I’m a working mom and I’m probably one of the most high-maintenance working moms an employer could ever dread to have. I’ve been breastfeeding my 8 month old son since the day he was born and I don’t plan to stop until he feels he has had enough. Since I went back to work when he was 6 weeks old, that means I’ve spent a lot of time with my breast pump in the last 8 months.
I know that there are plenty of moms out there that have suffered worse injustices than I have when it comes to finding a place to pump while away from home. Feel free to share your own pumping horror stories, but I need to vent about my own.
During my first month back to work, we had a power outage. I happened to be pumping at the time. Not knowing how long the outage would last, I panicked. Being a new mom, I imagined a sudden and tragic decline in my newly-established milk supply. Luckily, I was able to find six AA batteries in our office and pump without electrical power.
I accepted a promotion when my son was 3 months old, and the new job moved me to a new office building. That building didn’t have a lactation room, but it did have a handicap restroom that I was able to use. The restroom was a good place to pump because it had a locking door, electrical outlet, sink, and room for a table and a comfy chair. The restroom was a bad place to pump because it also had a toilet and was a popular place for people to poop in privacy. The room was in desperate need of air freshener.
A month ago, our office moved to a new building. The building is still under renovation, so the designated lactation room won’t be ready until the end of the year. After much fussing on my part, building management reluctantly set up a temporary room with a locking door and an electrical outlet. After more fussing on my part, they also cleaned the drywall dust that coated every surface in the room. I found a chair and table to drag in there, along with some Clorox wipes, and I made myself at home.
Yesterday, the temporary lactation room was locked. Darn. I thought someone was using it, so I decided to come back in an hour. The door was still locked. Darn. I realized that no one was in the room and I called building maintenance to unlock the door. An hour later, the room was still locked. Darn. Desperate for relief, I resorted to pumping in an empty cubicle on my floor that has a door. I use the term “door” loosely, because it is a sliding panel that resembles a shower door with frosted glass. I turned my back to the door and pumped, trying to ignore the fact that everyone around me could hear my pump chugging away.
This morning, the door is still locked. Darn. I’m frantic. I round up everyone with a key…the cleaning lady, the security guard, the maintenance man. We discover that no one has a key to this room, not even the building owner. They call a locksmith and now we wait for the room to be unlocked.
Dear Hubby recommends that I just pump in my cubicle and if my co-workers don’t want to see my exposed breasts, they should help me find a place to pump in privacy. That sure sounds like a great idea when it’s not YOUR boobs hanging out for the world to see…
Please share your pumping horror stories to remind me that my life is really not that bad!!