Since returning to work, I’ve become somewhat fascinated/obsessed with the practice of pumping at work**.  Pumping while at work has been sort of a necessary evil for me as I try to reach the one-year mark of breastfeeding my baby boy.  I diligently pump twice a day while away from Lenny, but I’ve developed a physical reaction to pumping–I get a wave of nausea every time the pump latches on.  Needless to say, while I am fortunate to be able to breastfeed and do enjoy nursing my son, I just may throw myself a little party when I no longer have to pump.  But I digress.

Pumping at work is hard enough, so it is essential that employers are supportive of breastfeeding moms.  Us Nutmeg-State-ers are actually among the lucky few; Connecticut is one of only twelve states that mandate any sort of workplace pumping requirements.  Melanie has written an excellent post discussing the Connecticut law.  In a nutshell:

  • Employers are required to provide a private, lockable space that is NOT A BATHROOM.
  • Employers need to allow reasonable break time for the act of pumping and for set-up and break-down of equipment. Depending on the employer, this time may be above and beyond the regular break policy provided to other employees.
  • You cannot be disciplined or discriminated against because you are taking the time to pump at work.
  • Employers must make this accommodation for up to one year after the child’s birth, if necessary.

Please do read Melanie’s post on the subject. My post is not intended to be a discussion of the law; I am certainly no lawyer and Melanie is the expert here.

After reading this article about where moms pump in Seattle, I was inspired to reach out to Connecticut moms to submit photos of where they pump while at work. I have to say, in general I was pleasantly surprised at the spaces our local moms submitted. For the most part, you’re given a comfortable chair or couch and plenty of space for your pumping equipment in a dedicated, clean and private room.  Many rooms have a sink, lockers and a refrigerator.  There are some rooms with extra equipment, like a microwave or telephone, and one mom jokingly adds to her caption, “Note: I don’t know what the projector is for.”  Some rooms are cozy and nicely decorated, others are a bit more clinical.   Some of you pump in your private offices, some of you pump in your cars, some of you pump in your empty classrooms.  Those of you that submitted photos seemed generally happy with your lactation rooms.  Those that aren’t–the mom who has to pump in a hot attic, or the mom who struggles daily with restrictions placed on her by an uncooperative employer–please speak up. It is within your legal rights for your employer to make reasonable accommodations in allowing you to pump at work.  While I would love to think that I didn’t see too many less-than-stellar lactation rooms because all of you working moms are overjoyed with your accommodations, I imagine I didn’t hear from many of you unhappy mommas for privacy reasons.  And that’s okay.  I only hope that you do assert yourselves to your employers if you feel the situation needs to change, and that employers that see these photos will take a second look at their own lactation rooms and pumping policies for any areas for improvement.

What follows is a compilation of our reader-submitted photos with their own captions describing their spaces. Mommas, show us where you pump!

 

"Behold the glory!"

“Behold the glory!”

"Crisp and clean and just like home, NOT!...I have to say I could have a worse area to pump in."

“Crisp and clean and just like home, NOT!…I have to say I could have a worse area to pump in.”

This mom was provided a hot attic in the restaurant where she works.

This mom is provided a hot attic in the restaurant where she works.

"I work for the March of Dimes in Glastonbury and I'm very lucky to work in a breastfeeding and pumping-friendly office!I've been pumping at work since November and since May I've been pumping exclusively for donating to the Mothers Milk Bank Northeast. From November to January I also nursed my daughter in this same room every day at lunchtime when one of my parents would bring her to me."

“I work for the March of Dimes in Glastonbury and I’m very lucky to work in a breastfeeding and pumping-friendly office!  I’ve been pumping at work since November and since May I’ve been pumping exclusively for donating to the Mothers Milk Bank Northeast.
From November to January I also nursed my daughter in this same room every day at lunchtime when one of my parents would bring her to me.”

"I pump at my desk in my classroom. You can see the (locked) door is blocked by a pocket chart so little eyes can't see in!"

“I pump at my desk in my classroom. You can see the (locked) door is blocked by a pocket chart so little eyes can’t see in!”

"Here are two photos of the lactation room I use at Pratt & Whitney. The caption under the photo of the baby wearing headphones is "pump up the volume." Always makes me laugh. :)"

“Here are two photos of the lactation room I use at Pratt & Whitney. The caption under the photo of the baby wearing headphones is ‘pump up the volume.’ Always makes me laugh. :)”

 

[Picture 2]

[Picture 2]

"What a pumping room should be!" Location: UTC Power (May 2011)

“What a pumping room should be!” Location: UTC Power (May 2011)

“I have a few different options! Picture #1 is my preferred room!  I think one of the other women decorated it because the tree appeared recently.”

“I have a few different options! Picture #1 is my preferred room! I think one of the other women decorated it because the tree appeared recently.”

[Picture 2]

[Picture 2]

“This is where I pump!  The first picture is the actual room and the second two pictures are of the pumping "area" which consists of two rooms, private bathroom, and sitting space.  I've been pumping one-two times a day here for the past 6 months and have had no real issues.  On my wish list:  small, secured lockers where I could store my pump and fridge/freezer specifically for the women pumping.  This would enable me to be more discreet in general as well as enhance the convenience factor.  I work at one of the large insurance companies located in Hartford.”

