Join the debate. Vote Now on the Dear Abby Poll of the week.

by Abigail Van Buren

New Mom Reluctantly Uses Bathroom as Pumping Station

DEAR ABBY: I am a new mom who works in a high-tech start-up company that does not provide a mother's room. I'm the first employee here to have a baby. The corporate plaza in which my office is located also doesn't provide one. Therefore, I must resort to using the restroom to pump my breast milk, which must be done every few hours.

Some of the women using the restroom have wondered aloud about the "weird noise" they hear, while others walk back and forth searching for the source of the "sound."

How should I respond to them? Using the restroom is not my choice, but it is the only option I have because I plan to breast-feed my baby for as long as I can. -- PRIVACY PLEASE IN SANTA CLARA, CALIF.

DEAR PRIVACY PLEASE: You're reacting as if pumping breast milk is something to be ashamed of. It isn't. While you may be the first woman at the company to have given birth, I guarantee you won't be the last. So start communicating with the other female co-workers. It might be in all of your best interests to bring this to the attention of your supervisor or your boss.

And as to the "pacers" and "wonderers" in the restroom -- try to understand that they are merely curious. Consider printing a sign you can tape to the door of the stall you occupy that reads: "Breast Pumping Station." It will stop the questions and save you from yelling out, "It's my breast pump!"