Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Job Support MATTERS

I wrote in my story that I worked for a very popular baby store. Day in and Day out we were constantly reminded that breastfeeding mothers were customers in our store and could breastfeed WHEREVER they wanted. If we were to tell a BFing mother anything negative or ask them to stop we would get written up. Plenty of my coworkers complained of course none of them were parents or they didn't BF their children, but I was excited. I thought that finally with "B" I would be able to BF until she weaned herself. I never thought that the same place, where we needed to embrace and thank Bfing mothers for coming in, would give me little to no support what so ever for my own breast fed child. I mean come on it was a BABY store. Every time I would ask for my 15 minute break to go pump I would get the same roll of the eyes and be told to do it as fast as I could. Even clocking out for my own lunch to eat and pump I would get that roll of the eyes. It was so discouraging. It made me stress more and made me worry that I would get let go for me taking my 15 minute break and my 30 minute lunch to pump. I needed that support there. I needed someone to encourage me. I did on occasion get to work with one person that was always supportive of me and my BFing. Every time she was there I would get tons more breast milk out than I would with anybody else because I didn't feel rushed and I didn't feel like i was bothering anybody. Why is it in our place of work, where we spend 8 to 9 hours a day do we get the funny looks and the surprised glances when we tell them we want to pump? Given the high amount of mothers in the work force, there is a strong need to establish BFing support in all workplaces. Even though women are given the right to pump under the new health plan (if their place of employment has 50 employees or more), and are to be given a place, other than a bathroom to do so, the attitude of how their pumping breaks are addressed can make a huge difference. Mothers who continue breastfeeding after returning to work need the support of their coworkers, supervisors, and others in the workplace.


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