Harvard med student breastfeeding mom sues the national licening board - Page 5 - Mothering Forums

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#121 of 431 Old 09-14-2007, 10:07 PM
 
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So, in a nutshell, it appears that some here believe that lactating women should not be given as much time to eat, drink, and use the restroom as their peers, at work or in test situations.

Because that, in a nutshell, is what is being argued. She requires time to pump, in addition to time for eating, drinking, etc.

It really seems to me that most of the arguments against her being given that pumping time, at least in this thread, are of the "Mothers should be martyrs, and if women want to succeed at X, they need to be working twice as hard as the men and making more sacrifices too."

What we are working towards, on this board, is a world where every. single. woman. who gives birth, at least initiates breastfeeding; and where the vast majority breastfeed for the first 1-2 years of their childrens' lives. If such a world were to come to fruition - how reasonable is it to expect that all the lactating women who are taking professional boards exams, have to just "suck it up" and deal with unreasonable time constraints which don't acknowledge their bodies' needs re: pumping time?

And don't argue that, at that time, then changes could be made to accomodate all those breastfeeding women. Things like THIS are a barrier to women ever getting to that place. And, truly - this sort of logic about women and breastfeeding (that it should be on the back burner, and too bad if someone develops engorgement, plugged ducts, mastitis, whatever) - is the sort of approach which is taken all the time towards breastfeeding women in the workplace.

I doubt that the mom would request a full hour to pump every time she pumps. And I don't gather that she's asking for that in this situation, either. She's simply asking for adequate pumping time (per medical advise even!), and privacy while doing so. And, yes, I do think that mothers everywhere should be able to ask for time to pump while working. And (color me a real radical) I think that it could easily be in a company's best interest to actually continue paying women while they are pumping (after all, as many have demonstrated in this very thread, some women are able to multitask effectively while breastfeeding!).

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#122 of 431 Old 09-14-2007, 10:41 PM
 
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GO MAMA! I was hoping she'd take some sort of action.

- Emy . Single mom to DS nut.gif Ezra (15.12.05), angel2.gif Thames (reincarnated 18.04.08) and DD rainbow1284.gif babyf.gif Allora (11.02.11) and dog2.gif Hoppylactivist.gif  novaxnocirc.gif  waterbirth.jpg fambedsingle2.gif bfinfant.giffemalesling.GIFcd.gif

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#123 of 431 Old 09-15-2007, 12:13 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by elanorh View Post
So, in a nutshell, it appears that some here believe that lactating women should not be given as much time to eat, drink, and use the restroom as their peers, at work or in test situations.

Because that, in a nutshell, is what is being argued. She requires time to pump, in addition to time for eating, drinking, etc.

It really seems to me that most of the arguments against her being given that pumping time, at least in this thread, are of the "Mothers should be martyrs, and if women want to succeed at X, they need to be working twice as hard as the men and making more sacrifices too."

What we are working towards, on this board, is a world where every. single. woman. who gives birth, at least initiates breastfeeding; and where the vast majority breastfeed for the first 1-2 years of their childrens' lives. If such a world were to come to fruition - how reasonable is it to expect that all the lactating women who are taking professional boards exams, have to just "suck it up" and deal with unreasonable time constraints which don't acknowledge their bodies' needs re: pumping time?

And don't argue that, at that time, then changes could be made to accomodate all those breastfeeding women. Things like THIS are a barrier to women ever getting to that place. And, truly - this sort of logic about women and breastfeeding (that it should be on the back burner, and too bad if someone develops engorgement, plugged ducts, mastitis, whatever) - is the sort of approach which is taken all the time towards breastfeeding women in the workplace.

