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Thread: Good Experiences at Work

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Cleveland, OH

    Default Good Experiences at Work

    As I scan through the working mom's forum here I see many stories about a bad time at work but I would like to hear some good stories about pumping and work.

    My pumping experience yesterday is what brought this topic to mind. While my company does not put pumping high in their priority list (lactation room? what is that?) the people I work with are VERY helpful, especially when I have to travel to other office locations (we have dozens, it is the nature of our business).

    Back to my story about yesterday: I was at a meeting away from my usual location. I am familiar with this office location and know where all of the small conference rooms are located and have used them on just such an occasion many times before, but, alas, they were all in use! I ask one of the administrative assistants if there are any conference rooms I might have missed and she starts telling me where to find a cubicle to sit and do some work. I say "breast pump" and suddenly she is whisking me off to the Director's big corner office, checking to see if the lock is working properly and asking if there is anything else I need.

    I have encountered this sort of helpful attitude every time I have asked for help with pumping at work. When the head of facilities at my own location saw me washing pump parts in the cafeteria HE asked ME if I needed anything to accommodate my pumping (I work in a cubicle, so have to relocate to pump). My manager has hunted down keys to private rooms for me and a co-worker has tracked down new batteries for my battery pack when I needed them.

    Lets share some of our positive experiences so as not to scare some of the soon-to-be working moms out there.
    My little man was born 12/17/2010.

    Baby girl was born 4/30/2014.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2011

    Default Re: Good Experiences at Work

    My company provides 'mothers rooms' on multiple floors, and each room has a lactina pump (I work for a large company in a large building).

    My boss is a bit ignorant (woman but no children) about pumping (doesn't know much/anything about it), but she doesn't care when I pump, how often I pump, how long I am gone. As long as I get my job done that is all that matters.

    While I can't say anyone has gone out of their way for me to pump at work, I can reschedule meetings so I can fit in pumping every 3 hours and company provided benefits of maternity leave and pumping rooms are fantastic.

    I am pumping for twins and friends outside of work are super-impressed with my facilities!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2010

    Default Re: Good Experiences at Work

    My company was extremely supportive of my pumping needs, even though the type of work I do does not always lend itself to pumping (field work, long days, etc).

    They were very hands-off and let me set my schedule for pumping completely.

    No one batted an eye, said anything but normal conversation type comments to me, or indeed ever expressed any assumption that I would pump for less than the full year and longer if I wanted to.

    Even though I have an office that prefers its managers to have open doors, and we all have large internal windows so even if you DO close the door to the office people can see in, no one ever said a thing to me about me closing my door several times a day, or installing a curtain over my office window. Or ever complained about the noise.

    I was allowed to put a mini-fridge in my office to store milk.

    Two separate people at my office talked to me about extended BF (one who BF for over 4 years) when I was pregnant and when I said my goal was 6 months, both strongly encouraged me and gave me good reasons to try to go for at least a year.

    I was not required to go on overnight trips before I and my baby were ready.

    Everyone has been polite and no one has ever said anything sexual, disturbing, or else been weird and uncomfortable around me or treated me like a boobie-outcast.

    I was able to pump enough for my DD to provide her with EBM past her first birthday, and while I am now glad to be done with it, I do NOT look back on the experience as being overly hard, embarrassing, or detrimental to my work. At the beginning I actually loved my pumping breaks so I could think about and still provide for my baby, even while at work. I found it very helpful to mitigate some of the unavoidable emotional reaction to having to leave her with dad or a DCP in the first place.
    Mom to Taiga born 6/2010

    Pocket cloth diapers. Baby led solids. Full-time working mom. I my DH, DD, kitty Dr. Benway, and my working border collie Odin!
    BF for 1 year and she and I still love it !!!!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2010

    Default Re: Good Experiences at Work

    I work in a huge NICU at a large Childrens hospital. (We have Labor and Delivery here too)
    We have a Lactation Department, so thats nice, there is usually an IBCLC running around here on the floor helping mommas and I can snag them and ask them questions if I have one.
    We have 10 floors in the hospital, and on about every other floor there is a "Staff Lactation Room" with a lock on the door, a "occupied/unoccupied" sign, a recliner/nice chair, a table, plug ins, and all have a Medela Symphony pump. One of these rooms has a sink and a bathroom in it, all at least have a bathroom nearby.

    Some of my coworkers have given me a hard time, but to make up for all of those, I also have wonderful coworkers who tell me to take my time etc.
    Sometimes it is stressful fitting in pumping with my patient load (Im an RN) but I have made it work.
    I bought one of those pink Simple Wishes hands free pumping bras and can eat my lunch/snacks while pumping, read a book, listen to my ipod... you name it.
    I store my milk in the milk refrigerator we have in the NICU.

    There have been times where all of us nurses that are pumping need to go at about the same time and we just go into the pumping rooms together, face away from each other, and gab the whole time we pump about our little ones. We have shared milk bags, teething stories, and cried together about our babies growing up. We are all there for each other, and have experienced the ride together as difficult as it may be. Sometimes we just gripe about our employers : )
    Last edited by @llli*wreckgoddess; October 6th, 2011 at 12:14 PM.

    Momma to Benjamin, we recently made it nursing to age 2!!!!

