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To use a breast pump in the office kitchen?

(57 Posts)
AHedgehogCanNeverBeBuggered Fri 12-Jan-18 10:33:50

This would NOT be my first choice, but I'm not sure what else to do. I'm currently on mat leave with DS (6m) but need to attend a specialist update soon. DS is EBF so l need to express a minimum of twice during the all-day session to avoid discomfort and leakage. I asked the course organisers for a room to express in, but was told that meeting rooms are at a premium in that particular location and there isn't one available.

I really do need to attend this course but equally I can't go all day without expressing and the NHS website states that the toilet isn't a suitable place (plus the pump needs to be plugged in). I'd of course do it under a jumper so nothing would be visible, just the noise would be heard.

WIBU to do this, and if so can any wise MNetters think of an alternative?

OverTheParapet Fri 12-Jan-18 10:36:22

I'd do it in the training room! If they can't be arsed to supply a space (which I thought they had a legal requirement too) I'd do it mid session and say "oh sorry about the mooing noise (mine made a low mooing noise?!) just pumping as you said their was no legal provision for me!" grin

Marcine Fri 12-Jan-18 10:38:46

If there's no where else you'll have to!

If you don't feel comfortable about it though could you just hand express some for relief in the loos?

AHedgehogCanNeverBeBuggered Fri 12-Jan-18 10:40:29

I wish I was brave enough to do that OverTheParapet but I'd never hear the end of it and the story would follow me around forever! sad

pastabest Fri 12-Jan-18 10:40:29

From Maternity Action:

Rest facilities

Employers are obliged under the Workplace (Health, Safety and Welfare) Regulations 1992 to provide “suitable facilities” for a breastfeeding employee to “rest”.

The Approved Code of Practice states that these facilities should be conveniently situated in relation to sanitary facilities and, where necessary, include the facility to lie down. These “rest facilities” are very likely to also be a suitable place for breastfeeding or expressing. Although private, the ladies toilet is never a suitable place in which to breastfeed a baby or collect milk.

The Health and Safety Executive and guidance from the European Commission recommend that employers should provide:
access to a private room where women can breastfeed or express breast milk;

use of secure, clean refrigerators for storing expressed breast milk while at work, and facilities for washing, sterilising and storing receptacles.

AHedgehogCanNeverBeBuggered Fri 12-Jan-18 10:43:04

There's a prayer room at work I think that's lockable but I'm not sure if expressing there would be disrespectful to the Muslim colleagues who use it.

IsaSchmisa Fri 12-Jan-18 10:46:20

It's their problem to sort out. Ask them which non-toilet room they will provide for you to express in. If that's the kitchen, ok.

AHedgehogCanNeverBeBuggered Fri 12-Jan-18 10:53:46

That's a good plan, thanks Isa, I've emailed to ask them.

Shutupanddance1 Fri 12-Jan-18 11:00:21

A hedgehog - I’ve BF a baby in a prayer room as it was the only place to do it in a shopping center (I’m in Middle East). None of the ladies gave out to me who came in to pray but came over to check on me and baby. I’m sure it would be fine?

LouHotel Fri 12-Jan-18 11:04:47

Presumably they could clear the conference room they have booked for when they have coffee break/lunch break.

I run a hot and conference centre - i would provide a room/office for free for a breastfeeding mother if an organiser asked me. Suppliers have a duty of care too and that would be my interpretation - i doubt your boss has even asked.

MepsiPax Fri 12-Jan-18 19:10:39

How would using the prayer room be disrespectful OP? It's not as if you'd be doing it while they were in there praying? Or have I misunderstood?

AHedgehogCanNeverBeBuggered Fri 12-Jan-18 19:15:30

Mepsi I suppose I was thinking that they might not like a place of worship being used as a convenient room - it would (I imagine) be the same if someone decided to hold a meeting there. Happy to be corrected though if people think it would be ok?

