Woman's 'Uncomfortable' Door Sign to Stop Colleagues Disturbing Her Praised

A new mom has been backed online after feeling shamed at work for pumping breast milk in her office, with co-workers claiming it's too much information to share at work.

Explaining her difficult situation on Reddit, user u/Ok_Control_3241 wrote that having returned to work while still nursing, she has to pump breast milk throughout the day. Simply shutting her office door doesn't seem enough to stop people from disturbing her.

The poster wrote: "Unfortunately, I'd still have people banging on the door every few minutes or trying to talk to me through the door, or even jiggling the handle, asking if I could just whatever...my word that I need 15 undisturbed minutes wasn't enough and it made my pumping sessions really stressful."

She explains that being disturbed and stressed while trying to nurse or pump milk "can really mess up the pumping and make it less efficient."

A Mom Pumping Milk At Work
Stock image shows a working mom pumping milk at work. A Reddit user has expressed frustration about feeling shamed for pumping milk in her office. blanscape/Getty Images

The Centers for Disease Control [CDC] indicates that 83.2 percent of all infants are breastfed at some point. However, 60 percent of mothers stop breastfeeding earlier than they'd have hoped to. One of the main reasons that the CDC lists is "unsupportive work policies," among other reasons including taking medication and issues with latching.

As the working mom wasn't getting the peace she required, she made a new sign for her office door that read: "Pumping – please return in 15 minutes." She admits that this reduced the disturbances she faced. However, she wrote online that her co-workers "complained that it's TMI [too much information] and making them uncomfortable."

Physician and psychologist Dr. Laura Purdy has offered her advice to women who find nursing or pumping awkward and uncomfortable in public. She told Newsweek: "The first piece of advice that I would give to women who are breastfeeding, and struggling to figure out how to do it in public, is, just do it.

"There's nothing wrong or inappropriate about breastfeeding in public. I understand that there is a social stigma, but who cares? You would never be expected to deprive your baby of a bottle or of any other sort of food."

Purdy said that if someone has an issue with public nursing, "that is their problem." She added, "this is a beautiful aspect of nature, and it is literally the purpose of our bodies, and there's no shame at all whatsoever."

As a mother herself, Purdy acknowledged how difficult nursing can be for moms, but that it's important for workplaces to have policies in place to allow mothers to feel able to do this when required.

After sharing her problem, user u/Ok_Control_3241 asked other Reddit users if they thought she was in the wrong for "outright announcing" when she is pumping at work.

With almost 1,000 comments, the mother has been backed for her actions, and many Reddit users have encouraged her to speak to human resources where she works.

A comment with more than 12,000 upvotes highlights the juvenile perspective of the co-workers who felt uncomfortable. It reads: "for goodness sake are your co-workers 6 years old?"

Many other users pointed out that storming into someone's office is part of the problem. One person wrote: "IDK [I don't know] what's wrong with the people OP [original poster] works with, but a lack of manners seems to be at the top of the list."

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