Links to legislation on breastfeeding, families, women's issues, and more - Rep. Carolyn Maloney

There is currently legislation in committee before the House of Representatives to help some working, nursing mothers out. It's called the Breastfeeding Promotion Act. Please, take the time to read this piece of legislation. Then, email your Congressmen and women, as well as those on the committee currently reviewing this legislation. Let them know what you think.

To find out more information on this bill, like who is on the committee reviewing it, and where it is in the process, click here.

Interestingly enough, this bill is sponsored by Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney, from Manhattan/Queens, New York. She "is the first woman to represent New York’s 14th Congressional District; the first woman to represent New York City’s 7th Councilmanic district (where she was the first woman to give birth while in office); and is currently the first woman to Chair the Joint Economic Committee, a House and Senate panel that examines and addresses the nation’s most pressing economic issues." (source: Maloney's bio - here.) (Note this disclaimer: I live in northern Alabama. Rep. Maloney does not represent my congressional district. I am not related to her, nor do I know her. As a matter of fact, I do not believe I am related to or know anyone affiliated with her, her campaigns, etc. I am not trying to toot her horn, or get her re-elected, or anything else. Just bringing you good people information on legislation that could affect your families.)

If you click through her website, there is a list of legislation I believe she has been involved with, or possible even sponsored/co-sponsored. You can get to the list by clicking here. Just glancing down her list, I see several entries that I would guess are very family, woman, and child friendly. (I haven't read all these, although I do plan to. I can't guarantee the contents of these items. I'm just guessing from their titles that they are geared toward helping out families. I'll update later, after I have read them.) There's entries to expand FMLA, and one for providing Federal employees with paid parental leave (which has a counterpart in the Senate), and several more.

I'll be reading up on all these in the next few weeks, and letting everyone I can in both legislative houses know what I think about each.Please join me. Let your voice be heard. We can make a difference for our families.

CNN: Mom says pumping at work caused her to lose her job

This is just shameful. And to think that the Ohio State Supreme Court didn't see this as discrimination? When other employees were allowed to take more breaks to smoke than she was to pump? This is outrageous. Sadly, it occurs far more often than I would hope.

Mom says pumping at work cost her a job

I have many thoughts about this. First, kudos to Campbell Brown (a nursing mother) and CNN for covering this story. Kudos to Campbell Brown and all other nursing women out there who are publicly working to help knock down the barriers so many nursing mothers face every day.

Now, for me to get on my soapbox for a while.

Here's an idea. Since the president wants so badly to enact healthcare reform (I am not commenting one way or the other, nor trying to start this debate, just saying, he's set deadlines for his ideal timeline and everything because he wants it to happen so badly), why don't we start at the true beginning: enact federal laws protecting lactating mothers from any form of discrimination. How about laws protecting my right to express my breastmilk at work for my child? How about better maternity leave? Paternity leave, even. Family sick leave.

I'm talking about laws separate from those currently proposed regarding healthcare reform or any other bill currently being proposed or considered. We need to stand up and have our voices be heard. We need a bill, today, that will make it to be signed into law that says, "You know what? Our children are our top priority. They are our future, and we need them to be healthy. Women (and men) deserve the right to longer time off from work.Women deserve more paid time off. Better short-term disability plans. The right to pump at work if they so desire. The right to breastfeed their children anywhere. The right to no longer hide in their cars, or bathroom talls, or dressing rooms just because their child is hungry."

How about requiring companies to provide facilities other than bathrooms for lactating mothers to pump in? I'm not talking about high-class, fancy-pants facilities. Just a private room, with a few comfortable chairs or couch, a couple of tables neat the chairs or couches to set up pumping equipment, a lockable door, a small sink, refrigerator, good lighting, maybe a telephone for people who have a job like mine and must be reachable no matter what they're doing. Maybe a couple of sets of lockers or filing cabinets or somethign that lock individually of each other, for lactating mothers to store items like nursing pads, extra milk storage bags, extra pump bottles, bottle brushes for cleaning their pumping equipment, etc.

What is so wrong with this country that women have to beg for these things? Why should I have to beg for time to express breastmilk in a tiny, dirty bathroom just so I can give my baby the very best nutrition I can? I guarantee all the bosses who give their workers hard times over pumping at work, and then force them to use bathrooms, wouldn't dare eat food prepared for them in a filthy, nasty bathroom. Why should our children?

What gives a grown man (or woman) the right to tell me that I have to prepare my child's food (or feed my child) in a filthy restroom, when they wouldn't even consider eating their meals in a restroom or dressing room. What right does anyone have to tell me that I must take my child to my car, in the parking lot, through the heat, cold, wind, rain, and sun to feed him?

I'm not saying we should all run out and expose our bare breasts to society. I do believe in having a little decency and respect for others. You might not want your 12-year-old son looking at my breasts while I feed my son. But we have to stop making mothers feel ashamed and afraid in public, or at work, for doing what they feel is right for their children.

If you feel this way, please contact your state representatives, Congressmen, and Senators. Email the President. Do something to help educate people on these issues. I don't care if you're a nursing mother, a former nursing mother, a grandmother, a father, a grandfather, a CEO, a stay at home mom, a pediatrician, an OB-GYN, a midwife, a CRNW, an aunt, a best friend.... A child even. If your life has been touched by a lactating woman, her child, or if you or a loved one hope to be a breastfeeding mother someday, please let our lawmakers know how you feel. It's the only way to get our voices heard. There is currently legislation in committee before the Senate to help some working, nursing mothers out. It's called the Breastfeeding Promotion Act. Please, take the time to read this piece of legislation. Then, email your Senators, as well as those on the committee currently reviewing this legislation. Let them know what you think.