“This is where I pump! The first picture is the actual room and the second two pictures are of the pumping “area” which consists of two rooms, private bathroom, and sitting space. I’ve been pumping one-two times a day here for the past 6 months and have had no real issues. On my wish list: small, secured lockers where I could store my pump and fridge/freezer specifically for the women pumping. This would enable me to be more discreet in general as well as enhance the convenience factor. I work at one of the large insurance companies located in Hartford.”

[Picture 2]

[Picture 2]

[Picture 3]

[Picture 3]

“I drive most of the day, so I pump while driving using a hands free pumping bra. This is a pic of the power cord, my tubing,my phone charger, and my phone headset. A ridiculous amount of wiring.”

“I drive most of the day, so I pump while driving using a hands free pumping bra. This is a pic of the power cord, my tubing,my phone charger, and my phone headset. A ridiculous amount of wiring.”

“This is where I did the deed!  My office! Just needed to close the blinds of my windows and lock my door.”

“This is where I did the deed! My office! Just needed to close the blinds of my windows and lock my door.”

“Our company (major cable television company) has 2 pumping rooms. This one has a phone & a comfy chair, but the other one is most desirable with a sink & a fridge. Note: I don't know what the projector is for :)”

“Our company (major cable television company) has 2 pumping rooms. This one has a phone & a comfy chair, but the other one is most desirable with a sink & a fridge. Note: I don’t know what the projector is for :)”

“The Lactation Room at Pratt & Whitney…”

“The Lactation Room at Pratt & Whitney…”

“The Lactation Room at Pratt & Whitney…”

“The Lactation Room at Pratt & Whitney…”

“The Lactation Room at Pratt & Whitney…”

“The Lactation Room at Pratt & Whitney…”

“The Lactation Room at Pratt & Whitney…”

“The Lactation Room at Pratt & Whitney…”

“The Lactation Room at Pratt & Whitney…”

“The Lactation Room at Pratt & Whitney…”

“I pump ‘like a boss’ in my car due to being a sales rep :-)”

“I pump ‘like a boss’ in my car due to being a sales rep :-)”

[Picture 2]

[Picture 2]

“This is my office, and I pump here every day. I put paper over the door window and draw the blinds as close as I can to the floor (I have a floor to ceiling window on the other side). There are no outlets left on the computer side of the room, but I have it all rigged up with my pump on a chair so that I can still pump and be at my computer or on the phone at the same time. We have a pretty nice pumping space for staff also (shared by several women), but I find it easier to just close my door and hook myself up.”  This reader works at a CT high school.

“This is my office, and I pump here every day. I put paper over the door window and draw the blinds as close as I can to the floor (I have a floor to ceiling window on the other side). There are no outlets left on the computer side of the room, but I have it all rigged up with my pump on a chair so that I can still pump and be at my computer or on the phone at the same time. We have a pretty nice pumping space for staff also (shared by several women), but I find it easier to just close my door and hook myself up.” This reader works at a CT high school.

“Hate the restrictions employer places on my pump time.  I hate looking for space.”

“Hate the restrictions employer places on my pump time. I hate looking for space.”

“Here are a few pictures of my office aka "pump space". I guess it's good because it's private and the door locks. The bad part is, I don't really get to take specific breaks. I end up pumping during calls, and usually forgo any type of formal break. I've only been "caught" once - I was on the phone with a executive from my main office, and he's like "are you jumping on a trampoline?!" Ugh! Tried to muffle sound and blamed connection lol…This is the second baby I've pumped for while working for this company. It's is much better than the job I had when my now 12yr old was nursing - I worked in a warehouse/retail environment and had to use the bathroom. I was pretty much the only female, so I was able to clean it and lock it down.”

“Here are a few pictures of my office aka “pump space”. I guess it’s good because it’s private and the door locks. The bad part is, I don’t really get to take specific breaks. I end up pumping during calls, and usually forgo any type of formal break. I’ve only been “caught” once – I was on the phone with a executive from my main office, and he’s like “are you jumping on a trampoline?!” Ugh! Tried to muffle sound and blamed connection lol…This is the second baby I’ve pumped for while working for this company. It’s is much better than the job I had when my now 12yr old was nursing – I worked in a warehouse/retail environment and had to use the bathroom. I was pretty much the only female, so I was able to clean it and lock it down.”

[Picture 2]

[Picture 2]

[Picture 3]

[Picture 3]

Other responses we received without pictures were:

“I’m currently out of work for the summer, but I have to pump in the nurse’s office.”

“I’m not pumping anymore but when I did I had to pump in my car because I’m on the road all day as a home care nurse.”

 

Please continue the conversation–are you happy with where you pump at work?  Let us know!

 

 

 

**A list of my own posts talking about pumping:

You know you’re a working mom when…

Pumping at work…when you’re not at work

The Moo-Moo room

More confessions of a first-time mom

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