My 4-month-old is 100% breastfed. I am currently looking for a new job and have a job interview in two days. The problem is that it is a full-day interview. I cannot go 8+ hours without pumping, but there are no breaks in my schedule.

So I have a dilemma: Do I tell them I need time to pump or do I try to discretely squeeze in some time to do it? I am told that it is not good to reveal that you have a small baby during a job interview. What do I do?

Surely other mothers have been in this situation. Any advice?

  • 1
    Do you mind saying what country are you in?
    – user19912
    Commented Sep 10, 2016 at 22:18
  • 1
    I'm in the US (California to be precise).
    – Alame
    Commented Sep 11, 2016 at 2:27
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    I emailed them and said I need time to express milk. I'll see how it goes.
    – Alame
    Commented Sep 12, 2016 at 6:05
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    ...discrimination, and a place where you certainly wouldn't want to work, anyway.
    – dim
    Commented Sep 19, 2016 at 14:58
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    Same way they won't stop you from going to the bathroom. You can pump ahead of time if your baby will be in someone else's care, and just pump a couple times over the full day interview. Even if it takes 15 minutes, I doubt anyone will notice... plus, legal requirements in USA are 2 15 minute breaks are mandatory for 8 hour shifts
    – Kai Qing
    Commented Jul 1, 2017 at 0:02

2 Answers 2


I wish you had updated how this went. I would be curious to know for sure.

I would say that they cannot possibly have you there for 8 hours, even in interviewing, without a break. That isn't typical. Even in interviews & training, typically you would have a morning break of 10-15mins, a lunch break period and then another afternoon break. I worked & pumped & this routine was workable for me. Most working mothers that I know that breastfed did the same routine, with the 3 breaks. It's not ideal at all. I really think I would have done better with 25min breaks because I did have issues with plugged ducts by not being able to drain fully & ideally my body seemed to prefer to pump for 20mins (so the other five is setup/cleanup). It wasn't feasible in my job though & the federal law that is so often cited actually only applies to business with over 50 employees. So only 38% of Americans work for businesses that this applies to. 54% work for businesses where it has no enforcement or application & the remaining people work in various other capacities (self employed, contractors, etc).


While letting your employer know you're breastfeeding will indeed lower your chances of getting hired (although for legal reasons they will not admit to this being the cause), getting caught trying to hide this circumstance is much more likely to eliminate you from the hiring procedure.

"Discreetly" squeezing in some time to pump when on an all day event is a plan doomed to fail.

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