Embarassed/Hurt/Sad — The Bump


So there are four people in my department including me.  One of them is a woman who also just had her baby. My office is in the main room and I share it with our director so I can't pump in there bc it's very public. The other two have private offices. I usually use the other female's office bc she understands BFing and her office is private.  I couldn't use her office one day so I asked the male who has a private office if I could use his to pump while he was out at a workshop and he flat out told me absolutely NOT. I then have to go to the public bathroom with students walking in and out of it and hide in the handicap stall to pump bc there isn't really another place to go.

  1. It's dirty
  2. The pump makes noise and people are wondering what that noise is
  3. I'm now so embarassed I'm crying

I didn't realize my pumping was going to infect his office.  He is now also treating me badly.  I don't know why. I know it's his office, but I had no where else to go. It just really hurt my feelings.

Re: Embarassed/Hurt/Sad

  • TJ1979TJ1979
    10000 Comments 250 Answers 500 Love Its Third Anniversary
    I am so sorry, that is bs. Huge hugs. And throat punches to that guy. Does your company not meet the requirements for the bf protection laws?
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  • That stinks. I second the idea of going to your car to pump. I pumped solely in my car for the first year with DD2. It's really not so bad, especially with a nursing cover. It beats a bathroom any day.
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  • Huh, I don't know where you work, but places that employ more than 500 are required to provide a place for nursing moms to pump. Even if your school is close to that, it gives you some backing if you want to approach HR about it. I think it's a reasonable request. Bathrooms don't count as a "private place" to pump btw.
  • That's really awful. It's hard for me to believe that would even happen. I'm so sorry.

    If you have an HR, it's their job to find you an appropriate (ie - not the bathroom) place for you to pump. Another possibility: is it even your coworker's call whether you get to use his office or not while he's out? It's not his personal property. My office is super cramped for space and no one, not even managers, get to refuse squatters when they're out. Depending on your relationship with your director, I might just tell her/him what your situation is (that you have nowhere appropriate to pump but I wouldn't mention your coworker's issues) and ask what he/she recommends. If the director tells you to use your coworker's space, then you have that as your cover. Your director might think of other options - conference space (it is a Friday after all, office might be a little empty), telework for the day, etc. 

    Alternatively, I've pumped in less than private places using my nursing cover. I just find as secluded a place as possible, face a window or a corner and pump while on my blackberry. No one notices or cares really and it's better than a bathroom.  

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  • Absolutely go to HR! It's their job to find solutions to this type of problem, and the law is quite clear as to what an employer's obligations are regarding providing space for pumping.

    As PP's said, if a company has over a certain number of employees, they must provide a private nonbathroom space for pumping. Even if your organization falls under the threshold for number of employees, your coworker's behavior is unacceptable and should be addressed. WTF is his problem? Does he think he's going to get cooties? He needs to grow up, and the appropriate person to address it is HR.
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  • If your employer has more than 50 employees, they have to provide you with a place to pump by law. 
    I would give it a few days to see if he shapes up.  If not, I would go to your Director and/or HR about it.  You don't have to put up with that.
    I'm sorry this happened.  I'm a little self-conscious about pumping at work and I work with very supportive people.  I can't imagine how awful you must feel right now.  Try to remind yourself that your co-worker is an ignorant jerk.

    DD 12/20/99, DS 12/14/12, M/C 9/2014, M/C 1/2015

  • image TJ1979:
    I am so sorry, that is bs. Huge hugs. And throat punches to that guy. Does your company not meet the requirements for the bf protection laws?

    I'm so sorry :( I would be pissed!  I'd let him have a piece of my mind for sure and I would go to the boss ASAP. 

    Do you have a car adapter?  If so, keep a cover-up (if that will make you feel better) in your trunk and just go out to your car to pump.  You can even drive it somewhere more private if you need to. 

    PPD/PPA Mom...it has been super hard, but I'm making it! Slow steps...
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    Proud VBAC, natural birth, breastfeeding, cloth diapering momma!

  • blansawblansaw
    Long-Lasting Membership 100 Love Its 100 Comments Name Dropper
    Thanks you ladies for the support.  I am just one of those non-confrontational people who can't stand aggrevation between people, so I'm usually the one who backs off and "deals" with things.  I'm afraid to go to HR bc I don't want there to be conflict. Our director and the other guy are like BFF's. I'm sure there is a solution, I just couldn't find a better one at that time. Most of the time it works out just fine, but when it doesn't it's hard for me to deal with.  For some reason I am VERY sensitive about pumping. Nursing, I can do it in a mall with a blanket. Pumping, makes me feel sad/embarassed/exposed for some reason.

  • Offer to make him some coffee and add the milk to it. ;) 


  • litzo27litzo27
    Seventh Anniversary 250 Answers 500 Love Its 1000 Comments
    This need not be a confrontation. I would go to HR asking for suggestions of how to deal with this situation in the future and explaining that pumping in the bathroom is not an option. You don't even need to bring up him or his office. Just say that you normally use the X room but you need a backup if it's unavailable. I'm sorry you had to deal with it. 
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  • NoeliaVNoeliaV
    Ninth Anniversary 2500 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    image marrmom4:

    Offer to make him some coffee and add the milk to it. ;)

    ^^^ that made me laugh.

    OP-- I'm so sorry for you. I really dislike pumping, and I feel a bit embarrassed/stressed when my boss tries to call/email/contact me while I'm doing so, so I can imagine how you felt trying to pump in that bathroom. Relaxing to get the letdowns? Yeah, right. Boo.

    Anyway, hugs for you, and I hope that (if you ever run into this problem again) the car will be a better option for you.
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  • Go to HR! I am a full time student and was pumping in my car while people were stalking my parking spot thinking I was in my car getting ready to leave. I did that for a few weeks before I decided that it was NOT okay.

    I started calling and emailing everyone I could think of that would have a free room banquet rooms at the student union etc. Finally the health center got in touch with me and offered an exam room and unlimited access.

    Yes I was embarrassed because people on the phobe wouldnt know I meant and it was awkward to explain. But I'm glad I did it!


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  • It definitely doesn't need to be a confrontation. Don't address your coworker's attitude, at least not today - just focus on getting your immediate needs met. Either go to HR or your director, whoever you're more comfortable with, and say something along the lines of "I normally pump in room A, which is unavailable at the moment. Could you point to another room I can use for the time being? Thanks!"

    It's their job to help you with exactly this kind of situation and my friends in HR say helping people is what they love most about their job. I bet your HR staff would be kicking themselves if they knew you endured this needlessly. They want you to come to them with this kind of stuff. This is what they do, so you can do your job and not spend your entire day worrying about these kinds of things. 

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  • This story broke my heart.  So sorry this happened to you. :( 
  • I found the most awesome place to pump at work and most places have one - it's the server closet!  Ours is fairly large - it's a school - and it's a constant 70 degrees in there, which is awesome!  No one ever goes in there because there is no need unless the computer system isn't working.  It's the closet everyone forgets exists and it has a million electrical outlets!  Also, the sound of all the computer servers blocks out the pump sound.



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