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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi mamas, I hope you can help me determine wether or not I should be expecting more from my employer. And Missgrl, I apologise for posting this here (I also posted it in Working Mamas) but I was looking for a broad range of responses, and sometimes WM is a bit slow. Feel free to slap my wrist, but please leave this up for a bit. Thanks!<br><br>
Here's the deal... I work for a Fortune 500 insurance brokerage as a receptionist (read- this ain't no mom and pop shop... they have the resources to affect any change they want). I had not been an employee long enough to qualify for FMLA and had to come back at the end of my 6 weeks disability leave <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/greensad.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="greensad"> DS and I had a REALLY rough start with BFing and we were just starting to get things on the right track when I had to go back. Suffice to say, between returning too soon, too much stress, not eating enough, and not getting enough sleep (working on the last two), I have been struggling with supply problems ever since.<br><br>
My main question, however, is about the area 'provided' for me (and the one other pumping mama in my 350-person office). It is the Womens' Shower room (they saw fit to have this for co-workers who like to work out on their lunches). It has one small sink, a small (uncomfortable) wooden bench, a power outlet, and a shower. Not exactly the nicest place to pump, but it was offered up to me as if I should be grateful for it.<br><br>
Now, due to some issues here in the office re:BFing, I have been reading up on what a "Breastfeeding-Friendly Workplace" should offer its nursing/pumping mamas, and I feel like I am getting the short end here. See... the guidelines say that for health reasons, the pumping area provided should not be somewhere that has a toilet in it. So, would this shower room be along the same lines? It's not like I am rubbing myself on the floor, but all I can think about is athlete's foot or something. And fungus is the LAST thing we need right now! It just does'nt seem... well... sanitary.<br><br>
Just... ick. I cannot beleive that I am pumping in a *locker room*.<br><br>
So.... should I be grateful for this, or should I expect more? I know of at least one mom in the office who pumped when she returned from her first maternity leave, but weaned baby #2 before she came back because pumping here was 'too much work' <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/greensad.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="greensad"> and I tell ya, there are some days that I can see where she was coming from, but like hell if I am going to quit now after everything we have been through to make BFing work.<br><br>
Also, while DS does come in to nurse for my hour lunch, I only have two 15-minute breaks to pump. The problem here is that, as receptionist, someone has to come releive me for my breaks. And they are watching the clock... I have to be BACK at my desk in 15 minutes... this means after setting up before and cleaning up afterwards, I have *maybe* 10 minutes to pump. Is this normal? I doubt anyone else in the office starts 'timing' their breaks when they leave their desks (and don't even get me started on the &*$% smokers who take breaks whenever they feel like it)... seems like I am being held to a double standard.<br><br>
I would LOVE to be a SAHM, but the economy is unbeleiveably sour here right now and Mike got laid off when ds was a month old. If he could find a job with my pay and benes I would be a SAHM in a heartbeat. But that is not our situation at this time, so he has DS all day (and brings him in to nurse at lunch).<br><br>
Any thoughts?<br><br>
XM
 

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Yes, your employer SHOULD be providing you with a better situation, but I don't know how you MAKE them do it, kwim?<br><br>
Do you have a union? If so, that would be my first option--contact them.<br><br>
Or, see if you can talk to a sympathetic (probably female) manager.<br><br>
And, BTW, make sure you are drinking LOTS of water!!!
 

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<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;"><i>Originally posted by XM</i><br><b>And Missgrl, I apologise for posting this here (I also posted it in Working Mamas) but I was looking for a broad range of responses, and sometimes WM is a bit slow. Feel free to slap my wrist, but please leave this up for a bit. Thanks!<br><br></b></td>
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Can you picture a wrist slapping smilie?<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/Welcome.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="welcome">ag<br><br>
Since you put it in WM too I'll move it to BFing Support and Advocacy in a few days! Good luck with your quest.
 

