Is your maternity leave almost over? Are you thinking about going back to work? Then you might have started to think about pumping at work, too. While it can be tricky to find the time to pump when you're balancing lots of meetings and deadlines, this process can be very meaningful for both you and your baby. Hopefully you'll be able to transition back to office life seamlessly (with the addition of pumpint!), without any major hiccups. But if that's not the case, you'll be in very good company.
Here are five hilarious stories from working moms who have pumped in the office:
1. Forgot the Parts
If you're pumping at work, you need to always remember to pack a few extra necessities in the morning. Sara from Utah found out just what happens when you rush out the door without going through your breast-pump checklist. "[One] morning I got all hooked up and turned the pump on," she says, "only to realize I didn't have a baggie on one side to catch the milk."
2. Who Left the Fridge Open?
As a mom, you know that pumped breast milk needs to be refrigerated immediately, so that it can be kept cool until it's time to feed your baby. Unfortunately, your co-workers may be a bit oblivious when it comes to breastmilk preservation.
Michelle from New York recalls the time she needed to toss her pumped breast milk because someone in the office had forgotten to close the refrigerator door in the lunchroom. "I picture[ed] myself wandering up and down the halls, seeing blood, searching for the culprit," she says.
3. You Didn't See That!
It's not the most comfortable thing to pump while at work. Getting in any state of undress can be awkward, no matter how private the setting. Michelle from New York knows exactly what that's like.
"You'd be hard-pressed to find a more horrifying, unattractive, mutually uncomfortable situation than the breast pump walk-in," she says. " I was caught boob-in-suction.
"Her co-worker definitely got a glimpse as she shouted, "Shield your eyes, man. SHIELD YOUR EYES!"
She says that while fails at work can happen, it's better there than on the commute. "The worst was when I was trying to pump in a moving train's filthy bathroom, rocking back and forth with the train's movement, hooked up to the wall, while someone bangs from the outside."
4. Please Knock!
You may think that a closed office door is a signal to passersby that they should knock before entering. Unfortunately, some people don't seem to understand this common courtesy.
Cheryl from Indiana has firsthand experience. "I was pumping away while reviewing some work [and] my door was closed -- it's never closed," she says. "It had no lock, but I think I put a sign up to knock." Unfortunately, the sign was not as effective as Cheryl might have hoped.
"I'm pumping away and in walks an intern," she recalls. "He turned around and left, never realizing that I was pumping and never asking what that noise was." Thankfully, Cheryl's friend installed a lock on the door after the incident occurred. "I still kind of hate that intern," she admits.
5. This Is Not a Closet
Cheryl's not the only one who has experienced an awkward walk-in. Melissa from Virginia recalls her hilarious encounter with a maintenance worker.
"I always borrowed a small, empty room at the back of the [office] when I needed to pump," she says. "Since it was private, there was no lock, but I didn't care [because] all my 10 co-workers were female. Then, one day, a maintenance worker was on-site and barged right into what he thought was a closet, only to find me in all my [breast-pumping] glory.
"Thankfully, Melissa was able to maintain a good attitude through it all. "Once I got over my mortification, I realized he was probably much more traumatized than I was ... and I bet he never opened an unfamiliar door without knocking again!"
If you're about to head back to the office, you should check out these tips on Returning to Work After Maternity Leave.
Devan McGuinness is a Toronto-based freelance writer who specializes in parenting and lifestyle topics.
This article originally appeared on Care.com.
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