor working inside a goverment plant. My actual employer gives me any and all time I want/need to nurse paid. The plant that I work at provides the space, they have various lacation rooms around the plant and i use the one closest to my work area. I work 2nd shift so I pretty much have the room to myself after 5PM. Its very small but we're given lockers to keep our stuff a chair and table and a sink and fridge.
  • I am an elementary substitute teacher, so my situation is pretty unique as I have to find a new place to pump every time I work. Usually the classroom or an empy office. Only one of the 3 districts that I subbed for was very helpful with finding places to pump. In fact, 2 of them told me to use the adult restroom. Yeah... nope. Not happening! And, since I am not a contracted employee, I use my 25 minute lunch break to pump, so only once per day. Thankfully I produce milk like a mad woman and my body adjusted and my supply stayed up.

     My husband's accounting firm on the other hand has a "break room" that has pretty much become the designated pumping room. It's really nice! I usually nurse Ethan in there while we visit him for lunch. It has a leather reclining chair, comfy low lighting, a mini fridge, sink, etc.

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  • I'm going through some work issues with this right now, even though I've been pumping at work for 6 months!! I don't have an office either. We have a nurse located at my workplace and the designated lactation room is the exam room (gross, I know).  But they use this to see employees with injuries, questions, etc.  I have scheduled times, but I still have to wait sometimes.  It's getting ridiculous.  Twice recently I have not been able to get into the room and I've ended up in the bathroom.  I too will be meeting with HR soon.  So, no, I don't think my workplace is very supportive.  I work with a large company and I already know of 2 other women who are pumping.  There is a need for a better room.  I think they're working on it, but it needs to be better now!  GL to you!
  • My office owns two floors in our building.  The floor I work on has a little tiny room (used to be the supply closet) inside the bathroom that you have to pump in.  Today was my first day back and when I went to pump my pump wouldn't work.  So I went to the other floor into the handicapped bathroom and pumped in there, sitting on a chair I brought in from our lunch room.  For some reason the bathroom on my floor doesn't have enough power for my pump.  And I hate having to pump in either location but there's nothing I can do.  I honestly don't believe my company would do anything if I said something.

  • I am very lucky - my office is really BF-friendly. I was honestly kind of scared because I just recently went back and I wasn't sure what to expect.

    We have a dedicated lactation room that even has hospital-grade pumps in it (you can buy a kit to hook up to it, or bring your own pump instead.) Each station is semi-private, so you can talk to other people in the room but not be totally exposed while doing so. It has a refrigerator, freezer, and sink, as well as lockers that you can leave a small amount of personal items in. They've even got parenting books and magazines in the room. And to boot we have a nurse on staff that is available to answer questions if we have them (she does stuff for the company other than just lactation stuff, but it's something she seems pretty passionate about.)

    It may be because my company is very large and thus can afford to provide this amenity, but I'm sure glad they can.

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  • NOPE!

    I had 15 minutes mid - morning, a dirty closet with no lock, a bare bulb and teenagers walking by outside the door (I teach high school). I sat on the ground up against the door.

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  • I'm really lucky. I work in a hospital so it's 98% women--many of whom have pumped at work. I've had offers from 2 people to use their offices to pump and one of my supervisors just had a baby and will have just weaned when I get back. So yes, everyone is super supportive. I'm only worried about maintaining my productivity while taking pumping breaks--I really don't want to have to be there for an extended day to make up the time, especially since I work about an hour from home.
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  • Hm, no I wouldn't say my workplace is "friendly." Best way to put it is they have a don't ask don't tell policy. There are two conference rooms that lock with no windows so I've been using those for the past 5 months. I get "the look" every time I walk by with my bag but I don't care. If they have a problem they would have said something by now.
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