The focus for World Breastfeeding Week is breastfeeding in the workplace. All mothers who plan to breastfeed or pump should have access to breastfeeding education and support. This is especially true for mothers who plan to return to the workforce following maternity leave. Not everyone is met with a supportive work environment, hear about one nurse’s experience with pumping in the workplace.
I have breastfed both of our children 2.5+ years. I pumped at work for approximately 21 months with each child. I had a very difficult journey pumping at work with both of our children. It was even worse with my first.
As a nurse working in a women’s and children’s unit, I help others every shift with breastfeeding. I support others in their breastfeeding journeys.
Was I supported in my own breastfeeding journeys? No.
Was I given a hard time? Were mean and inappropriate things said to me? Was I given the time I needed to pump? Did I suffer negative consequences from going too long in between pumping at work? Unfortunately, all yes.
It was a very hard journey. It took me a long time to stand up for myself, even knowing what I know as a nurse and working in the career that I do.
Stand up for yourself.
Advocate for yourself.
You’re not just doing it for you…you’re doing it for your baby as well. Milk = life.
It is your federally protected right to pump milk for your child, when away from your child at work. It is discrimination otherwise. The law backs this up. Moms and breastfeeding families need help and support. The benefits of human milk are endless. Everyone benefits when we support working mothers in their breastfeeding journeys.
You matter. Your baby matters. Milk matters ❤️
To report discrimination in NC on breastfeeding – If you have experienced unfair treatment or discrimination due to breastfeeding, or if you have been treated with kindness and would like to share your experience, please email NCBCexecassistant@gmail.com.