Saturday, May 24, 2008

Pumping in Public

Since River’s birth, I haven’t had any problem breastfeeding in public. When he’s hungry I feed him, whenever and wherever that may be. If it seems uncomfortable, I remind myself that he has the same right to eat as anyone else. Luckily, people have been only supportive so far.

Pumping outside the home has been a different matter. That I don’t feel can be done in public. Nipples being sucked by air into little plastic tubes is not a sight I would subject anyone to. At home is fine. In the car is fine. But since I don’t have a car and prefer to work outside the home, finding spaces to pump has been pretty near impossible.

There are two types of bathrooms in the places I frequent. The first is a public bathroom with several stalls. This is the case at the library. I have privacy and I’m not holding up the line. However, people can hear what goes on each in stall. I learned that when I tried to pump with a manual pump and it began to squeak. The electric, battery-operated pump whirrs. There is no way to do it without everyone in the bathroom hearing. For those who haven’t pumped before, the squeaking or whirring nearby might make them think someone is manufacturing an explosive device. A breastpump really only comes to mind for those who have done it. So once was enough at the library.

Then there are the nice bathrooms at the local coffee shops and grocery store. Only one person at a time enters, so no one can hear what I’m doing. However, pumping takes longer than a standard trip to the bathroom. Each time I’ve tried it, someone knocks or tries to open the door long before I’ve finished.

Since these unsuccessful tries, I’ve organized my day so that I can go home to pump. If anyone has been more successful in finding a place to pump outside the home, please share your ideas.

1 comment:

Lisa said...

Hello JJ,
I realize this is an older post but one that I would like to address. I have started a website dedicated to finding nursing rooms anywhere and everywhere so moms can have their privacy when they need it much like you did. Moms are encouraged to share any nursing rooms they've experienced.

I hope that I can help even one mom like yourself to find comfortable private rooms to either nurse their baby or pump as needed. Thanks so much!