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I pump at work so my daughter can have, what I believe to be, the best.  She turns 6 months on the 23rd and my manager and several others have complained about me being away from my desk.  I was asked to 'let them know' when I am away, why and when I expect to return.  I feel like this wouldn't happen if I weren't a woman, a breastfeeding one at that. What can I do?


I think you are right — yes, they are raising their expectations for you precisely because you are a woman and more specifically a mother. I think their motivations probably vary — but it might be because they felt unsupportive when they were mothers of young children and thus they want to "retaliate" or they might not be mothers of young children and feel resentful that you are cut any slack and therefore want to put up obstacles for you. They perceive you as having it easier and thus want to make it difficult.

I am not sure what state you are in, but many have non-discrimination clauses against breastfeeding women — but it doesn't seem like your issues are legal as they are emotional. I also think that your persevering through this will likely make the situation better for future mothers. You are likely paying the price to enable them to have an easier time. And that's probably not a huge motivating factor, but to change the situation for yourself means that others will benefit.