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Pumping etiquette

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 
Okay, so I'd like your opinion(s)...Yesterday at work my boss wanted to talk with me between clients. I told her I had to pump, her reply was "oh that's no problem I can just talk to you while you do that." I was very uncomfortable and as delicately as possible let her know this and that I'd rather meet a different time. She was a little miffed, but is already over it (we talked today - reviewing clients). Now my question is, how many of you would feel weird pumping in front of coworkers? You can tell my answer. My best friend thought that I was over-reacting....I don't.

P.S. the boss is usually pretty easy going, so I'm not worried about having to deal with her.
post #2 of 14
I nurse in public - no problem. If dd becomes unruly and starts raising my shirt, exposing all, it's annoying but not embarassing. But have a meeting with a co-worker or boss while pumping? - NEVER! Maybe it's just me, but I feel like Flossie the Cow when pumping (moo!). The suction, with my nipple stretching and then contracting into the clear cone, is just too much. It would be, for me, akin to having a meeting in the bathroom while peeing in open stalls, or meeting while having sex, or doing some other intimate function (sorry, all you ardent LLL'ers!). So I'm totally with you on this.
post #3 of 14
Thread Starter 
Exactly!! I'm the same as you, I'm not phased at all to nurse in public. But there is something about the *moo factor* that just means no pumping with bosses oogling. I'm embarrassed if my dh watches too closely! Plus it's kind of hard to let down with the plastique as opposed to dd.

Thanks for the validation
post #4 of 14

I'm with you...

I will pump in front of dh, and once, out of necessity, I pumped while my parents were around (that was actually kind of funny--I had a blanket thrown over me, as I sat in my nursing chair, and the baby was playing on the floor...my dad walked in and did this complete double-take, as if to say, "who the heck are you nursing?"). But NEVER in front of a co-worker or friend! First of all, I don't think my milk would come down. Second, like others have said, I feel a little like Bessie the Cow...

That being said, I know each person is different, and has a different level of comfort about certain bodily functions, so I don't think there is anything WRONG with the concept...just that each person needs to respect the other's boundaries.
post #5 of 14
Until my dd was 6 mos old, I pumped in an office with 2 other ladies and another pumping mom joined us. Our boss occasionally came in and out of the office. I had one of those nursing cover ups that was only used for that. I didn't really have a problem, but I had been friends with these ladies for a couple of years before this and one of them nursed her kids for 9 mos and 18 mos. I think my situation was the exception, not the rule.

It's nice that she was comfortable with the idea, even if you weren't - there are so many women who's bosses give them such a hard time, but it's nice to be able to have that time to yourself.
post #6 of 14
I pump in my cubicle, but I find it umcomfortable to have the pump on when someone comes into my cube to talk to me. The people who have "caught" me at pumping don't seem to even notice, but I find it very awkward ... whether leaving the pump on or trying to get it off from under my shirt and turning the pump off.
post #7 of 14
Thread Starter 
I am really fortunate with my boss. She's been nothing but supportive since my return. And even though she was somewhat miffed that I wasn't comfortable, like I said by the next day it was long gone from her mind. And I wouldn't be surprised that if I had explained my discomfort more fully she would have been fine. I was just taken a little off guard.

I only worked at this place four months before maternity leave, so while I really like my boss...I don't know her very well, certainly not the familiarity that shelbean91 described.

That said, I really love where I'm working. I have such flexibilty, limited hours, a space of my own to pump (even if not much time to do it in). This Friday they're having a lunch get together. Since I'm off on Fridays, I asked if I could come and bring dd. My boss was so excited and was like, definitely! So although I had the knee jerk reaction of , I realize that it was only a moment.
post #8 of 14
I can't even imagine pumping around someone I am not close friends with. Only my mom and dh and dc, and maybe my best friend have been around when I pump.

I would ABSOLUTELY not pump around people at work. We have a locking (keypad kind) mom's room at work that you have to reserve. Privacy is totally respected.

I don't consider myself to be prudish at all, and nursing has NEVER bothered me in public or anywhere else, but there's something so personal to me about pumping.
post #9 of 14
I guess I'll have to say it depends. My boss is a man, so I wouldn't dream of pumping in front of him. Although totally supportive, he was rather mortified to learn that I pumped in my office sometimes and he steered clear of the office for months!! But, if my boss was a woman, and if she was familiar with pumping or breastfeeding, I don't think I would care. I would probably be kind of uncomfortable, but I would figure that she's BTDT and it wasn't a big deal. I would definitely make sure I was covered up however. The picture of nipples being sucked back and forth (especially if you are double pumping) is certainly not a pretty one!!

A friend of mine (who does not have kids) was working with a co-worker who was bf and was called into her office one day while she pumped. Even though my friend was appalled because she had never seen something like that, she said the co-worker just went about her business, was discreet and simply conducted the meeting. It all depends on a person's individual comfort level. IN any case, it sounds like your boss is pretty cool and didn't get too offended.
post #10 of 14
Hell No!

I can't even imagine pumping in front of anyone from work. When I was pumping and a meeting was necessary, I just called in to a meeting or to an individual and conducted business that way. Like most here say, I don't have a problem with BF in public, but no way I'm pumping in front of anyone but DH and maybe a few close friends.
post #11 of 14
Thread Starter 
I was thinking about it and perhaps why some of us have a harder time pumping in front of others (in particular those we don't know well) is because of the artificialness of pumping. It's so natural to bf and there's no embarrassment there. But to put plastic cones to your breast (ala Madonna ) is unnatural. Not to say that it's bad ... I don't mean that at all, more just that it's something we've developed as humans to accomplish the more natural task of breast feeding.
post #12 of 14
I can't imagine pumping in front of any of my co-workers, even though they're all supportive. I wouldn't even want to pump in front of the friend and co-worker who also pumps. The "cowness" of pumping makes me not want to be seen*. But I've regularly talked business over the phone while pumping--whether the other person was out of state or in the next room. I have a hands-free setup and actually do better with letdown when I'm not focusing on the pump.

*Even so, I once found myself pumping in a public restroom while I was at an all-day seminar. The only woman who came in did a double-take, then said, "Good for you," asked how old my baby was, and offered to bring me a chair!
post #13 of 14
Thread Starter 
I often do phone calls and the like too. Although my first call is usually to dcp or dh, depending on where dd is...I check in on her, and then return phone calls. Otherwise, I come here and lurk...I unfortunately do not have a hands free.

I have found I do better as well with letdown if I distract myself.
post #14 of 14
In the beginning - my first few weeks back at work I would only pump in a locked office - my office is one big room with desks all the way around the perimeter - I work retail so I am rarely in the office anyway....I would always have to get someone to unlock one of our offices with a door and people would sometimes try to walk in on me etc.....as i have gained more exp pumping I have become much more comfortable - now i pump at my desk with all kinds of coworkers (men and women of all ages and backgrounds around....it is not like they can see my breasts or anything...I tuck the shields under my sports bra elastic and go about my business - paying invoices, making phone calls etc...usually people don't even notice and then after a few times hearing the pumping they figure it out and then we all have a good laugh ...it opens up a dialog abt breastfeeding usually ...i think it is great
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