The Childfree Life

Breast milk and the work fridge
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Author:  GingerPye [ Sat Oct 05, 2019 6:20 am ]
Post subject:  Breast milk and the work fridge

Generally speaking, I believe that a woman should be able to breastfeed their baby any place, any time within reason. But here’s where things got weird this week. A colleague of mine recently returned to work after mat leave. Her baby is now just over nine months old. She’s pumping milk a couple of times a day, which I totally get and fundamentally support. However, she has suddenly decided that keeping the milk in a little cooler with an ice pack in her office isn’t convenient for her. She’s now started leaving the breast milk in the communal workplace fridge - and - is also leaving her unwashed pumping gadget and all its attachments in there as well. I feel so uncomfortable with this, and I honestly don’t know if I’m just being ignorant/sensitive, or if there really is a health issue here. I found a few convos online about this very issue, and it seems to be a contentious grey zone in the workplace. Right to pump, yes. Right to store your bodily fluids in the communal fridge without being questioned about it, who knows? And of course, the mombies are outraged that this would bother anyone. Does anyone have thoughts on this?

Author:  LaTormenta [ Sat Oct 05, 2019 7:12 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Breast milk and the work fridge

It's a bodily fluid, for all anyone knows this mombie has got hepatitis, herpes , an STD or any other disease that transmitted via bodily fluids. Seriously would anyone even consider keeping their snot, urine or blood in a communal fridge... of course they wouldn't and this is no different.

It is a health hazard, it's unhygienic and it's just plain selfish, ill-mannered and ignorant, playing the 'entitled mombie' card doesn't make it any less disgusting or a potentially dangerous thing to do. OK you could argue the bottle is a closed container, but the unwashed gadgets aren't and they'll be dripping in the fridge.

If someone sneezed or coughed without covering their mouth you'd have every right to complain, this is no different and the only reason the breeder brigade think they can get away with it is because everyone is terrified of the disgusting mares shouting 'discrimination'.

If she insists I'd be asking HR to get her to have a blood screening, to ensure she's not potentially spreading disease. I mean someone who has such little regard for hygiene is probably pox ridden.

Author:  Laces [ Sat Oct 05, 2019 7:43 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Breast milk and the work fridge

I don't think I'd care about the milk so long as it's clearly labelled and sealed. But why do the accompanying gadgets need to be refrigerated? To me that's a bit gross.

Author:  Herbaceous [ Sat Oct 05, 2019 6:50 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Breast milk and the work fridge

^Agree with Laces on this one - it wouldn’t personally bother me to have the milk in there, in a sealed, labelled container. But the whole pump? Why does that need to be refrigerated? Also, how big of a fridge are we talking about here? I don’t know how big a breast pump is, but wouldn’t that take up a lot of space?

Needing to have the pump refrigerated sounds odd to me.

Author:  Tempest [ Sat Oct 05, 2019 8:42 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Breast milk and the work fridge

If it's all sealed up safely, it's not the worst thing ever. And if she's pumping that at least means she's not bringing the baby in to work, so there is that.

I don't know a damn thing about breast pumps or how they're stored, but I do know they have to be kept nice and clean. If she's keeping both the pump and the milk in the same container for convenience, I could see how tossing them in the fridge together might be handy but would take up excess fridge space. Maybe you could take that angle to get her to keep the thing elsewhere.

Author:  TSP [ Sun Oct 06, 2019 5:48 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Breast milk and the work fridge

This would gross me out. It would be better to have the breast milk in a small lunch bag so no one can see it. I'm not sure why the pump would be in there as well, I would have thought it should be washed out and dried off. I don't know though.

We actually have a lactation room at work which I think is a really good idea. In that room is a small bar fridge for the breast milk. It's a good set up.

Author:  GingerPye [ Mon Oct 14, 2019 9:00 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Breast milk and the work fridge

Update: Someone else must’ve complained about the situation, because now the pump stuffs are no longer lingering in the fridge, and the milk is being kept in a clearly labelled bag. The fridge is a full sized one in a staff room, so I’m less likely to be bothered by it now that things are tidy and properly contained.

I think what bothered me the most about it was the sense of entitlement that was on display. That’s what really gets me. It likely took a call to/from HR to get this sorted, which never needed to happen in the first place. Keep your milk discreetly contained, and no one cares! smh. My only complaint now is that this employee never stops talking about her baby, but whatever. It’s easy to ignore for the most part (though I’m open to learning some new baby-convo deflection zingers if anyone has suggestions!).

Author:  Tempest [ Mon Oct 14, 2019 1:31 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Breast milk and the work fridge

For deflecting photos waved in my face, I've answered with "Uh-huh" and went on with my work/moved away/shifted conversation elsewhere. I've also responded with, "Yup, s/he's still a baby all right". I have one co-worker who lately is on a Grandma Pride rampage because her grandson just hit middle school and is growing up fast, looking much older, etc. When she showed me a photo of him, all I did was nod. She was elated. On the inside I was laughing that she'd get that much of a charge out of a NOD, but on the outside I went back to eating my lunch.

If it's a situation where politeness and tact are required but I just really don't know/don't care about their kid...or it looks like every other damn baby out there...I will fall back on neutral descriptors that parents take as a compliment to either them, their parenting, or their kid. Stuff like "S/he's so small", "I can tell s/he's grown", or "looks like you/your spouse". None of those are actual compliments. Babies are small, they grow as they age, and if they're not adopted they will often resemble one or both of their parents. But parents eat that shit up. If I really can't find anything neutral to say about the kid, I will compliment the cute little overalls it's wearing or comment on the weather in the picture.

My favorite neutral comment, though, is "Wow". It's great because I can deliver it in a polite, straight tone but mean absolutely anything by it. And in my head, I can follow with what I'm really thinking, like "...that's what your life consists of now?" "'re easily impressed." "...I am so glad birth control is a thing" and so on.

Author:  TSP [ Tue Oct 15, 2019 8:04 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Breast milk and the work fridge

That sounds more reasonable. People wouldn't care if it is packaged correctly but just throwing it in there - yuck.

Author:  The Alicorn [ Thu Oct 17, 2019 1:45 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Breast milk and the work fridge

Yep. It might not bother some people, but personally I'd class it as "things that might be natural, but I'd rather not see". Like if someone was storing a urine test or a fecal sample in there. Appropriately packaged, meh. Sitting there smiling at me - no.

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