*If you are easily distracted by boobs or do not want to hear about breastmilk this post is not for you — step away – far far away (but come back when I post again)*
I read this article today and it really hit home so I HAD to write about it.
What I get out of the article is that they are trying to find ways to protect working moms who choose to breastfeed/pump. The only bad part about this, is that it’s riding in on the coat tails of the health care bill that I can’t say many people are crazy about. All politics aside, I really hope that this is something that society can push forward.
Now, I was extremely lucky in that my employers were very understanding and open to me taking 2-3 20 minute breaks a day to pump. I am extremely thankful for their flexibility – because of them I was able to provide breastmilk for BOTH of my children for a year (each time I had a kid – not at the same time). The amount of money I saved and health benefits it gave my children is amazing.
It was not, however, easy to ask about nor did they offer me any solutions on where to go. I had to make my own arrangements. This meant pumping in a locker room and conference rooms.The whole thing — AWKWARD is understatement. Honestly, if I wasn’t so damn determined to breastfed my children until they were at least a year, I probably wouldn’t have pushed the issue or found a place to go. A lot of the responses I heard included “Just go to the bathroom.” Really? You want to sit in the bathroom for 20 minutes while feeling like a milked cow? Because I assure you, those 20 minutes are not a ball of fun. I was never getting a “high” off pumping (unlike those who take smoke breaks). Most of the time I was sitting in the room working. Because, as a woman, I can multi-task.
The reason I am posting this (besides to scare all of my 10 readers away – please don’t leave!) is because there are people who don’t think that this kind of law supporting working mothers is important, nor should it be put into effect. Many of the negative responses I’ve read are things like “Forcing employers to do this will result in less child bearing women being hired.” (really?) and “if a woman has a baby and she is still breastfeeding and it is putting a damper on the business get her the hell out.” Nice. It’s 2011 — people still think like this?
Another one of the comments from the article stated, “Proper planning and discretion make this a non-issue. This should not be a government mandate.” And you would think it would be so easy. I agree that too much government is a bad thing. But I do believe in laws. The only reason I *think* the goverment SHOULD get involved is protection. An employer SHOULD NOT be able to fire a woman for taking 20 minutes to pump or fire a womanfor being in the wrong place at the wrong time (you know how many people tried to walk in on me???? More than you would believe).
There are so many reasons why giving a baby breastmilk is the most optimal options. One of the BIGGEST ones is health. If we want to decrease our healthcare costs/spending why not start at the beginning?
I truly hope that when daughter has children this will be a non-issue. Though, I’m pretty sure my mom thought that when she had me as well. Sometimes I feel like it’s 1 step forward, 2 steps back!
I do want to make it clear that while I am (obviously) pro-breastfeeding – I am completely supportive of women/families who choose/can’t go that route. My beliefs do not have to be yours (I do think my beliefs should be respected, even if you don’t agree) and raising a family is all about what works for YOUR FAMILY. This is what WORKED for MY family.
OK off my soapbox now…but I would like to know…agree/disagree? Is there a cause you are passionate about? Don’t hold it in — comment below!