Could you end your meeting, I need to pump?

I worked in a small company. And when I went back to work, I was confronted with giving up breastfeeding or using the great American and maybe European invention of a breast pump. I chose the later, because I thought it would give me a good way to stay in touch with my baby even when at work. But, being a small company, we did not have any lactation room. And it was an office of mainly males. A coworker who had tried before me mentioned asking her manager for use of his office and eventually losing the urge to continue pumping because of the mortification of having to ask again and again for the room and sitting in fear that someone would open the door. The internet talked of using the toilet or even hanging a a sheet over your cubicle (no, really). I admire moms who did that, but I was more chicken. Anyway, I asked them to install a lock in one of the conference rooms, and I just reserved it for 20 minutes three times a day.

This worked more or less. My coworkers had to arrange meetings around the mysterious meeting on my calendar at 9:30, 12:30 and 3: 30 named ‘Meeting’. And all the people sitting between me and the conference room got used to seeing me tear into the room loaded with the pump and other equiment and then tear out in an equal hurry.

It was not easy. People inevitably asked me to reschedule my meetings, which I rarely did. This rankled some male feathers, but suddenly I didnt care as much. Strangely, it was more the men who knew what I was doing that asked me to reschedule. So the ones who saw the ambiguous ‘meeting’ on my calendar thought it important enough not to ask me, but the ones who knew I was pumping asked me to reschedule! Anyway, the funniest moment of all this was when on one desperate day I had to ask a group of stragglers ‘Could you end your meeting, I need to pump’.

And I dont still know who looked more embarrassed, me or the group of men filing out with unperturbed faces.

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2 Comments

  1. Suni

    Kuddos to you … I am a new mom, who pumps thrice a day at office. I know how it is like to sneak out with a suspicious looking bag every now and then. But then as you said, I don’t care. I just want the best for my baby. 

  2. Khushi

    Thanks Suni, for your comment. I am glad to find someone else who pumps three times a day. All the best. You know, it feels good that I am able to do this despite being away from him. With my second baby I have become all the more convinced about the importance of doing this.

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