GummyGoddess Fri 12-Jan-18 19:30:16

Breastfeeding is mentioned in the Qur'an and is heavily encouraged so I don't think it would be a problem as long as you weren't occupying the room during prayer and there was a note on the door to say that you were currently breastfeeding.

GummyGoddess Fri 12-Jan-18 19:30:35

Breastfeeding is mentioned in the Qur'an and is heavily encouraged so I don't think it would be a problem as long as you weren't occupying the room during prayer and there was a note on the door to say that you were currently breastfeeding.

ClaryFray Fri 12-Jan-18 19:33:20

They should be providing you a space, I'd just whip them out mid conference. But I'm a bit like that

Allthewaves Fri 12-Jan-18 19:35:24

In one off cases iv just used hand pump in the toilet and dumped the milk. And only expressed enough to stop being uncomfortable

ProseccoPoppy Fri 12-Jan-18 19:51:48

My work’s quiet room is also a prayer room (theoretically at least - despite their best efforts we are not a very diverse workplace). I used it daily to express for the first 6 months after going back to work after DD1 because HR told me that was the best room to use (sofa, plug socket, lockable). Had someone wanted to use it to pray my office roomie had agreed to clear off out so I could use our office. He never had to. I think you would be absolutely fine to use the prayer room.

AHedgehogCanNeverBeBuggered Fri 12-Jan-18 20:26:11

Thanks Gummy and Poppy, that's reassuring to hear smile

Clary DH agrees with you. I'll see what they come back with, maybe I'll have to!

SD1978 Mon 15-Jan-18 06:36:48

When in this situation with work, I used the managers office. It’s not unreasonable to expect a space is provided for you, which is private and not in full view of anyone coming in to make a coffee. If the kitchen area is suitable, and they can guarantee that you would be the only one using it, then that’s fair enough. If they expect you to sit with a pump and people wandering in and out whilst you do it, without a choice as to whether you’re comfortable with this or not, I am sure that they are legally breaking the law. Can you request an office space if the room is of such a premium?

Pengggwn Mon 15-Jan-18 06:58:54

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Mummyrowland Mon 15-Jan-18 07:03:14

Ask about the first aid room that's what I used

Cheby Mon 15-Jan-18 07:07:28

Prayer room sounds fine to me; as long as you make sure you’re pumping at an appropriate time, ie not one which will clash with set prayer times.

WasDoingFine Mon 15-Jan-18 07:08:35

@AHedgehogCanNeverBeBuggered - have you heard back from your email?

Lilonetwo Mon 15-Jan-18 07:10:02

I don't think it's fair for you to pump in the office kitchen. You deserve a little privacy and expressing with a machine is embarrassingly loud. Are you able to buy a manual pump and pop back to your car?

I had this exact problem (although I am self employed). So I expressed with my manual pump in the disgusting toilets twice. The repeat client who booked me knew I had to have a break to express.... They stopped booking me after this and I was very upset. I have a feeling they were discriminating against me... but I'm self employed and obviously couldn't prove this so never said anything further.

LakieLady Mon 15-Jan-18 07:17:01

This is something that is commonly overlooked by employers imo.

The organisation I work is very hot on equality issues, very supportive of people with caring responsibilities, goes above and beyond when it comes to "reasonable adjustments" and so on. But even they had to have a bit of a scurry round when a BF colleague returned to work and asked beforehand where she could express.

They quickly came up up with 2 options, a spacious ground floor shower room and a small meeting/interview room on the first floor. The also had opaque film put over the vision panel in the door of the room, which already had some sort of frosted privacy film over it. People can choose whichever they prefer.

Neither are ideal though. The shower room is still basically a bathroom, although it doesn't have a lavatory in it (and is spacious and spotlessly clean) and there's no electric point, and the interview room has no basin, so women can't rinse out the pump or anything.

The organisation is aware of this, and is looking to find somewhere more suitable.

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