Results 1 to 13 of 13

Thread: Expressing at work, how did your employer accommodate you? (and other questions)

  1. #1

    Default Expressing at work, how did your employer accommodate you? (and other questions)

    I've asked my HR dept about work policies and what their requirements are in terms of allowing me to express and they've said they would look into what they can do. For those that express at work, just wondering what set ups did your work do? Did they convert a room for you? Did you have to go offsite to do it? Were they accommodating with you possibly having to express at different times during the day?

    Did you feel awkward doing it at work, with people knowing you were off expressing? Is it more cumbersome than you expected?



    thanks

  2. #2

    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    Dandy Ranges ;)
    Posts
    7,526

    Default

    First up, have a look at the ABA for theit guidelines - there are rights. They need to supply a fridge or simiar. You can express every 2 hours I think.

    sent from the Hellmouth.

  3. #3

    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Melbourne, Vic
    Posts
    8,631

    Default

    Yep, Kaz is right. Check the BFWA website (link through from ABA) for info about what they have to do

    I never felt weird but my workplace is BFWA accredited and has a policy for nursing mothers. We have two separate rooms in my building that are "parents rooms" that are expressly for lactating mothers (pun intended ). They are great - door that locks with electronic access granted only upon request, so random people can't wander in, one room with microwave, sink, power points and lockers, then a separate room with a big comfy arm chair, power points and a TV - so you can catch up on Dr Phil apparently

    I did feel a bit odd when I was offsite - I basically had to book a meeting room for two half hour periods and then go in there and wedge the door shut and hope no one walked in on me. It wasn't the best and I didn't persist long.

  4. #4

    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Tiny Town
    Posts
    4,675

    Default

    I'm a bit nervous about this myself. I work in a small overcrowded bank branch. I used to have an office, so planned on just locking the door and facing away from the glass wall looking into the branch.

    Things have changed since I left though. The other manager is now in the office, and I'll be out the back where there are essentially two desks in a walkway that holds fax/printer/files etc and leads to the bathrooms and kitchen. It's all very open and I'll be out there with two young guys. I have no intention of pumping there, in the kitchen or bathroom. I plan on kicking someone out of one of the three offices every two hours, but I can imagine at least one person won't be receptive to this.

    Good luck to both of us I say!

    Sent from my GT-P7510

  5. #5

    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Sydney
    Posts
    1,693

    Default

    I went back to work when my first was 3 months old and when my second was 4 months old (part-time). So I have combined breastfeeding, working and expressing for quite a long time.

    My “conditions” were crap. I am a TAFE bush regeneration teacher. The only opportunity I had to express was in my breaks. If I was teaching a class, my boobs just had to wait. My morning tea break was never long enough so I had to do it at lunchtime and my boobs were nearly exploding by then. I would also often be on a field trip, in the middle of the bush, when I needed to express.

    I never used a fridge, I always carried an esky with plenty of ice bricks. I expressed where ever I could, in my boss’s office, in my car, under a tree (LOL), in a toilet as an absolute last resort.

    Having said all that though my experience of expressing at work was fantastic. Every single person I ever encountered about it was absolutely wonderful and so encouraging. For me the crappy conditions were more than made up for by the personal support of my colleagues, managers and students. I guess I was flexible, they were flexible, I wanted to breastfeed, they wanted me to breastfeed and with that attitude you can achieve anything. And none of my children have ever had to have formula despite my retuning to work.

    ETA: Just to give you an example of how my colleagues helped me, I would teach for 4 hours in the classroom in the morning, have a quick lunch and then go out in the field (for another 4 hours) with the class in the afternoon. My colleagues knew that I would need to spend my lunchtime expressing. So as soon as I appeared back at the office from my class they would say, here, here come in here (into one of their offices) they would go and get me lunch, bring it to me and load my car with the tools and papers I needed for the afternoon AND then tell me what an awesome Mum I was. That’s the kind of practical, flexible and heart-warming support that makes a real difference and is worth so much more than any comfy lounge or clean fridge.
    Last edited by Epacris; March 6th, 2012 at 07:10 PM.

  6. #6

    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Melbourne
    Posts
    856

    Default

    I had my own office so that part was easy. I initially expressed twice a day and then later once a day. I often worked whilst expressing. I double pumped so that saved some time.


    If I wasn't at my site I booked a room at the other sites and if worst came to worst I was going to use the disability toilet because we had no parents room. I also expressed in the car a number of times rather than use the toilets. I just made sure I parked in a more isolated spot. A couple of times I expressed whilst driving as i was pushed for time.

    I think there was mixed feelings about me expressing (so I heard from a work friend) but no one could really say anything because of the work place laws and standards. The first day or two I felt awkward but I soon got over it.

    I'm glad I did it.

  7. #7

    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    still on the teaching contract roundabout
    Posts
    1,952

    Default

    I was lucky as a teacher librarian to have an office with a high glass window (the bottom of ghe window wasn't too low that anyone could see anything) that I could express in my office with my door mostly shut (so I could hear if I was desperately needed) while still keeping an eye on senior students as I was the teacher on duty most of the time. I was interrupted from time to time to help kids but I'd just pause my expressing for a minute, help student then return to expressing. My library assistant was not supportive at all (thought that I shouldn't be bfing my son or expressing for him while being back at work - that's a whole nother thread - she is rather negative about everything- don't know why she works in a school or in any job that had something to do with customer service).