I doubt that the mom would request a full hour to pump every time she pumps. And I don't gather that she's asking for that in this situation, either. She's simply asking for adequate pumping time (per medical advise even!), and privacy while doing so. And, yes, I do think that mothers everywhere should be able to ask for time to pump while working. And (color me a real radical) I think that it could easily be in a company's best interest to actually continue paying women while they are pumping (after all, as many have demonstrated in this very thread, some women are able to multitask effectively while breastfeeding!).
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#124 of 431 Old 09-15-2007, 12:34 AM
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What we are working towards, on this board, is a world where every. single. woman. who gives birth, at least initiates breastfeeding; and where the vast majority breastfeed for the first 1-2 years of their childrens' lives. If such a world were to come to fruition - how reasonable is it to expect that all the lactating women who are taking professional boards exams, have to just "suck it up" and deal with unreasonable time constraints which don't acknowledge their bodies' needs re: pumping time?
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Thank you, Elanorh, for expressing these thoughts so coherently.

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#125 of 431 Old 09-15-2007, 12:47 PM
 
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The test was supposed to be today. I wondered what happened/is happening?
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#126 of 431 Old 09-15-2007, 01:16 PM
 
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She has my best wishes for a good performance.
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#127 of 431 Old 09-15-2007, 01:52 PM
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But she doesn't need to pump a maximal amount of milk to feed her baby on an ongoing basis or to maintain her milk supply on an ongoing basis. She needs to relieve engorgement during an unusually busy day. She doesn't even need to wash the pump during the test.

Honestly, it seems like she's trying to milk it (pun unintended). She may not be. She may really need what she's asking for, or she may really think that she is paving a path for breastfeeding accommodations. But I think it is a justifiable perception, and one that may well be shared by the judges in her case, and that's a bad thing for breastfeeding mothers seeking reasonable, modest accommodations.
Thank you; I'm glad you said that. Personally, I start to question the motivations of someone who asks for an accomodation and receives it and then asks for a different accomodation on top of the first one. Both MAY BE legitimate concerns. On the other hand, they may be the result of an attitude of a person who just thinks the world needs to revolve around them. I don't have sufficient data to say which one this might be.
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#128 of 431 Old 09-15-2007, 02:15 PM
 
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So, in a nutshell, it appears that some here believe that lactating women should not be given as much time to eat, drink, and use the restroom as their peers, at work or in test situations.

Because that, in a nutshell, is what is being argued. She requires time to pump, in addition to time for eating, drinking, etc.

It really seems to me that most of the arguments against her being given that pumping time, at least in this thread, are of the "Mothers should be martyrs, and if women want to succeed at X, they need to be working twice as hard as the men and making more sacrifices too."

What we are working towards, on this board, is a world where every. single. woman. who gives birth, at least initiates breastfeeding; and where the vast majority breastfeed for the first 1-2 years of their childrens' lives. If such a world were to come to fruition - how reasonable is it to expect that all the lactating women who are taking professional boards exams, have to just "suck it up" and deal with unreasonable time constraints which don't acknowledge their bodies' needs re: pumping time?

And don't argue that, at that time, then changes could be made to accomodate all those breastfeeding women. Things like THIS are a barrier to women ever getting to that place. And, truly - this sort of logic about women and breastfeeding (that it should be on the back burner, and too bad if someone develops engorgement, plugged ducts, mastitis, whatever) - is the sort of approach which is taken all the time towards breastfeeding women in the workplace.

I doubt that the mom would request a full hour to pump every time she pumps. And I don't gather that she's asking for that in this situation, either. She's simply asking for adequate pumping time (per medical advise even!), and privacy while doing so. And, yes, I do think that mothers everywhere should be able to ask for time to pump while working. And (color me a real radical) I think that it could easily be in a company's best interest to actually continue paying women while they are pumping (after all, as many have demonstrated in this very thread, some women are able to multitask effectively while breastfeeding!).

There really is no barrier here except the one which she is creating.

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#129 of 431 Old 09-15-2007, 02:17 PM
 
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She has my best wishes for a good performance.
Mine, too.

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#130 of 431 Old 09-15-2007, 02:52 PM
 
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Yes, I hope she does well. If even here on the Lactivism board, people are questioning her motives and assuming that she wants this extra pumping time to give herself an advantage, I hope she *aces* the test, so that when this case goes to court, she can hold up the score as evidence that obviously this wasn't about her test score, it was about recognizing that over half the population is female, and many females in her age range and taking this exam, could be (and should be, per medical authority advice) breastfeeding if they've had children recently - and ought to be able to pump without having to give up the time the test givers have alloted for everyone to eat, drink, and relieve themselves.

