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Thread: How to approach employer about pumping?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
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    Default How to approach employer about pumping?

    I am due with my 2nd baby in November and am already expecting some resistance from my employer when I approach them about pumping several times/day when I return to work. I'm just curious to know how other mothers have handled this situation.

    A little about my job- There are about 75 employees and only two of us are women. The other is quite a bit older than myself. Our HR "department" is one women out of another office. She is a few years older than myself, with no plans on having children of her own. In my 7 months at this job, I have come to find out that certain rules, like vacation time, are on a "case-by-case" basis. Although, I don't think this is legal...Anyway, a lot of this is based on how much our HR person likes you, and for some reason she has decided she doesn't like me.

    Any ideas on how to approach this subject? Thanks!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
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    Not around here as much :(
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    Default Re: How to approach employer about pumping?

    Tell them it's the law. Print up what the law mandates in your state (can be found within the main LLLi pages) and take it in to them. Smile sweetly and present them with the paper work and say You'll be more than willing to be available to them to find an appropriate pump site etc etc. etc. .

    Hope That Helps

    Good luck and happy pushing
    Click here to find an LLL leader near you...or call 1 877 4 LA LECHE for help now.

    "No one can make you feel inferior without your consent."
    Eleanor Roosevelt


    "Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail."
    Emerson


    Ban the bags. ......... Watch your language. ....... Help keep Dr Newman's clinic open!

    We demand that our childcare providers are CPR certified... why don't we demand the same of ourselves! Get certified!

    I lost 22 lbs in 8 months... with a bit of determination and common sense information from this book.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
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    115

    Default Re: How to approach employer about pumping?

    I agree. If you have the law on your side, let them know what you will need, and don't accept anything else. If you need it, also provide information on how breast feeding cuts down on health care costs and employee absences, and the American Academy of Pediatrics information on how its the medically reccomended first choice.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
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    1,512

    Smile Re: How to approach employer about pumping?

    I would push the "it will keep my LO healthy and thereby keep me at work more as a productive employee." Have the Law to back you up too.
    Samantha: born 3 1/2 weeks early on Sept 2006 6lbs 4 oz 18 inches long with situs inversus totalis. Now a strong healthy little girl that wants to be a NICU doctor, loves her little sister and breastfeeds her dolls!
    Milk donated with while nursing first LO: 2,200 oz
    Alexandra: born 3 weeks early on July 2010 7lbs 8 oz 19.5 inches long.
    Milk donated with while nursing first LO: 1,200


    For information on becoming a Breastmilk Donor http://hmbana.org/index/donatemilk

  5. #5
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    Default Re: How to approach employer about pumping?

    Thanks for your advice! Unfortunately, Ohio doesn't have a law requiring employers to allow pumping at work. At least, not that I could find- even on the LLL legislation page. In fact, MANY states don't have a law for it. I know 15 minute breaks are required, but...If anyone knows of a place to find a law re: this subject, please let me know!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
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    Not around here as much :(
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    Default Re: How to approach employer about pumping?

    Well. You are right... this could be your chance to help make that chage in your state!
    Here is a little blurb from one of the pages... not sure if you read it or not but it's got some helpful tips. I found it here.

    *Being told that you cannot express milk on your regular breaks. This may constitute discrimination, especially if there are other employees who are treated differently. Can others smoke a cigarette or run an errand during breaks? You should be allowed to express milk during your scheduled breaks, even if the process makes some of your co-workers uncomfortable.

    *Having no place to express milk. Try looking realistically at where you could express milk at your particular workplace. Is there a room that isn't being used? Don't expect your company to find you a place. Find one yourself. Then try to convince your employer to let you use it. Unless you happen to work in Minnesota, employers are not required to accommodate you. However, if you offer a reasonable solution, presented with a persuasive smile, you should be able to convince your bosses.
    *Not having enough time to express breastmilk. If this seems to be the case for you, begin by looking at whether you could speed up the process of expressing milk. Some breast pumps are not intended for daily use by a working mother. Are you using a double kit to express milk from both breasts simultaneously? If you are having difficulty, seek help from your local La Leche League. If, after all this, you still feel your employer is not providing you with enough time, look at other options, with the aim of accommodating your work needs and your nursing needs. Could you perhaps shorten your lunch break to make time for other breaks when you could pump? Could you come in early or leave late to make up for the missed time? Ask your boss what combination of break times would be most acceptable, making it clear that you do not necessarily want extra time off, just a better combination of breaks.
    Good luck!
    Click here to find an LLL leader near you...or call 1 877 4 LA LECHE for help now.

    "No one can make you feel inferior without your consent."
    Eleanor Roosevelt


    "Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail."
    Emerson


    Ban the bags. ......... Watch your language. ....... Help keep Dr Newman's clinic open!

    We demand that our childcare providers are CPR certified... why don't we demand the same of ourselves! Get certified!

    I lost 22 lbs in 8 months... with a bit of determination and common sense information from this book.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Posts
    285

    Default Re: How to approach employer about pumping?

    You may be surprised how understanding they are. I don't think I would go in on the defensive because it may be for nothing. I would simply approach the HR person, tell them how important it is for you to be able to continue BFing after returning to work, that you are willing to make up for lost time etc, but that you hope they can be understanding of your situation. I think most people are uncomfortable talking about that kind of subject and that more likely than not they will just agree. I would just set up parameters from the start- for example, say "i expect to need 3 pumping sessions a day of approx 20 minutes each. in order to accomodate for that, i will not take an extra lunch or coffee breaks" which really covers it if you get a 30 min lunch and two 15 minute breaks. If you are going to be longer than that, perhaps you could do work-related reading or catch up on emails while you pump.

    As for location: don't settle for a bathroom, unless you really don't mind. if that's the only spot there is and you can make do, it's better than nothing.

    As for storage: I didn't want my milk in with everyone else's dirty lunch boxes, so I brought a cooler and got ice from the cafeteria.

    If you have your own desk/work area perhaps you can even arrange a little barrier and just make it known to coworkers (if you're comfortable with that) that that's what you're doing. i think someone one here once mentionned that she put up a spring-loaded curtain rod at her cubicle doorway...

    Wow that was long....all in all, I just say don't be nervous, just know ahead of time what you are willing to accept and what you are not so they can't catch you off guard.

    good luck!
    i've sucessfully pumped at work for almost a year, it can be done...

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Gex France
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    213

    Default Re: How to approach employer about pumping?

    Do you even need to talk to HR?

    I went directly to my supervisor and told her that I talked to the three ladies I share an office with and that I would pump at this time. I can type and write and read while pumping so I can get work done. I asked if she had a problem with my covering the window in our office door. Basically nothing was an issue. My company is the opposite, with about 40 women and 2-3 men. They are also pretty laid back and most have kids of their own (although only a handful ever breastfed).

    Is you job in an office or at least at a desk?

    If so, I would just work on figuring out how to pump hands free. If you layer your tops, no one will even see anything. Then just go to your boss and let them know you plan on pumping a few times a day and do they foresee a problem with this.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Posts
    736

    Default Re: How to approach employer about pumping?

    What you do with your break times is your business.

    That said, when you approach her, don't be arguementative or seem like you're tryign to start a fight. Be calm and cool, bring in documentation on the benefits of breast feeding.

    Let her know the health problems you could have if you don't pump (clogged ducts, mastitis, even worse). Let her know that all you would like is a private place for your breaks to take care of business.

    I got lucky in that a mother had already done the talking to HR and got a room booked. With me it was just an issue of saying "Hey, I notice that room is used when I need it, can I get another room?"

    At the moment I'm using an unused office that recently got vacated. I don't know how long that will last, though.

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