Going back to work after having a baby is tough enough without adding on the stress of pumping in an office. Whether you’re pumping in your office’s lactation room or trying to carve out a bit of space to pump in private, you’re bound to encounter at least a handful of awkward situations.
To help a feel a little less alone in the embarrassing pumping-at-work moments, we collected some stories from moms who have had their fair share of tough pumping moments.
Embarrassing Pumping-At-Work Stories From Real Moms
“I went back to work as a nursery school teacher right when my son was three months old. The only place they had free for me to pump was the Xerox machine/printer room. I would draw the shade down and people would know that they had to wait to go in until I was done pumping. Well, the Xerox machine repairman didn’t know about shade down rule and walked right in, stared for a bit like a deer in headlights until I said, “ummm, it’s going to be another 10 minutes.” There wasn’t a lock on the door, unfortunately, thus the shade rule.” – Danielle
“I was pumping in a small closet (the only space they had for me to pump in the office) and one of our accountants came in for a box while I was mid-pump – a shirt-off, pump-on situation. She paused while running her ill-timed errand to ask me how it felt to pump. I just stared at her for a moment thinking, “we’re going to have this convo now?!” I kept right on pumping while she got her box (though I declined to answer her questions).” – Sara
“My boss was frequently late for meetings, so they’d often start just as I was supposed to start pumping. A couple of times, when it was just me and her, I would pump with a cover in her office while we had the meeting just to keep things a bit more on schedule!” – Jess
“There wasn’t a lock on the space where I pumped and every once in a while someone would just walk right in while I was pumping. One guy in particular, William, would walk in no matter how many signs we put up to let everyone know I was pumping. It got to be like a sketch comedy routine – it felt like every time I was pumping (with my back to the door, fortunately), he’d attempt to come in only to have my colleagues yell, WILLIAM, STOP!!” – Heather
“I was on a work trip and my last scheduled pump session of the day was just before I had to board a plane. I ended up pumping in a bathroom stall at the Atlanta airport. Not the most glamorous conditions, but it got the job done!” – Kristin
“I tried so hard to remember everything I needed to pump at work, but one day I forgot multiple pieces to the pump and had to rush out just before a pump session. I was frantically running around a Babies-R-Us buying while I could feel myself getting engorged. I barely made it back to the office before I started leaking – it felt like some kind of crazy pumping marathon!” – Marisa
“I wear scrubs to work and had been wearing breast pads for months. I skipped one day and of course that was the day I was in the middle of an X-ray with two huge milk circles on my chest. I made sure to wear pads after that.” – Lynn
Do you have an embarrassing pumping-at-work story? Feel free to share in the comments!
When I’m not hanging out with my three-year-old and husband in Brooklyn, I’m busy writing stories for Mamas Uncut and managing PR + Marketing for Magnolia Bakery, based in New York City. On weekends, you can usually find me at a local park or playground pushing my daughter on the swings, “researching” the best almond croissants in Park Slope or launching into impromptu family dance parties at home, the sidewalk or, every once in awhile, a restaurant bathroom. I’m still trying to master the whole parenting thing, but I have learned that copious amounts of coffee, humor and humility are involved on a daily basis.
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