Friday, August 20, 2010

Pumping in the workplace

This is a good sketch of basic information employers should keep in mind regarding nursing employees who need to pump breastmilk during the work day.

I'm extraordinarily fortunate to have my own office with a door that closes and locks and an understanding boss who actually asked if I had ideas on how to improve on things for pumping at the office. Amazing!

One thing the article mentions that I hadn't given much thought to previously:
It’s important to understand that breastfeeding and pumping breast milk are two very different things. Lots of women breastfeed in public. It’s sweet. It’s natural. It’s part of caring for a baby. It can be done discreetly for those who are modest, with a cloth draped over the baby’s head.

Pumping is a totally different deal. It is not natural. Pumping involves complicated equipment that needs to be assembled and disassembled at every pump break. The pump itself makes loud, groaning noises and evokes thoughts of dairy farm machinery. Asking a nursing mom to pump in a space that is not private is like asking someone to pee in the hallway. It’s barbaric.
I mean, I know there's a difference - do I ever - but I hadn't stopped to think about whether other people understand the difference. I nurse in public far, far more than I ever thought I would. But would I pump in public? It's not really a question of would I, but could I? I probably couldn't since I have enough trouble pumping in my best-case-scenario work environment or even at home.

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