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I second the thought that your ER should be providing you with a better situation. However, they likely are patting themselves on the back, thinking that they are so enlightened by providing you with the little bit that you presently have. So I'd not expect much by going through regular channels.<br><br>
You might, however, have more luck by finding a sympatico person (this will often be a male, if you're in a traditional corporate environment, incidentally, and ironically) who has sufficient authority and power to provide you, at least every now and again, with a better place to pump (eg, a conference room with no problematic windows, or an unused office). Explain your situation to him (or possibly her). Be very sympathetic. Throw yourself on his (or possibly her) mercies in a dignified manner. SURELY, you say, there must be some unused office or conference room or what have you that you might be able to use when they're not otherwise occupied.<br><br>
And make sure, as well, that you're drinking tons of water and that you have a hospital-grade pump (or a Pump-in-Style or equivalent in terms of power). Other folks might have good advice re foods to eat to increase milk supply, if you're interested, as well.<br><br>
Good luck!
 

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Can you give them this?<br><a href="http://www.lalecheleague.org/corporate.html" target="_blank">http://www.lalecheleague.org/corporate.html</a><br><br>
Also this:<br><a href="http://www.lalecheleague.org/Law/LawEmployment.html" target="_blank">Convincing Your Boss</a><br><br>
and then there is this:<br>
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<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">(a) The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months of a child's life and breastfeeding with the addition of solid foods to continue for at least twelve months, and that arrangements be made to provide expressed breast milk if the mother and child must separate during the first year. Children should be breastfed or fed expressed breast milk when they show signs of need, rather than according to a set schedule or the location;</td>
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<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">(e) Approximately two-thirds of women who are employed when they become pregnant return to the work force by the time their children are six months old;</td>
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<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">(1) An employer may use the designation "infant-friendly" on its promotional materials if the employer has an approved workplace breastfeeding policy addressing at least the following:</td>
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HTH- and hope you're well!<br>
Lauren
 

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Hi<br><br>
I didn't have great accomodations while I was pumping - I had to do it in a bathroom <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/greensad.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="greensad"> (it was a nice. clean bathroom, but not private or anything like that)<br><br>
Good luck in convincing your employer. It is a difficult situation to broach and the law is not especially helpful to moms in that position.
 

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Perhaps you could find out what your company's competitors do, HR-wise, for their breastfeeding mothers. For instance, hypothetically, if you work for Microsoft, does Apple provide special pumping rooms, 30 minute breaks, and pay for pump rentals for 6 months for their employees? Or if you work for FOrd and it turns out GM has an incredible pumping policy...And if so, have they received any publicity for these efforts, like a positive article in a parenting magazine, or a place in the "Top 10 Family-Friendly Companies to Work For" profile?<br><br>
If so, copy the article/information and perhaps approach HR about the issue, explaining how it would benefit the company, the employees, and the PR/image of the company to be breastfeeding or infant or family friendly. Companies can get a LOT of PR mileage out of things like that, and in this crappy economy, free PR/advertising is a good thing!<br><br>
Basically, you have to make it about THEM. How will it benefit THEM?<br><br>
And good for you!<br><br>
Mel<br><br>
eta: Could you offer to reduce your lunch time by 10 minutes, and then take two 20 minute breaks? Any chance you could do that? It would give you more time for pumping, but the net total of minutes you're away from your desk would be unchanged.
 

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Could your pumping routine be tweeked a little? Iknow that goesn't solve the bigger more political problem. I pumped for work using an Avent Isis and I didn't wash it between sessions kept the whole thing in a cooler. I know some people with double electric pumps by extra horns. I would wash my hands pump and then put my stuff away. Almost all my time on pump breaks was spent pumping.<br><br>
Also some people have had good sucess with the Wisperwear Hand Free Pump.
 

