Jacqueline Piñol on Pumping in the Bathroom Stall: ‘There’s Judgment if You Breastfeed’

06/13/2016 at 12:50 PM ET

New moms know that sacrifice is just part of being a parent. For Jacqueline Piñol, that has come in the form of pumping milk for her son in a bathroom stall.

“There’s judgment if you breastfeed [in public], but then there’s judgment if you’re taking too long [in the bathroom],” the Bordertown actress, 37, shared on the latest edition of PEOPLE’s Mom Talk series.

She then goes on to describe an experience in which, to avoid the judgment of breastfeeding in public, she tried using a bathroom stall to pump milk to be able to feed her 3-month-old son Atlas.

“I have to sit in a stall and pump for five to 10 minutes, and then I have to hear people outside complaining because ‘The lady in the first stall is taking forever,’ ” Piñol says.

Jacqueline Pinol
Greg Doherty/Getty

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Former Real Housewives of New York City star Kelly Killoren Bensimon can relate — she can remember cramming into an airplane bathroom to feed her daughters, who are now teenagers.

“I didn’t want people to see me breastfeeding,” Killoren Bensimon, 48, explains. “Now, people are more open about it, but 18 years ago, people were not really eager about seeing [other] people breastfeed.”

Says Piñol, “I don’t want to pump outside [the bathroom stall] because then they’re looking at you, and they’re like, ‘Why are you [pumping in public]?’

“It’s like you can’t win, and all you’re trying to do is feed your baby,” she adds. “It’s really hard to please everybody, and I think we just have to do what we feel is best for us.”

Jen Juneau


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Showing 8 comments

Yasmine on

Just hold your head up, own it, and take a Cartman approach, “Whatevah! I do wat I want!”

My husband laughed at my militant attitude towards breastfeeding.

Don’t eff with a Mama Grizzly feeding her baby.

mer on

This is ridiculous. No mama should cover or hide or have to pump somewhere instead of public breastfeeding. There’s nothing wrong with that. That’s what breasts are for, feeding the baby. It needs it, feed it. And if people have problem with that, it’s theor problem. Look away.

wmklbjo on

When my oldest son was born he had alot of difficulty with nursing. I had no choice but to pump. When he was 5 weeks old we went into Chicago (we live in the burbs) for the day with my inlaws who were visiting for the first time. As a new mom I had no clue how hard it would be to find a quiet comfortable place to pump. And because you can’t just lug around a big electric pump all day, I had on of those manual ones you had to squeeze with your hands. I spent 40 of our 60 minutes at the of the Sears tower observation deck in the bathroom pumping. I think back and wish I had spoken up about needing someplace cleaner and more comfortable. It was not a fun day.

anothermomm on

Theres judgement no matter how you feed your baby Bottle feed? Judgement. Give them solids before they are a year old? Judgement. Give them ANY sugar or juice? Judgement. No matter what choies you make as a mommy, someone will be there pointing their holier than thou finger at you. Don’t feel bad for getting judge breastfeeding, as all moms everywhere are being judged all the time.

Hungry on

I don’t think any mother can truly win these days. No matter what you feed your kid milk or breast down to if you use a bottle or your own nipple someone will judge you for it. I personally think public restrooms should have an extra clean area next to the Kola changing table for nursing mothers. Its a nice option for them compared to sitting on a toilet. I understand seeing a bare nipple isn’t for everyone so I understand why some want the covers on when out in public during feedings. I hope soon we can come to a compromise so every mother and child can walk away with some ease on this topic.

Anonymous on

Why does breastfeeding get constant coverage? So boring.

PCC on

Who and who cares?

Brittany Nunnink c/o Mamava on

I work for Mamava, and we exist for this very reason – this story is not uncommon. There are no places to support moms who’ve got to pump – who need an outlet, and a clean place to make food for their baby. We design lactation pods so moms on the go or at work have dignified spaces to pump. No mom should be pumping in a bathroom. FMI: http://www.mamava.com