Eeeek! A man walked in on me breast-pumping at work

There's no easy way to say this but… my biggest fear has been realized. No, not the shark in the pool thing.


It was a young man, who probably didn't even know breast pumps existed, and now we are both scarred for life.

FYI- Originally, I was going to write this post as "The Ten Phases of a Male Co-Worker Walking in on You While Your Pumping" but I couldn't get past "Phase #1: Ohmygodohmygodohmygodohmygod…."

Then I thought I would make a chart ranking different levels of embarrassment with "male co-worker walking in on you pumping" being at the top. But the moment is so fresh in my mind that I honestly can't think of anything else to put in the chart that comes close.

Wearing the same dress to prom as your arch-enemy? Pfffffft. Peeing when you sneeze at the supermarket? Puh-lease. Dress getting stuck in the back of your pantyhose? Been there, done that, I'll do it again if it guarantees A MALE CO-WORKER WILL NEVER WALK IN ON ME PUMPING AGAIN.

It was bad, guys. Like really, really bad.

First, just so you understand the exact scenario, I was not at my regular office. I'm currently editing a spot at a production facility so instead of my normal pumping area, I've been using their co-ed bathroom. It's one stall so I just lock the door. There's no counter so I have to balance my pump on the sink and do my business standing up.

Yesterday, right before I left for the day, I stopped in the bathroom to pump. I like to pump before I leave because Harlow has usually just finished a bottle when I get home. 

I took my shirt off. Unhooked those little clippies on my maternity bra. Put my strapless pumping bra on. You know, the really sexy nippleless bra with the three-year-old breastmilk stains on it. I assembled the pump, plugged it in, attached myself, etc. etc.

I did everything except (as I was about to learn) LOCK THE FREAKIN' DOOR.

I guess it stands to reason that if you pump two to three times a day, every day, for five months in a row, odds are, one of those times you're gonna forget to lock the door. Although the odds that the one time you forget to lock the door, a twenty-five-year-old guy is going to bumble his way in without warning, are pretty slim.

Let me tell you— BUCKING THE ODDS IS A HOOT!

Also, when the guy in question opens the unlocked door, sees you but doesn't really understand what's happening, so he just kind of stands there paralyzed while you scream internally— I AM NOT A BEAR IN THE WOODS. DO YOU THINK IF YOU STAND THERE NOT MOVING I WILL MISTAKE YOU FOR A TREE AND GO ABOUT MY BUSINESS??? GET THE FUCK OUT!!!!!!

A half second later (the longest half second in history), when he finally snapped to and started apologizing profusely (DON'T APOLOGIZE! GET THE FUCK OUT!!!!), my first instinct was to try to quickly slam the door in his face but 1) I was attached to the wall so the sudden movement made the breast pump fall to the ground, and 2) turns out, it was one of those heavy metals doors that's impossible to slam because it has some sort of pressurized thing happening to ensure it closes slowly.

PICTURE THIS: 1) Door flung open to reveal me topless hooked up to milk machine. 2) Machine falls to ground still attached to breasts. 3) Despite pushing with all my might, door closes at speed of turtle.


Anyway, since this was not my regular office, I had never seen the manboy that entered the bathroom before. At this moment, I know he was wearing stripes and glasses but I cannot picture his face. I'm hoping he can picture tubes and nipples but he cannot summon my face either.

And I'm thinking it's finally time to employ some sort of official "pumping privacy" sign. Here are five options…

Has anyone ever walked in on you pumping? DO TELL.

Ilana Wiles is a working mum from New York City who writes a blog instead of sleeping, read her brilliant words at Mommy Shorts and follow her on Facebook by clicking here