In talking to a lot of breastfeeding mothers over the years, personally and professionally, I have heard some horror stories. Threats from bosses, public embarrassment in meetings, unheated pumping places specifically chosen to discourage a new mom from continuing to pump; your worst fears realized, basically. However, even outside of the really terrible tales there are every day indignities and annoyances that are some of the cruelest things anyone can do to a mom pumping at work.
I'll admit that, when it came to pumping at work, my last job spoiled me. I worked for a large university and when I came back from (a generous) maternity leave I was welcomed with a plethora of breastfeeding and pumping support the likes of which most breastfeeding mothers don't receive. While we didn't have a lactation lounge in my building when I first started, we did by the time I left and it was bougie AF. The head of the HR department in my office connected me to the office of Work Life — who let me know about lactation rooms throughout the campus (equipped with hospital grade pumps) and list of lactation consultants who worked with my insurance if I found myself in need of their services — along with a breastfeeding support group they had started for new moms on campus. It was basically like living in a glorious feminist paradise and, guess what: the company continued to do beautifully and the workers routinely expressed not just milk but employee satisfaction. Whoa.
Alas, I know many if not most women are not so lucky. Here are some of the things they have to deal with on the daily, that are nothing short of unacceptable.