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Why do some nurses hate it in others pump at work?

Nurses   (16,110 Views | 104 Replies)

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mmc51264 has 8 years experience as a ADN, BSN, MSN, RN and specializes in orthopedic; Informatics, diabetes.

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I don't think people, at least the ones that I work with, mind pumping, it's the not telling anyone. After a while, if we could not find our nurse, we figured out where she was. We recently had an in-service about pumping at work. WE have several dedicated rooms for pumping and dedicated refrigerators for employee milk. The only issue I have encountered was a woman who decided to use a conference room that was conveniently located, but someone had booked that room and the nurse didn't notice or didn't care. She went off on the people who needed the room when it really was not their fault. She should have gone to one of the many rooms dedicated for pumping purposes.

Ironically, we had a nurse on the peds floor who was upset about a visiting family member that pumped in "public" on the unit. That was ridiculous. You'd think a peds nurse wouldn't even notice a BF woman.

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hawaiicarl has 28 years experience as a BSN, RN and specializes in Critical care.

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Canada too, Meerikuns get 6 weeks, no wonder they are all hoodlums.

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I never minded covering for someone breastfeeding, in fact I encouraged it.

The only problems I have ever had was when someone has XYZ special need which required extra work on my part but did not reciprocate. If I have to cover you while you breastfeed, take a break because of your back, go on a smoke break, whatever, I expect you to do something for me when you get back. Start an IV, ambulate my patient, something.

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Farawyn has 25 years experience and specializes in A little bit of everything..

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Better than the smokers, who take way too long, still take their breaks and come back smelling like carp.

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CaffeinePOQ4HPRN has 10 years experience as a BSN, LPN, RN.

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Not supporting the traveler's bad behavior but I'll admit to being irritated with a staff member that pumped every two hours for 30-45 minutes each session AND took her 30 minute lunch AND her two 15 minute breaks during her 10 hour shift. You do the math on that one.

There may be many other factors involved that the OP is omitting or unaware of.

I worked with a nurse who exploited the fact that she was a nursing mother to take frequent, lengthy breaks off the floor (to allegedly pump) leaving our skeleton crew of nurses to constantly pick up her slack. She barely carried half her load and was still taking home the same salary as the rest of us who were breaking our backs because she #HadABaby. As someone who will never receive this kind of accomodation (because I don't have a baby), it's irritating to be taken advantage of by people who throw the think of the children/children come first/as a mother...” position at you as though statement were an unquestionable defence or fact in an of itself. Why would anyone think that the patients they serve, and other staff deserve to be inconvenienced because they chose to have a baby? I think that is the bigger underlying question here. We all have to be accountable for the life choices we decide to make. What happens if a mother decides to continue breastfeeding when their child is older than 12 months? Are we supposed to accommodate your frequent breast pumping breaks indefinitely?!

Nursing is not an industry like others, a person with certain medical conditions can even be precluded from the profession if their condition(s) prevent them from carrying out nursing tasks or puts patients at risk. If a person needs such an extensive accommodation in an industry where the people covering for them are often working injured, going without bathroom breaks/eating, etc...perhaps you need to find other employment. I can't imagine how this would work, for example, on a busy ICU floor. I support nursing mothers, but not people who use their accommodation inappropriately as a strategy to pass off their workload onto someone else. I've seen this happen so many times I've lost count.

Edited by CaffeinePOQ4HPRN

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decembergrad2011 has 12 years experience as a BSN, RN and specializes in Oncology.

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On a 12 hour shift, I would pump 4x for the first 9 months. At 9 months, I dropped to 3x, then at 10 2x, then the last month was spent only pumping once halfway through my shift. I plan to do this again.

People had problems with it because it was impossible for anyone to take a break some days unless they literally said, "I'm taking a break, bye" and went away. I was protected by law and my baby was a priority, too, so I made sure to take my breaks even if my day dictated that they were brief. However, I didn't take any other breaks where I was unavailable, including my lunch breaks. I would often let my food grow cold as I attended to something, or would eat while charting. I did start allowing myself uninterrupted breaks again when I dropped pumping sessions, but I think that minimized people thinking I was getting extra breaks.

Now, I try to be an advocate for pumping nurses and offer to watch their patients while they pump. I am thankful to those who did the same for me.

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rkitty198 has 11 years experience as a BSN, RN and specializes in Med Surge, Tele, Oncology, Wound Care.

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We are talking about the legal rights of women who pump at work, but what about the legal rights to standard lunch and breaks?

I watch your patients while you pump and you watch mine while I take a break.

It's called teamwork- no resentment

however, it sounds like some of these nurses are taking advantage and not reciprocating.

At that point I think the manager should get involved, because ultimately it is the employers duty to give the nursing mother the time not the staffs responsibility.

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decembergrad2011 has 12 years experience as a BSN, RN and specializes in Oncology.

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What happens if a mother decides to continue breastfeeding when their child is older than 12 months? Are we supposed to accommodate your frequent breast pumping breaks indefinitely?!

I breastfed my daughter until 2.5 but stopped pumping at 1 year. Most women who do extended breastfeeding and work tend to give up the pumping sessions.