I still would like to know -- for those who don't think she deserved any additional time to pump -- how it is OK for lactating women to be given less time to eat, drink, use the restroom than nonlactating people [at this exam or elsewhere]? To me, this smacks of "Well, breastfeeding is a choice, she could have chosen to [supplement needlessly, just ff, etc.] in re: any other issue which a breastfeeding mother encounters in this culture, whether it's an NIP situation or an allergic infant or whatever.

I feel like some of the responses here are very much of the "don't make the Big Man unhappy, take the crumbs you can snatch and don't work for more" type. And, while KristinMary doesn't want this connected to NIP, I can't understand why not. It's amazing how similar the anti-time-to-pump argument lines up with the anti-NIP argument [of the sort that breastfeeders make]:

*I can pump fast and don't care if people see me pump and I eat and pump and do jumping jacks all at the same time while surfing MDC and getting work done for my employer, too. Surely other moms can, too!

*I always kept my kids on a schedule or nursed before we left or used a restroom if they were hungry while I breastfed, so other moms can too.

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#131 of 431 Old 09-15-2007, 03:41 PM
 
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For one, from what the article is saying, she is not trying to pump milk to feed her child, she is pumping to prevent loss of supply due to having to take the exam for 2 days and also to prevent engorgement.

For two, most moms I know, who know they have something coming up that is going to keep them from their baby for an extensive period of time, will pump in advance to start getting enough milk to ensure they have supply while gone. So, if she really is pumping to get the milk to feed (which the article alludes is not the case), then she should have started in advance. Because as a lot of people have said, the amount of milk that a person produces is totally different.

I am not saying it is right or wrong, but in the end, I do feel she has been given reasonable accomodations, or attempts at reasonable accomodations. The 45 minutes everyone is talking she gets automatically is the same that is given to every person. Every person can use that time totally different - some will use it to eat or potty or get a drink or just take a sanity break. Others will just go through 8 hours of tests and leave 45 minutes early.

And yes, she will go through a lot more 9 hour test days while she is in med school. Then, at the very end of med school, she has to go through a very long board certification process. My friend is in his third year of med school. He has had to take a 9 hour test between each of his years so far (between 1st and 2nd; and 2nd and 3rd). I think then they also have to take a test after the 3rd year. Then, I think there are similar tests they have to take during residencey and internships, and then there is the board exams at the very end.
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#132 of 431 Old 09-15-2007, 03:48 PM
 
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Yes, I hope she does well. If even here on the Lactivism board, people are questioning her motives and assuming that she wants this extra pumping time to give herself an advantage, I hope she *aces* the test, so that when this case goes to court, she can hold up the score as evidence that obviously this wasn't about her test score, it was about recognizing that over half the population is female, and many females in her age range and taking this exam, could be (and should be, per medical authority advice) breastfeeding if they've had children recently - and ought to be able to pump without having to give up the time the test givers have alloted for everyone to eat, drink, and relieve themselves.

She is not being given less time to do those things, she just needs to manage her time well enough to be able to include everything she deems necessary during her break. She can pump, eat, and drink at the same time. However, many posters have said that time is not the issue for her, and at this point, I am not really sure what the issue is anymore.

I still would like to know -- for those who don't think she deserved any additional time to pump -- how it is OK for lactating women to be given less time to eat, drink, use the restroom than nonlactating people [at this exam or elsewhere]? To me, this smacks of "Well, breastfeeding is a choice, she could have chosen to [supplement needlessly, just ff, etc.] in re: any other issue which a breastfeeding mother encounters in this culture, whether it's an NIP situation or an allergic infant or whatever.