    Benjamin born 9-17-09

  5. #5

    Default Re: Good Experiences at Work

    When I went to talk to my employer (male) about pumping, he did not bat an eye or seem embarrassed at all. He quickly told me that I was welcome to use a closet (clean, decent size, locking door, table, chairs, outlet, sink nearby) whenever I needed. Everyone at my previous place of employment was very helpful and I never came across any rude or obnoxious comments about pumping. I never felt uncomfortable about it. I was able to work around my schedule and never had any issues. I would like to think that a soon to be mommy has been encouraged to pump from me doing it and talking about it.

    Truly blessed by God
    Wife to Will
    First Time Mom to C 2/18/11
    Made it 6 Mos. EBF Now enjoying BLS
    My baby is a year old now!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2011

    Default Re: Good Experiences at Work

    I work for a video game company -- we're very small, only 18 people, and I'm the only woman. Our office is one big open room and we're packed in pretty tight. We do have a conference room but that's the only semi-private area. We're working on getting new digs but we just shipped our first game so I think we have to wait a bit.

    The game industry is mostly men and tends to have a "dude-bro" atmosphere, but my company is awesome. About half the guys are dads and most of their wives BF'd. Not only were they super supportive of my maternity leave (they let me tell them what I wanted to take for time off, so I'm taking a few months) but THEY were giving ME nursing advice and encouragement about the prospect of NIP, which I was nervous about.

    Although I'm not back to work yet I popped into the office a couple of weeks ago with my LO so they could meet him. Wouldn't you know that even though I'd just fed him he wanted to be fed again. So I said, "anyone need the conference room for a few minutes?" They were all, "go for it!" I think I've occasionally seen the wife of a coworker use the conference room to nurse before she leaves when she brings their kids down to have lunch with dad.
    First-time mom to Markus, August 17, 2011.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2011

    Default Re: Good Experiences at Work

    Good idea for a post!

    My experience has been very good too. I work for an IT company, and we have a shower room, just in case anyone needs to work all night on a project and take a shower (heh). It's a decent sized room with a lock and a sink. When I first came back to work, I asked my boss if I could put a table and chair in there. He didn't want to know the details on why, but he helped me move the table.

    It has been working out perfectly. I bring in my laptop (with wireless internet) & cell phone and I can work while I'm pumping. Even though I have a very busy work day, everything I do is either online or over the phone. I pump 4 times a day, for about a half hour each - and I don't miss a beat.

    I'm very thankful to be in such a great environment!
    ~ Megan

    Mommy to Alex (born 2/27/11) and Katie (born 3/31/14)

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Northern Cal.

    Default Re: Good Experiences at Work

    My job was very lassez faire about the whole thing. I got a conference room with blinds to pump, and when it was busy, I would use our copy room (I have an office, but all the walls here are glass!). My secretary printed a sign for me that said "Private! Motherly Business!" Although my main supervisor is a guy, three other women in my office of 9 people have had babies and pumped in the past five years, so it was old hat.

    I travel for work a lot, and I often pumped in the car when I just didn't want to deal with asking clients for a space. But that was no big deal. I'm sure they would have given me a room, I just found it easier to pump in the car and didn't want to bother with the hassle!

    Time-wise, my job is extremely flexible, and no one ever breathed a word about my schedule interfering with work or being inconvenient to them. All of the pressure I felt was from me (and you know, the billable hour structure of the firm I work for). I worked during my pumping breaks sometimes, and other times, just read a novel and listened to music. I actually kind of miss those breaks!

    So yeah, my job was very supportive and easy-going about the whole thing. It wasn't a thing. Of course, I still did everything we talk about here - I acted like it was no big deal. I didn't apologize for it. I didn't blab about it to my male coworkers, but I tried to be confident about it so that others would feel that it was a normal, natural thing.
    Last edited by @llli*joe.s.mom; October 7th, 2011 at 02:45 PM.

    You can call me JoMo!

    Mom to baby boy Joe, born 5/4/09 and breastfed for more than two and a half years, and baby girl Maggie, born 7/9/12.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jun 2011

    Default Re: Good Experiences at Work

    I don't work, but I go to school full time. The head of my department pumped for both her children 20 years ago when it wasn't all the norm so she has been a real support and really helpful with all my needs. She set up an empty office for me that has a desk and a sink in it. I have a large fridge/freezer in the student lounge for my use, and I have been given time at the beginning or end of classes when needed to pump. All of my teachers have been very understanding of my needing longer breaks in order to get pumping or manual expression done. It was stressful the first week while I was getting my routine down, but now its old hat and I am doing great!

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 2008

    Default Re: Good Experiences at Work

    I have had different experiences, some good, some bad. When I was first pumping for DS1, I was working in a newer building without a lactation room. I had to walk to a different building, and while it wasn't far, my job was time-sensitive, and I couldn't be away from my desk for too long, and the walking added up. I pumped in a shower stall, and after having several people walk in on me, I complained to human resources and they put in a new pumping room. It was nice, and like all the other nursing mothers' rooms, it had a hospital grade pump.

    My coworkers and bosses were always understanding and open-minded about it, and when I did tell people what I was doing, sometimes I got questions, but usually just because the person wanted to understand more, and I think I helped open some minds about breastfeeding.

    Exclusively pumped for Lance Oct 07
    Nursed until just before he turned 3 Levi Oct 09

    Do you have extra milk? Consider donating!

    "So I was welcomed by the consolations of human milk; but it was not my mother or my nurses who made any decision to fill their breasts, but you who through them gave me infant food, in accordance with your ordinance and the riches which are distributed deep in the natural order." -St Augustine

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