Let Us Pump!

I'm sure some of you are sick of my multiple posts pertaining to boobs and their feeding-function, but apparently this topic cannot be discussed and debated enough, at least among fellow Lexingtonians.

The Lexington Herald Leader ran a story about the new federal law pertaining to breast-feeding mamas in the workplace and as one of these women, I was incredibly surprised to see the amount of ignorant, sexist and just plain mean comments that became attached to the story online.

Let's just jump right in and address some of my faves.

“Breastfeeding is God's way of saying women should stay at home and raise their kids.”

That's right. How could I forget? When God made Eve he specifically included those two mounds of clay to be breasts thinking, “Now if she ever gets the notion to put on a pantsuit and join Adam in the office she will be leaving her children to starve.”

Now I haven't memorized the whole Bible, but I'm pretty sure that isn't the way it went down. Let's just keep your theological opinions out of my bra-zone and say your 1950s-get-back-in-the-kitchen attitude is a tad ridiculous. But I'm betting you often phrase your sentences to say you “let” your wife do something so you're probably a lost cause.

“If you don't have man to support you then you shouldn't be breeding.”

While I just adore when someone refers to the birth of my child using terminology most-associated with dogs and horses, I have to disagree. It assumes that women only work out of sheer necessity. I know this is the case for so many households, but does the sense of personal fulfillment come into play here? I enjoy my job not just for the paycheck, but I like going to work for the adult interaction and the feeling of achieving something each day.

Why can't you just pump in the morning?”

Seriously, dude? You couldn't have googled “how breastfeeding works” before blurting nonsense out of your cyber mouth?

I sincerely wish I could just wake up in the morning and shoot out five bottles worth of milk for the day. Unfortunately, mothers do not have a secret gallon-sized milk reservoir hidden in their bodies. This keg can only be tapped every so often, and then we need time to replenish.

It was never a question to me about whether I would breastfeed. But I'm lucky and my daughter made it easy to get started. And three months later I'm still chugging along.

I work in an office where I do not have access to a room with a lock or without giant windows facing an open space. Twice a day I grab my back pack, run an extension cord from the only outlet in the public restroom to the nearest stall, balance my pump's motor on my lap while I hook up the tubes and bottles and then teeter on the toilet seat ledge for 10 to 15 minutes.

The rhythmic whirring of the pump causes people at the sink to ask “What is that noise?” and I awkwardly just wait for them to leave. Once I even watched the extension cord pull taut while some inquisitive woman felt the need to pick it up and follow it to the source like a yellow brick road. When she landed at my stall she knocked rather aggresively and asked if I was alright. Thank you for your concern, oddly curious bathroom lady.

This new law could make it so much easier for women to continue breastfeeding long into their child's first year of life. We would miss less work if our children are healthier and be happier knowing we are able to provide the best nutrition for our babies. 

Without the opportunity and means to pump at work, our milk supply depletes and we lose the ability to cuddle up with our babies when we get home and feed them in a way that provides comfort and leads to emotional well-being. All those haters in the comment section must not have had that chance.

1 comment:

  1. Anonymous11:08 PM

    I knew when I decided to breastfeed my first son that some people would disapprove of me feeding in public, Ky isn't the most breastfeeding friendly place after all, but I was truly disappointed by the amount of flat out rudeness I encountered. People gave me dirty looks, talked loudly amongst themselves against breastfeeding only feet away, and one man walked right up to me and demanded that I take my son out to my car (I had the store manager escort him out instead). This time around I'm not going to let anyone turn our beautiful bonding moments into awkward situations. If my breastfeeding offends you, feel free to put a blanket over your head.