I feel like some of the responses here are very much of the "don't make the Big Man unhappy, take the crumbs you can snatch and don't work for more" type. And, while KristinMary doesn't want this connected to NIP, I can't understand why not. It's amazing how similar the anti-time-to-pump argument lines up with the anti-NIP argument [of the sort that breastfeeders make]:

*I can pump fast and don't care if people see me pump and I eat and pump and do jumping jacks all at the same time while surfing MDC and getting work done for my employer, too. Surely other moms can, too!

*I always kept my kids on a schedule or nursed before we left or used a restroom if they were hungry while I breastfed, so other moms can too.

What she is requesting is not for her baby; it's for herself, and that makes her request completely different from NIPing. As long as she pumps, her baby is not going to be affected, and no one is telling her she can't pump. They are just telling her she can't pump her way. And since I live in a state void of any BFing legislation at all, the last thing I want is for my NIPing to be associated with her requests. And sadly, I'm sure that to some closed-minded individuals, it will be.

I'm sure some local stations will have an update on her story tonight or tomorrow, and it will be interesting to see what happened.

.

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#133 of 431 Old 09-15-2007, 04:01 PM
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And yes, she will go through a lot more 9 hour test days while she is in med school. Then, at the very end of med school, she has to go through a very long board certification process.
She is finished med school.

This is the Step 2 - CK (Clinical Knowledge) exam, part of the board certification process to which you are referring.

I hope that, if she is writing today, it is going well.

Anyway, her blog is here and there is further info in the comments. She does not write well (her spelling is awful), which does not endear her to me, but since she is severely dyslexic, I can suck it up.

There were some relevant facts that can clarify some of the questions in this thread. Note that these are according to her and have not been verified.

* She got honours or top honours in her med school rotations. She did not get any special accommodations.
* She got great letters of recommendation.
* She did her undergrad at MIT and had a 4.0 GPA.
* She gets extra time because of dyslexia -- she reads at about half the speed of the average American.
* She was ill and hospitalized during her pregnancy (when she took the exam the first time.)
* Her allotted break time is 45 minutes over 9 hours for two days. She may have 15 minutes extra on day 1 if she skips the optional tutorial, which many students do.
* She has had mastitis already, which puts her at greater risk of getting it again.
* The dean at Harvard has written letters in support of her request, which includes extra break time for all nursing mothers.

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#134 of 431 Old 09-15-2007, 04:10 PM
 
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i think it's being lost on several people here that it is unfortunate that this student/mother/soon to be physician is even having to DEAL with this issue right before taking a very difficult examination...on TOP of being a mother to a baby. don't you think someone who was trying to garner some type of speculated 'advantage' by getting a few extra minutes to pump would need the extra studying and preparation instead of launching a case and talking to the media?

the problem lies in the SYSTEM/SOCIETY, not in the REQUESTS/NEEDS of nursing mothers.
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#135 of 431 Old 09-15-2007, 04:12 PM
 
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And yes, she will go through a lot more 9 hour test days while she is in med school. Then, at the very end of med school, she has to go through a very long board certification process. My friend is in his third year of med school. He has had to take a 9 hour test between each of his years so far (between 1st and 2nd; and 2nd and 3rd). I think then they also have to take a test after the 3rd year. Then, I think there are similar tests they have to take during residencey and internships, and then there is the board exams at the very end.
The article in the OP states that she has completed the M.D./Ph.D program and is taking this exam prior to beginning her residency. So, she's done with medical school and has completed a Ph.D program at the same time. She needs to complete her residency, and needs to pass this exam before she can begin her residency. Other than that, my understanding is that after her residency is completed, she takes her Boards and she's done?

Regardless, the woman thought she was bypassing this issue entirely by taking her exam while she was 8 months pregnant. She failed that time, though, which is what is making this such a mess for her now. I do think that some peoples' expectations of what is reasonable for a breastfeeding mother to accomplish during a 45 minute break is ... well, not reasonable. It wouldn't be reasonable for me, and I pumped exclusively for one month of Ina's life, and for most of three additional months as well -- and then while WOH for six more months, so am pretty familiar with pumping and what it's like with my body (Medela PIS, dual set-up). If I were her, I'd be freaking and wanting time to pump too. It took me 30 minutes from set-up to done, for each pumping session. I never developed a knack for being able to multi-task while pumping, either. So eating while pumping would be out. With only 45 minutes to accomplish that for a 9 hour day - I'd be panicked. If this is "only" a 4.5 hour day, I'd still be worrying about getting it all done and going to the bathroom etc. within my time limit.

