Reading Tourmaline’s blogs about her work issues with breastfeeding outrages me. The mother that chooses to breastfeed her child does not do so because she is selfish and wants to make people uncomfortable. She is doing it because she is trying to do the best she can for her child. It is the perfect display of a mother’s love. Pumping at work is not easy to start with, even if you have an employer that is willing to go out of their way to accommodate you.
So what Tourmaline is having to go through must be even worse. And now she has mastitis. Really now! Tourmaline you need to talk to them again.
The code of good practice for pregnancy and afterbirth states at point 5.13:
5.13 Arrangements should be made for employees who are breast-feeding to have breaks of 30 minutes twice per day for breast-feeding or expressing milk each working day for the first six months of the child’s life.
It also states at point 5.1:
5.1 Section 26(1) of the BCEA prohibits employers from requiring or permitting a pregnant employee or an employee who is breast-feeding to perform work that is hazardous to the health of the employee or the health of her child. This requires employers who employ women of childbearing age to assess and control risks to the health of pregnant or breast-feeding employees and that of the foetus or child.
I am pretty sure being forced to express in a dirty toilet will be considered hazardous to the health of the breastfeeding child. Also, the uncomfortable environment she has at work has created a situation where you are probably not expressing sufficiently and hence, you get mastitis. I know from experience, if I am stressed or uncomfortable, I cannot get a let down. The environment and your state of mind has a huge impact on your breast milk.
I am shocked that there are people so intolerant. Wanting to feed your baby is not the equivalent of you walking around the office with your boob exposed. What are they so afraid of anyway? I am sure by now they have all seen breasts.
Also, reading the blog and now people are wary of the bottle of milk. What do they think might happen, the milk will splash into their eye just by looking. It really boggles my mind that people are afraid of breastfeeding!
All employers are not that bad. I work for a company that values their employees and understand that a happy employee is a good one. I am allowed to express when I need to. I use the boardroom (if it not in use). Otherwise, I use the tea-kitchen. I can close the door and it has a plug point. I have used the loo, but it is clean and neat and I don’t feel it is going to harm the milk.
I sterilise my pump in the microwave and leave it under a towel on the counter until I need to use it again. No one touches it. I chat to people while washing the pump. Just about everyone has seen me walking with a pump in my hand. My milk stays in the fridge and no one touches it. They even make extra space for me because I leave the entire cooler in the fridge.
So there are places that are not so intolerant. I am outraged! Sorry for spelling errors, but when I am mad, I type fast? Am I the only one that has issues logging in and posting?