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Breastfeeding innuendo at work

(87 Posts)
insertcleverusernamehere Mon 25-Jul-11 11:23:56

First, some background information:
1) I take my baby to work with me. I know this is unusual. It was my boss' suggestion.

2) There is nowhere private for me to bf her (no I won't sit on the toilet tyvm). I generally swivel my chair round, latch her on, arrange my clobber, swivel back round, and get on with it. I dress extremely carefully to ensure that no skin is visible at any point.

The other day I was BFing at my desk when my boss walked in (open plan) with a male colleague who isn't usually in the office. My boss (male) said to the colleague 'that's one of the advantages of working here, you get to see THAT. Laugh laugh. The baby, that is.'

AIBU to think that was really rather lewd? Or does the whole free environment where I bf in public, baby at the office, mean it is ok for men to joke like that and its hardly as if men don't joke about their own bits in the office as well?

ImperialBlether Mon 25-Jul-11 11:27:03

I think your boss was being crude, but I'm just amazed you can get any work done with your baby there!

Can I ask what your job is?

Huffythetantrumslayer Mon 25-Jul-11 11:28:00

Are you in the uk? Cos if you are I'm pretty sure by law they have to provide you someone private to express/breastfeed. And I dont think thy should be commenting like that no.

Huffythetantrumslayer Mon 25-Jul-11 11:28:37

Somewhere private!

worraliberty Mon 25-Jul-11 11:28:37

All depends on how he meant it

He might have meant 'that' as in an unusual sight

insertcleverusernamehere Mon 25-Jul-11 11:28:43

Admin at a property investment firm. She really is a very good baby and it wouldn't have worked with my DS who was a crier.

So, is it ok to be crude then?

MissPenteuth Mon 25-Jul-11 11:29:03

YANBU. Inappropriate comment imo. Crude, blokey innuendo.

OrdinaryJo Mon 25-Jul-11 11:29:55

Well, I also think it was a bit crude and probably uncalled for, but am so shock that you get to take your baby to work that I don't really know what else to say...

Would also love to know what your job is.

Nomdujour Mon 25-Jul-11 11:30:09

YANBU, not ok!

insertcleverusernamehere Mon 25-Jul-11 11:31:05

Huffy sure he should, but he doesn't. Worral obviously I can't prove anything, but it was said in very 'blokey' way <jump at my throat for being sexist>

cumbria81 Mon 25-Jul-11 11:31:07

It was just a joke. I think you are being a bit sensitive.

FWIW, I think it's quite inappropriate to have your baby at work with you. I'm really surprised it's allowed.

MrsNorthman Mon 25-Jul-11 11:31:20

Firstly I think you are very brave. I would feel too uncomfortable to BF in those circumstances. Secondly in their defence, although the comment was lewd, your boss was probably embarrassed and didn't quite not know what to say. Men do say some stupid things sometimes and if his wife had heard him say what he did, she'd have probably kicked his ankles. I'd tell him that his comment made you feel uncomfortable perhaps?

choceyes Mon 25-Jul-11 11:32:28

I'd like to know what your job is too!

Well yes i think it could be taken as been rather lewd comment to make. I would not be happy about that.
But it depends on your work environment. If your boss allows you to take the baby to work with you then it sounds like a rather bizzare arrangement and workign environment, so I wouldn#t know what to make of that comment myself, whether it was meant as a joke or now.

I breastfeed my baby just outside work on a bench (back to work, DH is looking after kids and baby still needs bfing furing the day so he brings baby to work at lunch). If a collegue saw me and said that to me I'd be rather miffed.
I could BF in my office, but it's in the middle of a lab so don't want to take a baby there.

worraliberty Mon 25-Jul-11 11:33:10

That's my point. Perhaps it was 'blokey' embarrassment?

Obviously it's made you feel self concious but maybe it made him feel that way too.

Probably just awkwardness

Halbwahrheiten Mon 25-Jul-11 11:34:44

Yanbu, even if it was a joke, I find it crude and a bit offensive.

I got to take ds1 to work with me as baby and my boss always made sure I had the option of a private room to bf in.

DogsBestFriend Mon 25-Jul-11 11:34:48

What cumbria said.

bubblesincoffee Mon 25-Jul-11 11:35:03

It's not ok for him to say that, but it's not that big a deal either.

Like it or not, right or wrong, some people do feel awkward and uncomfortable at the sight of a woman bfing, and his comment could well have been a result of that. Or of thinking that the new guy might have felt uncomfortable.

You are lucky enough to have a job where you can bring your baby to the office, I think you should focus on that and let it go.

I expect there are lots of women that would love to be able to take their baby to work instead of leaving them with someone else, and would happily put up with the odd comment to do so.

activate Mon 25-Jul-11 11:35:51


I think women make jokes all the time about men - I really do - and this is just the other way

it was alittle crude blokey humour but he caught it and made it fine by referring to the baby

so I think you are being overly-sensitive and you should just concentrate on where you're lucky and ask for a private room if you want one

SingingSands Mon 25-Jul-11 11:36:05

How old is your baby? Sounds bizarre, having a baby in a work environment. I take it she's not at the crawling stage?

Nancy66 Mon 25-Jul-11 11:37:56

If it's the same boss that suggested you bring your baby in and breastfeed him/her then he does sound like a reasonable guy.

i'd forget this one and be prepared to believe you might have misconstrued - if it happens again, say you feel uncomfortable with his inappropriate comments and would he mind not saying such things.

insertcleverusernamehere Mon 25-Jul-11 11:39:18

Cumbria I'm not entirely sure he was so entirely wrong. The whole environment is rather free. my bringing the baby to work was a mutual agreement considering various factors - 1. I wasn't sure I wanted to return to work after my baby was born and my boss really wanted me to. 2. To me it was a very attractive offer because I was really uncomfortable with leaving such a young baby with a CM. 3. The alternative for him (not legally, but in practice because I'm the one who wanted to give up work and he's the one who wanted me back) was to give me enough of a pay rise to incorporate the cost of a CM.

Personally I felt uncomfortable hearing the comment.

mumwithdice Mon 25-Jul-11 11:41:05

I've reread your post and I wonder if, as crude as it sounded, your boss might actually have been trying to show what a family friendly employer he is. You state that it was his idea that you bring your baby to work and it doesn't sound like he expects you to feed in the toilet so maybe he meant bfing itself?

worraliberty Mon 25-Jul-11 11:41:50

To be fair, the guy could have felt really uncomfortable seeing a woman breastfeeding in front of him as he walked into the office.

It's not something he's going to see every your Boss probably shared a 'jokey comment' to put him at ease.

As you say 'the whole environment is rather free'

LoveBeingAbleToNamechange Mon 25-Jul-11 11:42:13

It's wrong.

Is he insured for your baby to be at work?

choceyes Mon 25-Jul-11 11:42:18

Having thought about I'd say maybe he was a bit embaressed (i know my boss would be) if he walked in saw your BFing. and the comment was just off the cuff, didn't really think what he was saying, kinda comment. Only you know your boss and only you can judge whether is meant it to be in a lewd manner. Not saying the comment isn't inappropriate, but only you know the manner in which it was said.

Just to say that, I would not be able to concentrate on work if I had the baby with me, regardless of how well behaved the baby is. I am AMAZED your company allows it!

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