And the fact that we had long-term supply issues with Ina may be coloring my perspective at least a little - but from that, I do know that there are some moms whose supplies dip precipitously when they start skimping on pump time or minimizing babe's time at breast. All it takes is a few sessions for them.

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#136 of 431 Old 09-15-2007, 04:51 PM
 
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wouldn't it be so great if what came out of this was that the medical licensing board offered a pumping area for lactating mothers who were taking the exam, with hospital grade pumps, all set and ready to go? then the time issue would be much less of a factor as the moms wouldn't have to worry about dealing with their own pumps, and hospital grade pumps are usually super fast and efficient.

THAT would be a compromise and an accommodation. a girl can dream, can't she?

in the meantime, i am sending well wishes to sophie.
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#137 of 431 Old 09-15-2007, 05:27 PM
 
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i think it's being lost on several people here that it is unfortunate that this student/mother/soon to be physician is even having to DEAL with this issue right before taking a very difficult examination...on TOP of being a mother to a baby. don't you think someone who was trying to garner some type of speculated 'advantage' by getting a few extra minutes to pump would need the extra studying and preparation instead of launching a case and talking to the media?

the problem lies in the SYSTEM/SOCIETY, not in the REQUESTS/NEEDS of nursing mothers.
Many times, the problem is society. Not this time, though.

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#138 of 431 Old 09-15-2007, 05:30 PM
 
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Many times, the problem is society. Not this time, though.
well if you're going to throw a meatball like that out, then please explain further how society/the system as it stands is not the root cause of this issue. thanks.
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#139 of 431 Old 09-15-2007, 05:34 PM
 
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If this is "only" a 4.5 hour day, I'd still be worrying about getting it all done and going to the bathroom etc. within my time limit.
.
1. Pump before test. Eat before test. Go to the bathroom before test. Leave pump set up with battery pack and containers already in place.
2. Test for 2.25 hours.
3. Pump again with set up pump. Have a quick snack.
4. Finish test.
5. Pump again.

So it time an issue or not? Or is it privacy? There are solutions to all of her issues if she would just dig into her creativity a bit.

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#140 of 431 Old 09-15-2007, 05:39 PM
 
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well if you're going to throw a meatball like that out, then please explain further how society/the system as it stands is not the root cause of this issue. thanks.
It's not a meatball.

I have stated time and again that she is being unreasonable, and SHE is the cause of her own issue. Sadly, there are discussions about her on nearly every forum on nearly every local news website. Even extended breastfeeding mothers like myself feel that she needs to compromise in this situation. But she won't.

Is her testing situation ideal for her? Obviously not. But she can do X, Y, and Z to at least get through it.

This isn't society; this is her.

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#141 of 431 Old 09-15-2007, 05:50 PM
 
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So should we set the bar such that the top performing 50% of breastfeeders benefit, and the bottom 50% just have to switch to bottle because they can't make a go of it?

It's good that you can pump in half an hour while you simultaneously move your bowels and eat a sandwich. Or that you can go 8 hours at a stretch without problems. I don't know that this is the case for every woman. Some women might need longer to effectively pump. Some women might need to pump more frequently to avoid painful complications.

