By Sarah Smith, REDBOOK.
I can't believe we're still fighting about breastfeeding. Memo: It's not gross or indecent or weird, end of story. The ACLU had to bring a case against a factory in Pennsylvania on behalf of a new mom, Bobbi Bockoras, because she was harassed at work when she tried to find a place to pump. Men yelled and pounded on the door of the room she was using, then she had to move to a room that was so dirty there were bugs on the floor. Oh, and someone took away the only chair in there, so she had to sit on that gross floor to pump. The men at her workplace did so many outrageous, offensive things, it made me look back on my own pumping days fondly (not something I do often).
I cried the day my stupid plastic storage bags leaked on the way home and I ended up with a cooler--and purse--full of unusable milk. But at least nobody where I work covered the doorknob to the pumping room with grease and metal shards. I am not making this up.
I was so tired some days that I fell asleep in the pumping chair, only to be jerked awake after five seconds because slumping over messed with the complicated plastic pieces and the pump stopped working. But at least I didn't have to suddenly work crazy shifts like Bockoras was forced to, even after a note from her doctor stated she needed more regular hours. Exhaustion is no joke; I feel for her like you wouldn't believe.
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I drank a goofy herbal tea to keep my milk supply up, and frantically counted ounces for months, until I finally let it go and decided it was okay to supplement my lessening output with formula. But at least my milk didn't dry up because I was so stressed out by my coworkers (Bockoras' gave her a bucket and compared her to a cow) and my schedule. I got to decide when to supplement. Every woman should have that choice.
I hope Bockoras gets some redemption here. And I have lots of ideas for what should happen to her awful co-workers, but here's one that would be a kind of justice: I hope they have daughters who grow up and become breastfeeding moms who nurse their toddlers in public.
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