Breastfeeding Mom Can't Pump at Work Because It's 'Disgusting'

breast pumpA breastfeeding mom who works as a restaurant server recently worked her shift with breast milk leaking all over the front of her shirt. If you're thinking she should have just pumped, so did she. But Kristen Joseph says a manager told her that was too "disgusting" to do in an establishment where people eat.

Pop quiz time, folks! You're about to eat in a restaurant. Which would you prefer: A) A mom is pumping her breast milk in the manager's office, far away from prying eyes, where you don't even know about it, or B) Your server is standing in front of you, and her shirt is soaking wet, right around the breast area.

What? You said B?


If you're about to add that telling a working mom that she can't pump her breast milk sounds illegal, you may be right. Federal law requires employers with more than 50 employees to provide some sort of nursing room on the premises for breastfeeding moms.

And of course, Kristen COULD technically have asked someone to bring 6-month-old son Wrigley to Hennessey's Tavern and legally could have breastfed him right out in the open on her break. I'm sure the manager would have loved that. The YouTube video of his face would have been priceless.

But I digress.

We need these laws to protect moms, but the fact is: we shouldn't need them. This manager wasn't just an idiot because we all know that breastfeeding moms who work more or less HAVE to pump. He's an idiot because he didn't think about what was best for his employee or best for his customers.

Common sense alone should dictate that it's far better to allow your employee to pump the milk out of her engorged breasts than to force her to spend the rest of her shift with a soaking wet shirt. If she pumps, she doesn't have painful engorged breasts, and she's a happier, better employee. If she pumps, she also doesn't leak out breast milk (which, for those who have a Todd Akin level of scientific understanding, is not something we ladies can control!), which is ... better for the customer.

It's a win/win.

So why is pumping on the job such a problem in America? Oh right ... because breast milk is disgusting. Uh huh.

Do you pump on the job? What are the conditions like?


Image via planet_oleary/Flickr

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