I think that the fact that her personal physician and the dean of her medical school are standing in support of her speaks volumes.
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#142 of 431 Old 09-15-2007, 06:11 PM
 
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what does she have to compromise?

this woman has dedicated her life to helping others. she is clearly brilliant and excellent at what she does, given the recommendations and support that she has been receiving from her professors and mentors, and she will be an asset to her profession, once she's jumped through all of the hoops in order for her to finally practice. she not only has an MD, but a PhD on top of that so her studies have taken even longer than average, all while also maintaining a relationship with her partner AND having children. she timed her pregnancies specifically to optimize her professional life, all while trying to do what is absolutely BEST for her babies by breastfeeding them. and she did this all, not by doing the minimum and skating by, but achieving honors and high honors. this is not the type of woman who is looking for a little extra edge and trying to milk the system (pardon the pun).

i'd like to see some of her worst critics walk even just one day in her life...getting an MD/PhD from Harvard and taking the boards while caring for a toddler and 4 month old, breastfeeding, AND having to deal with this added stress on top of it all? i have higher than average intelligence and did attend an ivy league health sciences program...and i can tell you right now in retrospect i could not have accomplished what she has. goodness knows i could barely take care of MYSELF during those 2 years, i was single at the time so i cannot even fathom having 2 young children to care for while also needing to be in top form, clinically and academically.

in light of all of this i feel it's highly ridiculous that the powers that be in this case are not being more accommodating. they'd rather make an example of her than to help one of their best and brightest to continue on with her career. how many promising young women will not choose medicine as a career because of this? how many female medical students will choose to not breastfeed and give their child formula instead in order to avoid this scenario? you bet your bippy this all has a root in society, as well as an impact on society.

this is not just about HER.
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#143 of 431 Old 09-15-2007, 06:24 PM
 
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So should we set the bar such that the top performing 50% of breastfeeders benefit, and the bottom 50% just have to switch to bottle because they can't make a go of it?

That really has nothing to do with the issue at hand.

It's good that you can pump in half an hour while you simultaneously move your bowels and eat a sandwich. Or that you can go 8 hours at a stretch without problems. I don't know that this is the case for every woman. Some women might need longer to effectively pump. Some women might need to pump more frequently to avoid painful complications.

I cannot go 8 hours in any way, shape, or form. I prefer to pump every two hours. I have, though, gone as long as five hours without pumping, and although I was uncomfortable, my world didn't end because I wasn't catered to.

I think that the fact that her personal physician and the dean of her medical school are standing in support of her speaks volumes.


And I think that hundreds of BFing mothers disagreeing with her speaks volumes as well.
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#144 of 431 Old 09-15-2007, 06:28 PM
 
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what does she have to compromise?

this woman has dedicated her life to helping others. she is clearly brilliant and excellent at what she does, given the recommendations and support that she has been receiving from her professors and mentors, and she will be an asset to her profession, once she's jumped through all of the hoops in order for her to finally practice. she not only has an MD, but a PhD on top of that so her studies have taken even longer than average, all while also maintaining a relationship with her partner AND having children. she timed her pregnancies specifically to optimize her professional life, all while trying to do what is absolutely BEST for her babies by breastfeeding them. and she did this all, not by doing the minimum and skating by, but achieving honors and high honors. this is not the type of woman who is looking for a little extra edge and trying to milk the system (pardon the pun).

That's all wonderful. And totally irrelevant.

i'd like to see some of her worst critics walk even just one day in her life...getting an MD/PhD from Harvard and taking the boards while caring for a toddler and 4 month old, breastfeeding, AND having to deal with this added stress on top of it all? i have higher than average intelligence and did attend an ivy league health sciences program...and i can tell you right now in retrospect i could not have accomplished what she has. goodness knows i could barely take care of MYSELF during those 2 years, i was single at the time so i cannot even fathom having 2 young children to care for while also needing to be in top form, clinically and academically.


in light of all of this i feel it's highly ridiculous that the powers that be in this case are not being more accommodating. they'd rather make and example of her than to help one of their best and brightest to continue on with her career. how many promising young women will not choose medicine as a career because of this? how many female medical students will choose to not breastfeed and give their child formula instead in order to avoid this scenario? you bet your bippy this all has a root in society, as well as an impact on society.

How many Massachusetts BFers are going to be looked upon in a negative light because of her unreasonableness? How many women on the fence about BFing are going to change their minds after seeing the public disgust with her requests? You bet your bippy that she is having an impact on the breastfeeding community. And the end result may not be all that positive.

this is not just about HER.

