if one were to complain...

...about one's workplace lactation area, it might read like this. read only if you like reading about breastfeeding, otherwise skip to more funny and less estrogen-charged posts.

Hi, [facilities person]!
First of all, I just wanted to thank you for all the improvements you made to the lactation room on the second floor in [location]. The bulletin board is a great place to hang pictures and information, and the pictures that were already up are cute and inspiring.
I am really happy that [company] has a place for nursing mothers to use their pumps. It’s nice to know that there’s a place designated just for pumping mothers.
I hate to bring up negatives about such a positive benefit, but there are a few things about the way it’s set up that I thought perhaps you’d like to know about. There are 2 distinct issues: time and location. There are currently 4 of us using the second floor lactation room, with more mothers likely on the way in a few weeks. This presents a problem with regards to availability. I find myself going up to the room only to find it’s occupied at least once a day. Sometimes I am able to wait, but sometimes, due to either scheduling conflicts with meetings or just plain necessity, I have to make alternate arrangements. For as many times as I’ve found it occupied, I’m sure others were just as frustrated when I have been in the room when they are ready to pump. It had been manageable when there were fewer of us using the room (I’ve been using it since January) but the more women that pump, the more problems we seem to have. And because 3 of us have children that are roughly the same age, we’re really on the same schedule more or less, and that makes it even more difficult. If only pumping were able to be scheduled, but unfortunately, it’s a biological thing that most of us don’t have the ability to control as much as we’d like.
The second issue is location. Our bathrooms are always clean and comfortable, but unfortunately, the very nature of a restroom is not quite conducive to a smooth lactation session for so many reasons that I’m sure you can imagine for yourself.
I’m not sure what you’re able to do, or if you’re able to do anything at all, but I thought I’d give you the feedback in case the situation can be improved. An empty office equipped with the small refrigerator, some chairs, and some privacy screens would solve both problems wonderfully – more than one woman can use the room at a time, and it’s a quiet, comfortable area.
Again, I am very pleased that [company] has a lactation room at all – so I apologize if this seems pushy. But if you’re willing to improve on what you already have set up, I know all of us nursing moms would be extremely grateful.

5 validations:

NME said...

I think that is totally appropriate. I hope they make some changes in response. There has to be some tiny empty office that noone wants.

Marksthespot said...

And if they don't respond, invoke the nuclear option: Just start pumping wherever, whenever - in meetings, at shareholder gatherings, outside the CEO's office...

lonna said...

Lactation rooms can be so nice (or so I hear), but they don't seem to be so in the real world. I'm fortunate that most of my pumping was done in my own locked office, but I have two offices. The office that I use on campus before teaching was shared with another instructor. So I had to use the lactation rooms on campus. The room was so horrible that I ended up driving out 10 minutes to Dermot's daycare and feeding him directly because I just couldn't bear to pump there. They told me that some administrator might walk in because she stored stuff in the room right by the door. It was basically a big conference room with a small wooden divider. The whole awfulness of it cut my output in half, and I was already not getting nearly what Dermot needed. Good luck.

Jen O. said...

If the other moms and moms-to-be knew that you wrote this? You would be a workplace hero. Instead, you will probably be the Unknown Workplace Hero.

Let us know if you get a response!

Jaws said...

Wow, down here in the south you don't get stuff like this at all. My dad tells me all the time how jobs up north are now providing daycare and such like you write of in the business building. Here is all still just a myth that I have seen. There is only one location such as you might have there and its a hospital and provides for its nurses that are mothers. In the whole state.