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Harvard med student breastfeeding mom sues the national licening board - Page 2

post #21 of 431
I don't know what I think. But wouldn't it be great if we were given pumping breaks in all long exams like this. I'm thinking the FE, PE, the bar, and I'm sure there are others that last all day.
post #22 of 431
She's already been accommodated in that she can take the normal 9 hour test over two days. If they were broken evenly that would be 4.5 hours day, with a 45 minute break. She shouldn't have to go more than 2 - 3 hours without pumping. While it may get uncomfortable for her, I don't see that as a long enough time frame to cause real medical issues, such as blocked ducts. The article also states that many pumping mothers are able to successfully complete the 9 hour test and pump at the same time.

On one hand I'm glad that she's causing a stir, because it brings the plight to people's attention, but on the other hand I don't really see that she has a valid issue.




ETA: The sueing mother also states "I can get away with pumping about every three hours.'' So what's the issue here?
post #23 of 431
There seems to be no issue. None that I can see anyway.
post #24 of 431
Quote:
Originally Posted by KirstenMary View Post
I agree with this. If pumping is her goal, then the breaks would allow her time to express some milk. And she could always put a WhisperWear pump in her bra. In that way, she could pump while taking the test and not be concerned with distracting the other test takers.
They don't even let you take chapstick in with you!
post #25 of 431
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sandstress View Post
They don't even let you take chapstick in with you!

Well, everyone knows that answers can be written inside the cap!

Seriously, though, if the baby cannot take a bottle, I can see her issue. I'm not sure what I would do about it, but I can sympathize.

If the issue is pumping, stick a WW in her bra. Problem solved (if they would let her do that).
post #26 of 431
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ophelia View Post
My DH read this article and wondered why one 45 minute break wasn't enough

He asked me what I thought a reasonable solution would be. I said split up the test into 3 - 3 hour sessions. That way she can pump before and after each time. And when my baby was 3-4 months old I sure as heck needed to go to the bathroom more than once in a 9 hour timeframe!
The way this test runs, you can take 45 total minutes of break time in between blocks of questions, and organize them however you want. If you finish a block earlier than the allotted time, you can add that time to your total break time.

She's already getting a second day to take a one day test, and now she's asking for yet another allowance. I'm wondering what kind of medicine she's intending on practicing- in some situations, there just isn't the possiblity of such allowances.
post #27 of 431
in case you have not seen the NYT article....

http://www.nytimes.com/2007/09/10/he...?ref=education
post #28 of 431
Quote:
Originally Posted by destinybound View Post
in case you have not seen the NYT article....

http://www.nytimes.com/2007/09/10/he...?ref=education
I think she is being unreasonable.
post #29 of 431
Quote:
Originally Posted by KirstenMary View Post
Not being able to pump for 4.5 hours would physically bother me, but it would be possible.
But would 45 minutes be long enough to pump -- or 40 since she might need a bathroom break and to scarf down a handful of nuts and bottle of water.

Is 40 minutes enough to relieve engorgement?

As to what kind of medicine, my understanding is she's an MD/PhD planning on going into research, so it's very plausible she'd be able to come up with a reasonable pumping schedule unlike say a neurosurgeon or an E.R. doctor.
post #30 of 431
Okay, 9 hours of test and 45 minutes of breaks: She can test for 2 hrs 15 minutes, pump for 15 minutes, and repeat. Better get one of those pump-holding bras so she can eat at the same time. 2 hrs is NOT too long to go without pumping.

Is it that she's getting 18 hours to take the test due to her learning disabilities, but still only 45 minutes of breaks?
post #31 of 431
Quote:
Originally Posted by Momily View Post
But would 45 minutes be long enough to pump -- or 40 since she might need a bathroom break and to scarf down a handful of nuts and bottle of water.

Is 40 minutes enough to relieve engorgement?

As to what kind of medicine, my understanding is she's an MD/PhD planning on going into research, so it's very plausible she'd be able to come up with a reasonable pumping schedule unlike say a neurosurgeon or an E.R. doctor.
I sing in a wedding band, and we also perform in clubs. When I sing, I get 15 minute breaks, and I pump in a bathroom stall. 45 minutes is more than enough time to pump.

Hey, maybe I should sue the club owners.
post #32 of 431
Quote:
Originally Posted by ~MoonGypsy~ View Post
She's already been accommodated in that she can take the normal 9 hour test over two days. If they were broken evenly that would be 4.5 hours day, with a 45 minute break. She shouldn't have to go more than 2 - 3 hours without pumping. While it may get uncomfortable for her, I don't see that as a long enough time frame to cause real medical issues, such as blocked ducts. The article also states that many pumping mothers are able to successfully complete the 9 hour test and pump at the same time.