Of course it is.
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#145 of 431 Old 09-15-2007, 06:30 PM
 
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And yes, she will go through a lot more 9 hour test days while she is in med school. Then, at the very end of med school, she has to go through a very long board certification process. My friend is in his third year of med school. He has had to take a 9 hour test between each of his years so far (between 1st and 2nd; and 2nd and 3rd). I think then they also have to take a test after the 3rd year. Then, I think there are similar tests they have to take during residencey and internships, and then there is the board exams at the very end.
There aren't "a lot" of 9-hour test days in med school. You can take a practice Step 1 test after your first year, you take the actual Step 1 test after your 2nd year, you take Step 2 after your 3rd year or in your 4th year of med school, and you take Step 3 generally after your first year of residency which happens when you are done with med school. I imagine you can take practice tests for Step 2 and 3, too.
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#146 of 431 Old 09-15-2007, 06:58 PM
 
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I cannot go 8 hours in any way, shape, or form. I prefer to pump every two hours. I have, though, gone as long as five hours without pumping, and although I was uncomfortable, my world didn't end because I wasn't catered to..
There are an awful lot of the word 'I' in that statement.

You've told us all about the characteristics of your own breasts and their milk production. Not really relevant, I'm afraid. That seems to be the point that you are consistently overlooking.
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#147 of 431 Old 09-15-2007, 06:58 PM
 
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how many promising young women will not choose medicine as a career because of this? how many female medical students will choose to not breastfeed and give their child formula instead in order to avoid this scenario? you bet your bippy this all has a root in society, as well as an impact on society.

this is not just about HER.
YES.

I love my doctors - Ped/OB - my family tends towards careers in the health field (nursing mostly) -- I've often thought about an MD. Why didn't I? Because we are an APish family, and I knew I wanted my children to experience SAHP and wanted, myself, to be the SAHP. I know that there are people who know me who think I've wasted my potential, despite having a Master's.

I'd like my daughters to feel like becoming a doctor, or lawyer, or professor, or whatever - is within their reach, and achievable for them without them having to sacrifice other things which matter to them (like, having children). But we as a society are very much set up to tell mothers that if they want to be [doctor lawyer whatever] then they will perforce need to compromise on their parenting. And I don't think it has to be that way, nor should it be that way.

I'm sorry that there are some people who are trying to use this situation to paint all bf issues/advocacy as wasted, and bf moms as whiners. They are, I'd say, wrong on both counts (the case in question as well as bf in general). It reminds me a little of some of the responses which civil rights workers met when they began working - some people they were working with and for, felt that they should build more slowly, "Don't ask for so much!" etc. for fear of offending/overturning their cause. NOTE - I am not equating this to the civil rights movement per se, but there are commonalities in reactions, I think.

Mostly I'm sitting here thinking, there's no way for a woman to know ahead of time whether she'll pump quickly/efficiently, or have supply issues or etc. She *may* know that women in her family tend towards mastitis or thrush - but since so many in the older generations didn't nurse necessarily, she may not. So what is a mom who planned and expected that she could pump quickly (like her friend KristinMary, say) and would be easily able to manage pumping, if she had to, during the allowed minimum break time in her exams - but finds that in fact, she doesn't work that way? Wait 'til she's done breastfeeding to take the exam? Lose the prestigious residency which she was awarded in the meantime? All so that no one is offended by her speaking up and asking for what ought to be the normal expectation for any lactating mother taking the exam - some privacy and pump time?

And I look at my two daughters and think - MAN, I'm biased but either could be doctors. And we need more doctors who are APish. And how I hope, hope, hope that if they decide to become doctors, they either have teen pregnancies so that they're well through with breastfeeding when this becomes an issue, or maybe they should go to med school when their kids are in high school/college.

Painting this into an issue about one person, completely ignores that 40% of the people taking these exams are women. And MOST of the people taking these exams are in prime childbearing ages. Do we really want most of our doctors to think that breastfeeding is a lark, simple, and shouldn't be accomodated? Do we want the test-takers who are going into OB/Gyn to tell patients, "Well, if you can't pump efficiently in 15 minutes just stop and go back to work -- it won't affect your supply and won't cause mastitis or plugged ducts." ???

