It’s hard getting a newborn baby on a feeding schedule. I nursed all of my kids, and at times I felt that it is all I did. Nurse, baby falls asleep, change baby, nurse, baby falls asleep. Multiply times a gazillion. I didn’t work outside the home when I was breastfeeding, so I’ve always had huge amounts of sympathy and admiration for moms who had to schedule their babies feedings and pump and package their breast milk and deal with leakage and swelling and all of the other factors that breastfeeding moms have to deal with when they can’t nurse on demand. Sarah Ann Lewis Boyle, a former California school teacher has accused school officials in a lawsuit for failing to accommodate her breastfeeding schedule.
From The Huffington Post:
Boyle says before returning to work, she told a manager at the school that she would need about 15 minutes every day between 9 a.m. and 11 a.m. to pump her breasts.
Boyle claims the manager told her to train her breast not to make milk then, and the district made no accommodations to allow her to feed her newborn. According to Boyle, she later received a negative evaluation and was urged to resign.
It sure sounds like breastfeeding discrimination to me. And who was this school official who decided to mommy-shame Boyle into “training” her breasts not to produce milk at a certain time? Talk about bad advice. I don’t think requesting a fifteen minute break in order to pump breast milk is that absurd of a request, and one would think that a school would be a bit more understanding towards a parent who just wanted to feed her kid, considering that um, schools are directly involved with children. Who were at one point babies. Who in some cases consumed breast milk.
It’s so weird that in this day and age that moms are still even encountering breastfeeding discrimination. If a new mom returns to work when she is still nursing she should have the time and privacy to be able to deal with her milk production without having to worry about losing her job over it or even having someone get in their face with their bad breastfeeding advice. I wish all of us had magical boobs that functioned like soda dispensers where we could turn our milk production on and off on demand, but sometimes it isn’t so easy and sometimes it results in painful conditions like mastitis.
Until we have magical robot breastfeeding boobs than employers need to realize that moms who nurse need to be able to pump their milk when away from their babies. They aren’t doing it to be difficult or to mess up their job performance or to cause hardships for anyone else in their places of employment, they just need to be able to feed their kids. If men breastfed they would have sexy, modernist breastfeeding lounges in workplaces with comfy recliners and delicious snacks and beverages to help them with milk production. It would be just like upper-class boarding lounges in airports. With free shoulder massages. And butlers carrying silver trays piled with cupcakes and pita chips and hummus. And a lactation consultant. And free breast milk storage supplies. And plasma screen televisions showing first-run movies. And breast milk pumping stations for everyone!
Someone totally needs to hire me to design breastfeeding lounges for companies. That way these breastfeeding discrimination lawsuits wouldn’t happen. I’m totally ready to get on it. You know where to contact me.
(photo: Olga Popova/Shutterstock)