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.


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