It should be a no-brainer that the exam be set up with ways for breastfeeding mothers to pump [without having to eat and/or sit on the toilet while doing so].

Not all who wander are lost.
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#148 of 431 Old 09-15-2007, 07:00 PM
 
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There aren't "a lot" of 9-hour test days in med school. You can take a practice Step 1 test after your first year, you take the actual Step 1 test after your 2nd year, you take Step 2 after your 3rd year or in your 4th year of med school, and you take Step 3 generally after your first year of residency which happens when you are done with med school. I imagine you can take practice tests for Step 2 and 3, too.
My point is/was that this is not the only 9 hour test she has to take or has had to take in the course of her studies. Some people on the discussion seem to think that this is a one time deal for her.

Also, she is getting 2 9 hour days to complete the test in, double the amount of time normally allotted for a person taking the test.

Another point, when this was originally discussed before - if she finishes a section early, she can use that remain time from that section to take care of her needs (pumping, eating, pee, poop, etc.) If it is anything like the Step test my friend took over the summer, once you finished a section you either took time from your allotted break or you moved on to the next section of the test.

She can work around this, if she is willing to compromise a bit....
a) She has already taken the test once, so she has an idea of how long it will take her to complete each section of the test. Which means she has an idea of how much time she will have left over during each section.
b) If she knows she has time after each session
1) Bring a hand pump and do a quick relief of a couple of minutes
2) If you have enough time, grab a snack to eat (There are plenty of energy and protein type bars out there there are great for snacks)
3) Heck, have someone waiting with baby if you are that worried and do a quick nursing
4) Use the facilities, get a drink, relax for a few minutes
c) At lunch - Eat a quick sandwhich; then go pump. On days like that, I have never wanted more than just a quick bite -- anything else and I am too stuff to even concentrate in the afternoon part of the exam.
d) In the afternoon after you complete a session and have a few extra minutes - see b above.
e) Have someone standing by with baby immediately after test session ends and sit down some place and nurse your child.

I mean I could see asking and accomodating maybe an extra 15-20 minutes, but I don't think she really needs a extra full hour every day of the test to be doing this. I also wouldn't see it as unreasonable that since she already knows how the test works, that if she wants to skip the tutorial, she could easily have an extra 15 minutes. So, if they would give her an extra 15 mins accomodation, then also the 15 mins for the tutorial, that would be an additional 30 mins, giving her almost double the time everyone else gets. Plus she would still be possibley have time after each session.

Trust me, I am a slow release pumper as well....and it generally takes me a good 25-30 mins time to pump with a double electric pump (hospital grade). But, she could do a quick 15 min pump in the morning, eat a quick bite for lunch, then a 30 min pump at lunch, then a quick 15 min pump in the afternoon. She could nurse baby immediately before and after the test.

And like I said, this could all be done with just a request for an additional 15 mins, and asking that the tutorial time be applied as additional break time...
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#149 of 431 Old 09-15-2007, 07:46 PM
 
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There are an awful lot of the word 'I' in that statement.

You've told us all about the characteristics of your own breasts and their milk production. Not really relevant, I'm afraid. That seems to be the point that you are consistently overlooking.
Well, to some extent, it is relevant. The woman is saying, there's no way I can do this without lots of extra time. To say that yes, it's done all the time, is a pretty significant counterpoint. And my hunch is that she took the test today, under the standard regime, and her breasts didn't explode.
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#150 of 431 Old 09-15-2007, 07:53 PM
 
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Well, to some extent, it is relevant. The woman is saying, there's no way I can do this without lots of extra time. To say that yes, it's done all the time, is a pretty significant counterpoint. And my hunch is that she took the test today, under the standard regime, and her breasts didn't explode.
I don't think it's fear of breast explosion that has driven this. The question is: did she score a factitiously low and unrepresentative score on the test because of her inability to pump effectively?
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