    I used the ice bricks in a cooler bag as it was easier for me than putting stuff in the fridge in the library. I did however use that fridge for my pump parts in a ziplock bag during the day.

    I expressed up to 4 times a day depending on if I had meetings after school or not. Usually I ended up with a bit more than what DS needed for the next day of care without me as I was working full time so excess went to freezer at home.

    I shifted schools (and went back to fulltime classroom teaching) when ds was about 18mths old and as I was still expressing, I ended up expressing in the toilets but in a waiting area on a couch with a bfing wrap over me in case people came in - but only did that once a day during a free lesson -was glad when ds decided that he didn't need a day feed anymore before the end of term 1 (about 20mths old) and I could drop the express as I really needed the prep time.

    This time around I will be expressing in my office (with one way glass so can still see students as required) but I have a supportive library assistant so am actually looking forward to expressing at work. Currently SA Ed dept. schools need to provide at least 1/2 hr expressing time per day for the first year of child's life that doesn't count towards their face to face or prep time at school. Doesn't quite support the WHO recommendation of bfing until 2yrs but at least it's something in the right direction. Hopefully I won't have to go back to full time classroom teaching until at least after this one coming will be not wanting day feeds with DH or at childcare.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk so sorry if I'm confusing you

  8. #8

    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    in the garden
    Posts
    3,767

    Default

    I was EE for Pie when I went back to work, initially every 3.5 - 4 hours (although at first I stretched it out a bit and finished early) - I usually had one pumping session at work, sometimes two.
    I was in a shop with no separate room, even the toilets were outside the building & public and no WAY was I going in there. So I shifted a cupboard out the back of the shop (not in public view) to kind of partition the space off and I sat back there & pumped. The noise worried me for all of 5 minutes... really everybody just went about their business. I had one or two conversations with staff while pumping, I had a big T-shirt which i used to change into so i was fairly well covered.

    Agree with Kazbah, check the ABA site so you know your rights. I never had to assert them but it did make me feel better just knowing what my rights were should I ever need to argue the point.

    Epacris, that is really lovely.

  9. #9

    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Middle Victoria
    Posts
    8,924

    Default

    I looked at the ABA site and the BFWA site and couldn't find anything on the responsibilities of workplaces. Can someone post a link if you find it.

    I only expressed at work for a short time, i was working at a day program for adults with disabilities. i had a small room that was used to change clients. the powerpoint was near the door, so i would sit on the floor with my back against the door. the fridge was communal for staff and clients, and so i found it easier to just use a cold pack with frozen bricks.

  10. #10

    Join Date
    May 2008
    Posts
    1,110

    Default

    I found that most of what I expressed was not getting drunk anyway, so I would do one "keeping" express either at lunchtime or in the morning before work, and otherwise just pump and dump wherever I could. You should try and get good at quick hand-expressing of a small quantity so you can manage engorgement throughout the day by just squirting down the sink as needed.
    my work had a first aid room and a meeting room available for use, but I was also quite often out and about. Big jackets were very useful - as was double pumping, which was much quicker.
    If you have access to a fridge then it is much faster to just put the milky pump bits back into the fridge without washing them.

  11. #11

    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    In the middle of nowhere
    Posts
    9,362

    Default

    I had a bit of a different work environment (I was a cop) but I expressed successfully for ages.
    There was no room set aside but I just used the locker rooms (I was usually the only chick on the shift so no biggie, but everyone was supportive anyways). I was given space in the bosses fridge (so as not to freak the young fellas out), and when I announced I was going off to express always one of the guys hopped on my truck to cover me, so I had great support.
    I only ever used a hand pump and never had an issue with it. I'd always be done in under 30minutes. Due to the nature of my job off site wasn't an option so if I was at a job I just had to wait.

  12. #12

    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Middle Victoria
    Posts
    8,924

    Default

    the nsw police have just become a breastfeeding friendly workplace.

  13. #13

    Default

    I am a p aramedic and so like Kim my work environment is a bit different to those that work in an office. If we were at branch when I needed to express I informed the duty manager and we would be taken out of service for the time it took me... usually about 20 minutes. The response I received depended on who was on duty; sometimes supportive and accommodating, sometimes with a huff and a puff of exasperation and sometimes with embarrassment. Didn't matter, it is my right to express at work.

    When we are off site, I have found hospitals a great place to express. The paediatric section of the emergency department usually has a parents room which is used for BF or expressing. Hospital staff have always been very happy to let me use this room. The added bonus is the sound of the babies on the ward crying helps with my letdown! Depending on how long we are going to be at hospital determines whether I inform the duty manager or just express without notifying them. Often I express while my partner does their paperwork. I have expressed in the back of the a mbulance on one occasion; we kept attending cases where we didn't need to transport but we didn't get back to branch either so I expressed in the back while my partner sat up front and completed the paperwork. I do have the right to ask to be moved to a branch and taken out of service but I was happy to express in the back and am fairly flexible and easy going about when and where I get my boobs out!

    I do feel anxious about expressing at work when the vehicle is taken out of service (ie. not available to respond to a job). I feel responsible for one less truck being on the road and although it is my right, I would hate to think a patient would suffer an adverse outcome because they had to wait longer for a truck because I'm expressing! It's for this reason that I prefer to be flexible and express at hospital before we are ready to clear anyway.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •