I haven’t climbed on my lactation high horse lately. Seems time, no?
The first post linked talks about how the New York Times didn’t do its research for some breastfeeding columns. I can see the argument that they are columns, so don’t maybe need a stack of footnotes an article would have.
But I agree with her that so much discussion just pits mom against mom, and it’s lame.
From the blog:
But the answer is not to cast aspersions on the evidence and say breastfeeding doesn’t matter. Lactation is a normal part of human reproductive physiology. When this physiology is disrupted, the best evidence that we have indicates that risks increase for mothers and for infants. The fact that so many mothers and babies run aground reflects our failures as a society – and it underscores the urgent need to address those failures.
We need to make sure that mothers get accurate and evidence-based information during pregnancy so they can make an informed decision about infant feeding. We need to educate health care providers so that they can support that decision, both before and after birth. We need maternity hospitals to discontinue practices that undermine mothers and babies in the first days of life. We need paid maternity leave, on-site daycare, policies for babies-at-work, and barring those options, access to pumps so that mothers do not have to choose between earning a living and nurturing their children.
And we need journalists writing about breastfeeding to treat it as a real public health issue, not another round in the media-generated “mommy wars.”
She goes on to cite a variety of public health strategies in place to help moms.
When I was nursing and pumping at work, I pumped in a bathroom. It wasn’t ideal, but it wasn’t horrible. I mean, sometimes it was, but that’s the nature of a public bathroom, and it wasn’t that huge of a deal to me. I was grateful that my employer gave me the time to pump and a place to store milk.
I did often wish that our company would have sprung for a hospital grade pump to share among lactating moms. The thing is, you have all your own horns and bottles and tubes. But many of us had to rent pumps because ours died or buy pumps, etc. I hated hauling the huge rental pump to and from work. I looked like an international arms dealer with that stupid thing.
And carrying a hospital-grade pump, a toddler and an infant in those cumbersome baby seats made me nearly homicidal by the time I walked in the door from work, straps falling off my shoulders and all three of us crying.
Providing a pump is one very simple, easy thing a company can do.
I recently found a few bags of frozen milk in our deep freeze. It was sad and sweet at the same time. I don’t miss pumping. At all. Especially the second time around — I hated it with a passion. But I do feel sad that we are likely done having kids, and I won’t have that special time with an infant again.
I never would have made it through the years of nursing if it hadn’t been for the support of my spouse, friends and workplace. I wish everyone had that luxury.