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Also, have you thought of getting the whisperwear pump? It certainly doesn't solve your HR problems, and isn't an activist type thing to do, :LOL but you could wear it and pump while you are working. <a href="http://shop.nurturecenter.com/breastpumps.html" target="_blank">http://shop.nurturecenter.com/breastpumps.html</a><br><br>
Good luck!<br>
LAuren
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I was called in to a meeting earlier with my manager and the head of HR. It was to tell me that ~<br><br>
a) My breaks were 15 minutes starting from the time I leave my desk, till I return to it. They were not willing to let me come in early and add that time to my breaks, because it would 'inconveinience' others in my department. 'Even 5 extra minutes on each break would help SO much' I said... but they would not hear of it.<br><br>
b) Due to complaints from some co-workers that I made them 'uncomfortable', I was no longer to nurse Ezra in the breakroom. This is pretty funny IMO, because we had our bags in front of us on the table as a screen and I keep myself well-covered, so you'd *really* have to be looking to see anything. That's like craning your neck to gawk at a car wreck and then whining because you saw blood.<br><br>
I am, however, welcome to nurse him in the Womens' Shower <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/rolleyes.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="rolleyes">: but Mike would have to wait elsewhere because it is, after all, the Womens' Shower. Mind you, they have already made it clear that he is not welcome in the lobby, so I guess he is supposed to just take a walk around the block?<br><br>
I laughed at them.<br><br>
I am still in shock. I very patiently explained to them that it was IMPOSSIBLE for me to set up, pump any reasonable amount, and wash up in 15 minutes, even when I timed starting from when I got to where I pump and not starting from my desk as they expect me to. This does not matter to them. At all. Less then 10 minutes of pumping is NOT going to maintain my supply... even if we had'nt had the problems we did. And in light of our supply problems, their enforcing of this rule could spell the end of BFing for us. We did not struggle with this for as long as we have to have it all cut short due to a company whose 'family-friendly' policies assume that I make my parenting choices based not on what is best for my child, but what is most conveinient, and comfortable, for everyone else.<br><br>
And get this... my boss actually asked me how much longer I planned on nursing ds! HE IS 16 WEEKS OLD FOR &*$^'s sake! Besides, I am not quite sure that they could legally ask me that. Honestly, I am 99% sure my boss formula-fed her dd and so I think that my dedication to BFing ds is nagging at her consience. So... if she could'nt/would'nt/did'nt BF, why should I be able to? Why should my ds get what she could'nt be bothered to provide her dd? Also, I have gotten the impression that for some ladies in the office, it bothers them that Mike is so devoted to ds and I. Most of them can't even get their husbands to take out the trash, and here Mike is, a super-involed, completely smitten daddy who brings our ds in to work 'just' so I can nurse him.<br><br>
So the first thing I did was call Mike and tell him what happened. When he brought ds in for lunch, we sat in my car to nurse (usually take the bus, but today I'm glad I drove). We were trying to discuss our next move, but everytime we'd start ds would pop off and fuss (he is very in-tune with me, despite my working FT, and I think it's because we have made such an effort to maintain our connection)... so we'll have to talk later. Plan B failed (asking for a few extra minutes to pump). Time for Plan C.<br><br>
It seems to me that I am being made to decide between BFing my ds and keeping my job.<br><br>
They must think that I *really* like my job. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/rolleyes.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="rolleyes">:<br><br>
XM
 

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I volunteer to send them REALLY rotten eggs and mouldy tomatoes!!! Me me me!!!!!!!!!<br><br>
I'll do it, too.<br><br>
Bastards.
 

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What jerks! This just makes me soooo @#$%%^ mad!<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/angry.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="angry"><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/angry.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="angry"><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/angry.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="angry"><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/angry.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="angry"><br><br>
How about going to the EOC? I don't think that's what it is called though. You know, the place where workers that are discriminated against go.<br><br>
Isn't pumping at work also protected by law just like nip?<br><br>
Hope things get better! And I so admire you for putting up with the bs to do what's best for your ds.<br><br>
Good luck.
 

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OMG. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/jaw.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="dropjaw"><br><br>
XM, please please please tell these people to "Take This Job and Shove It"...<br><br>
...but before you do, I would ask around the local media to see who would LOVE to do a story about how a big, bad, Fortune 500 company basically made you choose between your son's health and your job. One of those "we're on your side" guys on the news or something.<br><br>
Oh, and then all of us at MDC will write them nasty emails saying how we're boycotting their company, etc.<br><br>
for you --> <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/mecry.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="crying"><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/hug.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="hug"><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/mecry.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="crying"><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/hug.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="hug"><br><br>
for them --> <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/angry.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="angry"><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/angry.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="angry"><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/angry.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="angry">
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
This is Mike filling in....Over the week-end we are going to look into a lawer who can tell us wether this is a civil liberties issue or a sexual harrassment issue. In the mean time I have a few good job leads. We are planning on XM becoming a SAHM within the next week or two. We'll figure out the rest later..... <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/splat.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="splat"><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/censored.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="censored">
 

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<div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
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<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">b) Due to complaints from some co-workers that I made them 'uncomfortable', I was no longer to nurse Ezra in the breakroom.</td>
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This si totally illegal I think based on WA BFing laws. You need to find a civil rights lawyer NOW! Please also give us information as to where to send letters, i.e. you supervisors work contact info, company headquarters, etc, once you are ready for us to do so.<br><br>
I am pissed beyond words, I can't imagine how you feel. if you decide to become a WAHM I"m sure everyone here wil lsupport you!<br><br><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/hug.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="hug"><br>
Lauren
 

