I think some folks are making assumptions here in terms of how comfortable this woman would be pumping in a glass walled room. I mean, even with it all "hidden" in a nursing top or etc., I *know* that many, many of the breastfeeding mothers in this country would be very uncomfortable pumping knowing that others might see what was going on. I know I can't be the only woman posting here who's far more comfortable NIP than she is "PIP" .... How well would she let down?
We're assuming that this mother doesn't (say) have a history or risk of mastitis/plugged ducts. I developed plugged ducts monthly while WOH and pumping. Does she have the same issues (mine were undoubtedly related to going too long between pumping I'm sure).
I read the article to say that she had 45 minutes of break, each day. But I still think that it is unreasonable for her to be expected to devote 9 hours to the exam, and 45 minutes to restroom, eating, drinking, walking to decompress or whatever everyone else is doing. And, in addition, not all moms respond the same to pumping. I've a sister who never was successful at pumping (she just wouldn't let down). It took me half an hour to set up, pump fully, and get all put away when I was pumping at work. I didn't let down fast, it was a dripbydrip process - with a hospital grade pump.
The bottom line is that, yes, lactating is a normal physiological process for women of the age this mother is. This test is a once (or in her case, twice) in a lifetime event; and it will impact her future forever. Doesn't it bug anyone else that she's being told that she's only acceptable as a member of this group if she ignores such a fundamental part of herself (lactating)? To me, this says - if you plan to breastfeed your child, resign yourself to not being able to be [doctor, lawyer, college professor, *whatever*] and just stay at home and ignore those goals 'til you're done having kids. Isn't this sort of message something that we as lactivists are opposed to?
Why is her request for a little more time to pump, being considered so extreme and OTT? The simple answer, IMO, is that we as a culture have absorbed the ff mantra to such a great extent that we actually think it's whiny of a mother to want a little extra time to accomplish pumping. Don't we want MORE doctors who are supportive of breastfeeding?
Also it seems like some people are considering pumping a "break" where she'd become more relaxed and have an edge over her counterparts. Who's to say whether it'd be relaxing for her, or not? Maybe one of her fellow test takers is going to do yoga during his break. Is it unfair to the others that he's got that as a way to decompress?
I guess I feel like some of the responses here are of the "Well, I walk uphill both ways through snowdrifts over my head and I'm just fine!" sorts of responses - and instead of talking about how rough we have/had it, and how we got through it fine and The Man wasn't asked to accomodate us beyond whatever limit we/he thought mattered -- shouldn't we be working to ensure that other moms don't have to "Walk uphill both ways through snowdrifts" (metaphorically speaking) as breastfeeding mothers??