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My full time job is not very child friendly. Most of the people I work with have no children or older children. Sometimes we have meetings that last from 9am to 2 or 3pm with only small breaks. This only happens a few times a month, but I'll never go that long without pumping ( or leaking all over the place!) What should I say to my boss(a man)?
Do you feel comfortable discussing the situation with him? Can you take a longer break if needed? My work is a bit more family friendly, so I know it would not be an issue for me. I would also feel very comfortable talking to my boss (who is male) about the situation... Would you be able to pump during the time for the small break?
I would talk to the boss, your HR rep (if you have one) or if there is someone more approachable who knows the office well, then talk to that person. My boss talked to me about how his wife pumped at work but when I asked him where I could go pump, he offered his office, and to me that is just awkward to have to boot my manager out of the office. I spoke to the admin lady and she got with the HR rep to find an empty office for me and it's great. My last resort is the bathroom, but I hate that! Good luck!
I am a teacher and it can be very awkward. I also travel between two middle schools, so I had to talk with two principals. I really wasn't worried about them, I was worried about my fellow teachers. I didn't want anyone to say anything about me using my Prep time pumping. (Union issues). So I got a note from my pedi. that explained everything. I didn't have any problems. Sometimes I have to search for a place to pump...but that's a different post.
Cody Joseph, born still at 20 weeks, December 11, 2009.
I'm also in a male dominated workplace, 4 women and about 50 men on my team! I was really lucky though that my co-worker was also pregnant and returned to work about 3weeks before me and was also BF'n. She had all the talks and answered all the many questions that the brave but clueless guys wanted to know.
As far as how to approach it with your boss goes though....I would just tell him the bare minumum of facts of what you need; ie. how often you will need breaks, how long they will last etc. Let him know he can ask any question that he needs, but unless he asks, I wouldn't toss out too many details. As a general rule of thumb most guys in my experience don't want to know the "details" of women things. Also be prepared to let him know how BF'n benefits you as a working mom.....babies that get sick less often means momma has less sickdays!!
I would definitely talk to your boss. If he has any problems with it, mention that b/f babies get sick a lot less, which means you wouldn't miss work as much. He may be more understanding than you think and it can't hurt to at least ask. If not I would do some more research on the b/f and pumping laws in your state.
Thanks for all the great advice. I'm actually a little more worried about the women at my job. They can't believe I want to keep BF'ing and working-likes it's a big chore and why should I bother. But I'll use these ideas and see what happens
When you approach your boss, it might be helpful to go in with a plan: how frequently and for how long you will need breaks for pumping, where you plan to pump, why it is important to you and your baby (don't forget to mention the research that shows that babies who are breastfed have fewer doctor visits, so you'll actually be less likely to have to miss work). Once he sees how well thought out you have everything he won't be able to resist supporting you
As far as the women you work with go, you'll probably have to learn to let their skepticism roll off your back. Sometimes it can be hard for women to see someone else succeed in an area where they didn't do as well. Your baby is your priority.