To find out more information on this bill, like who is on the committee reviewing it, and where it is in the process, click here.

If you've stayed this long, then thank you. I know this got really long, really quick. I'll get off my soapbox now.

Recomended reading - great blog post - 10 Tips to breastfeeding for a year

I recently read a great blog post regarding breastfeeding. It's a very well-written entry with very good tips for a new mother who is trying to learn to nurse her child. I wish I had read it before the birth of Colt. It is very well-written, and packed full of good info and encouragement. I recommend you read this, no matter if you are pregnant, currently beginning to nurse a newborn, or have been nursing for a while. I've been doing this for 5.5 months (by no means an expert), and it has helped me to just read it and think, "Now why didn't someone tell me that five months ago?"

10 tips to breastfeeding for a year

Some of the tips included I've already read elsewhere, but the depth given to each hint here is incredibly helpful. It's also highly encouraging, and makes me believe just that much more that I can and will nurse my son for at least his first year.

An introduction of the long-winded variety

Hello, and welcome to my new blog. I thought I'd begin by going through my background, and what lead me to start this blog.
I'm 26 years old. You can call me Lulu. I am an "oldest child" with a Type-A OCD ADHD personality and not enough time. You could best describe my desk at home (as well as most of the flat surfaces of my house) as organized chaos, with hopes and dreams of becoming an organizer's heaven. I love being a mother and wife, and cooking. I hate (HATE) cleaning. I have a high school diploma, as well as an A.A.S in Design Drafting. I work at your Local Friendly Nuclear Plant. I am a plant operator, which means I open and close valves, start and stop pumps and motors, monitor plant vital signs, run tests on equipment, etc. I am proud of my job. I worked very hard to get and keep it (we're talking a screening test, face-to-face interview, 15 months of extremely intense classroom-type training, 6 oral examinations, countless weekly written exams, 6 written final exams, and 4 months of on-the-job training, all of which felt like I was cramming for exam week in college. If I failed any of the above, I would have been terminated).

My husband is 29. You can call him Sawyer. We were married in the summer of 2005. We dated/lived together for a little over 5 years before that. We were the couple that, on our wedding day during the reception, were told by several friends that they never thought we'd get around to actually saying "I do". Then, when we announced our pregnancy, we heard, "Finally!" Both events were much planned, as to when, where, etc. We set very definite goals to accomplish before each. We made sure to reach all those goals before proceeding. You would think with all that planning our house would be spotless! (Yeah, right. Dream on!)

My husband has an 11-year-old son. I'll call him Bo. He is such an awesome kid. He loves playing baseball and football. He loves dirt, motorized things (go-karts, ATVs), hunting, fishing, working on stuff with Daddy. An all-around boy. He's my baby. He knows it, too. He broke his arm (in two places!) when I was 35 weeks pregnant. He was riding his go-kart at our house and hit a bump in the yard and it flipped. Thank God he had his helmet on. He has never been allowed to ride anything without one. This made me so glad we made that a no-exceptions-ever rule. It could have been a lot worse. Thankfully, the doctors were able to set his arm without surgery, pins, plates, or anything worse.

My husband and I have a son who is currently 5 1/2 months old. We'll call him Colt. He was a very planned for baby. I'll get more into that later. He loves being tickled, songs, kisses, hugs, being read to, nursing, and sleeping with Mommy and Daddy. He LOVES his big brother. He's growing up more every day. It definitely DOES NOT seem like we should be getting ready to celebrate his half-birthday in a couple of weeks. He already has two (TWO) teeth, and is currently perfecting his rolling technique and trying to sit up on his own. (He can already sit some unsupported.) We think he's the bee's knees, just like his big brother.

I have a daughter that I gave birth to in Spring 2000. I was 16, a junior in high school, and gave her up for adoption to a couple that I chose for her. They live close to me, and we have an open adoption. My husband is not technically her father. We can see her whenever we choose. Her parents are the most wonderful people I could have ever chosen for her. She knows she is adopted, but doesn't yet know who her birth mother is. She will be told when she turns 18. She does, however, know me as a friend of the family. I won't be posting much about her, as this will primarily be a blog about active parenting. I just wanted to acknowledge the fact that she does exist. And that I love her very much, and wish my circumstances had been different back then, and that I could have raised her the way I feel she deserves. Of course, we would be capable (financially, residentially, emotionally, etc.) now, but it would have taken the first seven or eight years of her life for us to get there.

That's enough for now. I need to save some for later, I suppose. That has the basic characters out of the way. In the future, I'll do posts on our extended families, although I'll have to do "her fam" and "his fam" posts, since Sawyer has quite a few siblings (like, oh, 11 or so).

A new blog for me! Hip hip, hooray!

My first post on a fresh new blog. I suppose I should explain this blog.

The intent of this blog is to see if I can go from unknown blogger to superstar. I plan to run ads on this blog to also see how difficult it is to go from unpaid noone to paid blogger extrordinairre.

The content will range from the trials of being a working mom to parenting to recipes and menu planning to runing a household while working to.... You get the point. Very personal posts (as in: so boring only my family and a few e-friends read them) will be made on my personal blog (the one I'm not trying to make money off of).

This is more of an experiment in the workings of becoming a "mommy-blogger". If it works, great. If it doesn't pan out, at least I tried.

Now, I expect my family to view this often an d spread the word to get the ball rolling. Just kidding! But not really.....
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