On one hand I'm glad that she's causing a stir, because it brings the plight to people's attention, but on the other hand I don't really see that she has a valid issue.




ETA: The sueing mother also states "I can get away with pumping about every three hours.'' So what's the issue here?
:
I don't really think she has a valid argument since she already has the test broken down to two days instead of one.
I think people who are anti breastfeeding will just use this case as "just another wacko breastfeeding mom" who is going overboard for attention. I don't think that, but I had people tell me that over Emily Gillette's case, and hers was valid.
post #33 of 431
Thread Starter 
I think an element that people are missing here is that she would be forced to pump in one of the empty testing rooms, which have glass walls and observation areas. Personally, I could never pump in a situation like that, knowing that I could be watched by pretty much anyone--I would never let down. Personally I am completely comfortable NIP but I am NOT comfortable pumping in public. I don't understand why one of the test monitors couldn't search her pump thoroughly to make sure there was nothing inside that she could use to cheat with and then allow her to pump in a private room.

In addition, I don't think that the fact that she needs accommodations for her ADHD should factor into this at all. Those accommodations are set by the Americans with Disabilities Act to even the playing field for students with disabilities--they do not give her an advantage.
post #34 of 431
Tough situation, IMO.
I pumped for a year for DS while I worked (and nursed at home). I know how hard it can be to not be able to relieve the engorgement for hours. It's awful and can lead to plugged ducts, etc. The lactivist in me thinks it would be nice if she did get extended breaks to pump.
BUT...

I also work in healthcare and I did take a national board exam to get my license to practice. I imagine I would have been pissed if I found out someone got extra breaks to pump while I suffered through that monster exam in the allotted time. And to be honest, I still don't know that I think it's fair, even as a nursing mom and lactivist. She gets breaks and can pump during that time. It's not ideal, but neither is medicine. You do the best you can with what you are given. The test taking environment and schedule is strict to ensure fairness to all. She is already being given an accommodation and it seems to me that she should do what she can to make this work.
post #35 of 431
I used to teach and have several teacher friends who pump. On days when their students have no "specials" (music, art, PE, etc.) they get only a lunch break. Sometimes that means they have 4 hrs in the morning and 3 hrs in the afternoon or vice versa. And by the time they drop their kids off in the cafeteria, get set up w/ their lunch and pump, they only have about 20-25 min max to eat and pump. If they happen to have a committee meeting or team meeting immediately after school, they have no time to pump then either. They literally have to grab a snack and run to the meeting.

So there's no special law to help teachers who have limited pumping time, although there certainly should be.
post #36 of 431
Thread Starter 
I agree with what everyone is saying, BUT...
isn't it time that someone stand up for what is RIGHT and what SHOULD be done rather than just toe the line with the staus quo? We all know that the status quo does not work and is not respectful of the needs of nursing moms. And if change is going to start somewhere, shouldn't it start with a major medical establishment???
post #37 of 431
Quote:
Originally Posted by Googy View Post
I agree with what everyone is saying, BUT...
isn't it time that someone stand up for what is RIGHT and what SHOULD be done rather than just toe the line with the staus quo? We all know that the status quo does not work and is not respectful of the needs of nursing moms. And if change is going to start somewhere, shouldn't it start with a major medical establishment???

They are being very respectful of her needs; she's just not happy with the decision. If she is uncomfortable being exposed, she could wear a nursing shirt and get the Medela Hands-Free attachment. Thus, she would be covered, not have to hold the funnels, and still be able to pump. Problem solved.
post #38 of 431
Why should she have to go out and spend big bucks on a new pump (if she dosnt already have the hands free pump) I wouldnt be able to pump were everyone could see me either.
post #39 of 431
Quote:
Originally Posted by MCatLvrMom2A&X View Post
Why should she have to go out and spend big bucks on a new pump (if she dosnt already have the hands free pump) I wouldnt be able to pump were everyone could see me either.
If they accommodate her request, the MCAT people are probably going to have to hire a proctor or two just for her, at considerable cost to them. If buying a new pump (renting one? Is that possible) is an option to make this doable, then I think having he absorb that cost is reasonable.
post #40 of 431
Well, even if she gets the extra time, where will she pump? Is she not able to leave the room on her breaks? I'm sorry, I must have missed something, I didn't see any of that.

Working as a nurse was the biggest enemy to breastfeeding I had. Many times I didn't even have time to pee, let alone pump. It's sad, and the people I worked with/for were very sympathetic, but there was just no one to really cover for me while I needed to pump, and my mind was always racing a mile a minute constantly going over my checklist of things I needed to do before I would be able to leave that it just wasn't working.
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