The Lighter Side of the Lactation Room

Photo Credit: aaron_anderer via Compfight cc

Photo Credit: aaron_anderer via Compfight cc

I’m not going to lie:  Pumping at work is time-consuming, awkward, and just not all that much fun.  But we do it because it’s good for our babies, and I’ve discovered few unexpected benefits to pumping at work.  If I think of it as a 30 minute vacation during my workday (broken into three 10-minute chunks), it seems a lot less burdensome.

Here’s a short list of some of the fun and funny things I’ve done while pumping.  (P.S. — if you’re pumping, get a hands-free pumping bra.  They are awesome.)

    • Worked on cross stitch and knitting projects
    • Listened to podcasts  (I like How They Blog, It’s a Thing, and RadioLab)
    • Listened to the pump “talk” to me — mine must have been a cowboy in a former life because it often says “get along, get along”
    • Written blog posts (three cheers for the WordPress app!)
    • Listened to people carry on loud conversations right outside the door… and wondered what they could hear on my side of the door!?
    • Put together photo album pages
    • Texted with my sister while she pumps — boob bump in solidarity!
    • Thought about how strange it is to be topless at work.
    • Obsessively checked the padlock on the door every time I hear someone walk by.
    • Wondered who stored half a Subway sandwich, 6 kiwis, and a bottle of salad dressing in the lactation room fridge and was too scared to come get it after actual human milk began gracing the inside of the fridge.
    • Been asked if I was sitting next to a washing machine while on a work phone call. (Answer: Sure, let’s go with that.)

What’s the most awkward thing you’ve ever had to do while you were at work?

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30 thoughts on “The Lighter Side of the Lactation Room

  1. I honestly can’t think of a really good awkward work story. A really terrible one was when I asked a colleague if they could help me unjam a stapler only for the story to end with a staple in their hand! Update – They’re okay. And… thanks for the podcast recommendations. 🙂

  2. Omg! I just died laughing! Thought I was the only “crazy” one that had a “talking” pump! Been too long for me to remember what it said, but that is too funny!

    • You get a whole year? Gah… don’t make me rub it in your face that all of our snow has melted and it was 65 degrees here today! =) Pumping does suck (ha ha) but when I think of it as a chance to get away from my office three times a day to read or knit or something … I think I might actually miss it!
      Sarah recently posted…The Lighter Side of the Lactation RoomMy Profile

    • Yes, I’ve had that same experience — although our shower/locker room at work is so nasty, I would rather just be sweaty and gross than use it. So there’s another awkward moment… wondering if people walking into my office in the afternoon can smell my B.O. (I’m a real class act, huh?)
      Sarah recently posted…The Lighter Side of the Lactation RoomMy Profile

  3. Oh, cool! Your sister had a baby around the same time you did? Cousins, identical cousins.
    This is the most awkward thing I’ve ever had to do while working. I was substitute teaching and Scarlet was about seven months old or so. I had to do it in the principal’s office one day! And it had no lock!
    Worst pumping sessions ever. I had asked for the nurse’s office but it was overrun by sickies.
    Tamara recently posted…One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Des Fish.My Profile

    • Yes! Baby Sam and Baby Anna are three weeks apart. They’re not quite identical though — Anna was born with a shock of black hair and a darker complexion (many tactless family members may have asked why my sister gave birth to a Chinese baby…)

      I hate having to pump in a strange location. I think my worst experience was during a day-long deposition at another attorney’s office. I had to call ahead to make sure they had a room for me (it was a bathroom of course) and they just wanted to keep working all day, straight through lunch and everything, so I had to be the weirdo that was constantly asking to take breaks.
      Sarah recently posted…The Lighter Side of the Lactation RoomMy Profile

  4. I’m not gonna lie, I do not miss that pump! However, I am SO glad I stuck with it. I pumped a whole school year w/ both kids and I’m proud that they never had to have formula. I always read a book–I read so many books that way! Your pic made me laugh. The other thing that made me laugh was my husband the first time he saw me pump! LOL
    jan recently posted…Record-Breaking WinterMy Profile

  5. Oh boy, I do not miss the pumping days! I work very part time as a nanny and sometimes I brought my little guy, but my mom is local and sometimes it was a lot easier for her to watch Hudson (I watch 3 girls, and 2 are school age, but still) and I could just pump when the littlest girl was napping or before we went on an outing or something. So I really only had to pump 4x a week at most, but it was a PAIN, and I felt super awkward keeping my milk in the fridge at their house :/
    Allie @ Days Like These recently posted…Twitterature- Februrary 2014My Profile

    • If you had to do it more you would have gotten more used to it, but yeah — it would have been hard to explain to the girls that you need a little break and you’ll be back in 10 minutes! My computer is much more understanding. =)

      There is a little mini-fridge in the lactation room I use now, but I was in a different office when my older son was a baby, and I just had to use the office fridge! I kept the milk in a little lunch bag, but I’m pretty sure everyone knew what was in there. =)
      Sarah recently posted…The Lighter Side of the Lactation RoomMy Profile

    • Hee hee! Writing funny stuff is really hard, but the situation is so ridiculous sometimes that the post just writes itself. It’s amazing what you can do with a hands-free pumping bra! I use Siri to dictate blog posts straight into the WP app. =)

  6. Oh gosh, Sarah, this is HILARIOUS! I didn’t make-it past 6 weeks in the pumping department. I was exclusively pumping since I left the hospital, and it just became too much. I decided it was more worth to me to spend time with my family than attached to a pump. Nevertheless, some of these are awesome. My favorites: listen to the pump talk to me (oh, what was mine saying??); boob bump; washing machine. Awkward things at work only include wardrobe adjustments, especially maternity pants. They always slipped down past my hips!

    • I can’t imagine trying to exclusively pump — good for you for doing it for 6 weeks! It seems like maternity clothes are especially good in the wardrobe malfunction department – I once walked around with my shirt having ridden up over my belly and and under-belly skirt… So I had nothing covering my stomach except the top of a pair of tights! Embarrassing…!

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