Monday, March 15, 2010

Mad About Mama Milk Monday: Breastfeeding at Work

New Jersey Councilwoman, Roselle Park recently nursed her 6-week-old son in a sling during a Council meeting. Her bold decision is receiving some critisism.  I say kudos to her for being committed to her child first and job second. Just as it should be! Park is setting the precedent that breastfeeding is normal and natural, and that, so long as arrangements are made with your employer, nursing your little one while at work is a great thing.
Great for everyone! Obviously nursing while at work is great for mom- no need to lug around a big pump and all it's pieces parts, and no fear of forgetting a piece, and baby- continued bonding with Ma', and should the baby have problems with nursing (poor latch, nipple confusion, weight gain concerns, etc) more time at the breast equals more opportunities to perfect his skill. Nursing on demand is crucial to the health and nutrition needs of infants, and to the health of Mama's milk supply. Breastfeeding at work is also beneficial for the employer as it allows Mama to worry less about the ins and outs of pumping, and often times the guilt associated with balancing family and work, therefore creating greater productivity and pride in her employer.
Also, thumbs-up to Park's employer for allowing her to bring her child to work and nurse on demand. Many working Mamas simply do not have a work environment that lends itself well to bringing an infant to work. I am blessed that my employer has a breastfeeding policy in place that basically states that a breastfeeding Mama may pump at (pretty much) any time needed, and that if a baby is unable to or refuses to eat from a bottle the baby may be brought (by family or friend) to work to nurse (and then leave following so). I am so thankful!

For you Mamas out there who do not have such a breastfeeding friendly work environment I encourage you to do three things:
  1. Know your rights as a nursing Mama in your state and work agency
  2. Gently educate and encourage a change in policy
  3. And finally, count your blessings! Be thankful for what you do have at work (small janitorial-like-closet or, an extra 30 minutes throughout the day to pump), and who's always waiting for you with open arms and an open mouth-- your baby!
Happy Nursing Mamas!


See an article here on Park's family-work-life balance.

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