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Darn, WA law isn't as clear cut as CA law. In CA a woman can BF her babe anywhere they are entitled to be. Get a lawyer. Also, if you are to pursue any legal action, ( Ihave done this before,) you need to write the story down ASAP, sign and date it and make copies. Everyday, every incident, write it down, sign and date it. then make copies!! put the originals is a safe place. Your lawyer will thank you and you will be glad you did. Have your dh do it and ANYONE who supports you at your work. Please, I implore you!!!!!!<br><br>
Lauren
 

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I'm appalled, PO-ed and whatnot like the rest of you. but in the meantime I thought I might offer some help....sounds like you're not quitting till ya have something else lined up. so....<br><br>
1. have your pump all set up when you get to work...the horns on, etc. that way you can take the 8 minutes you have to pump and don't worry about setting it all up and down.<br><br>
2. have you thought about arriving 15 minutes early, making a quick pumping session then and then another one during your break? likewise when you leave, take 15 minutes to pump right as soon as you can after you're off the clock. I pump for dd right before I pick her up. It took a little getting used to but now my boobs are ready to make lots of milk right at that time.<br><br>
3. Nursing (or pumping) in the car CAN be a good spot. You have music, it smells like you, you can have everything all set up....there's a power adapter for a car for the PIS pump. I pump ONLY in the car, except on wednesdays when i am here all day. I just got sick of the time it took to haul my butt down to the womens resource center (I work on a univ campus and share an office).<br><br>
4. keep at it. you are doing a great thing. your baby and you will definitely benefit.<br><br>
5....if you stick with this job....can the "womens shower" accomodate a more comfy chair? i.e. could you spruce it up a bit?<br><br>
6. I second the conference room idea. Find a person (maybe a woman?) who is a management type person and ask if you can schedule that room for your break?<br><br>
and finally<br>
7. i can't find if you said how long your lunch is...can you shorten it to 45 or 30 mins and lengthen a break....
 

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I'm new here, and I'm appalled, too! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/jaw.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="dropjaw"><br><br>
I used to work for one of those fortune 500 companies & 10 years ago they had a Mom's room with comfy chairs & Lactina pumps & a fridge & sink and even a stereo & this was one of the world's most conservative, male-dominated companies in the world (that thanks fo Enron doesn't exist anymore).<br><br>
My only suggestion besides being a huge squeeky wheel at work (especially if you're gonna try & be a SAHM - you've got nothing to "lose" by speaking out & could really help other women!) ...is refrigerate the horns between pumps so you don't have to take them apart & clean it all each time. That will help save you some time, too! I'd leave those parts hanging out in a huge clear plastic bag and labeled - BREAST PUMP parts - just for the shock factor! & if they give you some hassle about breastmilk being labeled a "bloodborne pathogen" - I've been thru that already & it definitely is NOT! You can safely store it in a regular old fridge without "contaminating" anybody's lunch!<br><br>
Good luck!!!
 

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Woops - my newbies are showing - I meant to reply to the WOH Mom who's having trouble pumping! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/redface.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Embarrassment">
 

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I'm new here, and I'm appalled, too! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/jaw.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="dropjaw"><br><br>
I used to work for one of those fortune 500 companies & 10 years ago they had a Mom's room with comfy chairs & Lactina pumps & a fridge & sink and even a stereo & this was one of the world's most conservative, male-dominated companies in the world (that thanks fo Enron doesn't exist anymore).<br><br>
My only suggestion besides being a huge squeeky wheel at work (especially if you're gonna try & be a SAHM - you've got nothing to "lose" by speaking out & could really help other women!) ...is refrigerate the horns between pumps so you don't have to take them apart & clean it all each time. That will help save you some time, too! I'd leave those parts hanging out in a huge clear plastic bag and labeled - BREAST PUMP parts - just for the shock factor! & if they give you some hassle about breastmilk being labeled a "bloodborne pathogen" - I've been thru that already & it definitely is NOT! You can safely store it in a regular old fridge without "contaminating" anybody's lunch!<br><br>
Good luck!!!
 
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