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Meriwhen is a ASN, BSN, RN and specializes in Psych ICU, addictions.

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I pumped for about 15 minutes. Or until I got my second letdown, sometimes that would happen after 10 minutes and I would thank my lucky stars because it meant I could get back to work. I never took more than 15 minutes, but I also never left a mess for my co-workers. I always made sure my patients were medicated and comfortable before going.

Like I said, I charted, took calls, and did not get the privacy needed, so pretty much not a break lol

This is just me so don't presume I expect this of others, but I didn't see the point in creating a fuss so I could have breaks specifically for pumping, though federal and state laws would have protected me had I pushed for it. I just used my lunch and if necessary, one of my 15-minute breaks. I had a double pump so I could get the job done in 15 minutes, leaving me time to eat lunch...that is, if I didn't opt to eat while I was doing it. I didn't often need the second session.

I never had a supply issue with pumping only once at work, though I did let the little guy go all free-feeding on me when I was at home. That probably helped keep the supply up. And he was also 4 months when I went back, so he--and I--were past the point of needing q2h sessions around the clock. Since I nursed into toddlerhood, I must have been doing something right (pumping stopped around 1.5 yrs--by that point, it was more for my comfort than for keeping up the snack stash).

One of my jobs had an unused office that was informally designated the room for pumping. The other had a room specifically set up for pumping: chair, magazines, nice decor, the whole nine yards.

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There may be many other factors involved that the OP is omitting or unaware of.

I worked with a nurse who exploited the fact that she was a nursing mother to take frequent, lengthy breaks off the floor (to allegedly pump) leaving our skeleton crew of nurses to constantly pick up her slack. She barely carried half her load and was still taking home the same salary as the rest of us who were breaking our backs because she #HadABaby. As someone who will never receive this kind of accomodation (because I don't have a baby), it's irritating to be taken advantage of by people who throw the think of the children/children come first/as a mother...” position at you as though statement were an unquestionable defence or fact in an of itself. Why would anyone think that the patients they serve, and other staff deserve to be inconvenienced because they chose to have a baby? I think that is the bigger underlying question here. We all have to be accountable for the life choices we decide to make. What happens if a mother decides to continue breastfeeding when their child is older than 12 months? Are we supposed to accommodate your frequent breast pumping breaks indefinitely?!

Nursing is not an industry like others, a person with certain medical conditions can even be precluded from the profession if their condition(s) prevent them from carrying out nursing tasks or puts patients at risk. If a person needs such an extensive accommodation in an industry where the people covering for them are often working injured, going without bathroom breaks/eating, etc...perhaps you need to find other employment. I can't imagine how this would work, for example, on a busy ICU floor. I support nursing mothers, but not people who use their accommodation inappropriately as a strategy to pass off their workload onto someone else. I've seen this happen so many times I've lost count.

At what point does using their accommodation become inappropriate?

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3 Followers; 4,701 Posts; 36,257 Profile Views

I never minded covering for someone breastfeeding, in fact I encouraged it.

The only problems I have ever had was when someone has XYZ special need which required extra work on my part but did not reciprocate. If I have to cover you while you breastfeed, take a break because of your back, go on a smoke break, whatever, I expect you to do something for me when you get back. Start an IV, ambulate my patient, something.

Make this clear before you cover for someone. If you cover for me, I would appreciate you and would always try to be a good team player, but I would not magically know that you expected me to do this or that for you automatically as payback.

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CaffeinePOQ4HPRN has 10 years experience as a BSN, LPN, RN.

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At what point does using their accommodation become inappropriate?

Lifestyle choices should not interfere with a person's ability to do their job. Having a baby is a lifestyle choice.

It becomes inappropriate when the accommodation is not used for the reason it was intended, and when additional time is claimed to be required (outside of what was already generously allotted to pump) and approved and you're caught using this time extra time to instead to have extra breaks to rest, read, eat, check your cellphone, etc... forcing your colleagues to take on a lot of the care of your patients. I suspect that the travel nurse the OP wrote about may have very likely been at their wits end for being taken advantage of. Who really knows?!

Having a baby is a lifestyle choice. So, people need to be responsible for themselves and contemplate and reasonably try to plan how this choice will impact their lives. At the hospital you are not the patient, you are not the priority and while you are at work your patient deserves your attention. If your priority at work is your baby over the care of vulnerable patients who depend on you, perhaps you're not ready to come back to work?

Having a baby doesn't exempt anyone from being responsible for their nursing duties. No one should be responsible because someone chose to inconvenience themselves. I worked while I was a caregiver to my father while he was dying from cancer, but when I was at work I did my bloody job and didn't make my coworkers suffer because my life changed. The difference is no one chooses to have cancer...

No ones time is more valuable than anyone else's. Career professionals need to be respectful of their colleagues time, and reciprocate when people go out of their way to help them. The law protects nursing mothers, this is true, and I've sadly seen many women take advantage of this as an opportunity to get away with lighter duties or take their sweet time on frequent/excessive breaks when they were fully capable of their patient assignments.

Edited by CaffeinePOQ4HPRN

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