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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Inadequate, completely unpaid family leave time; miserly job benefits; substandard minimum wage; inhumane working conditions; rising cost of living.

Individual solutions will never solve a communal problem.

Discuss.
 

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I think you're right. I believe that a lot of moms don't nurse or quit early because of their working situations. I'm almost positive it is why my cousin's wife only bf for 10 weeks - she didn't want to have to pump at work. I don't think it was a particularly bfing friendly place. (I also don't think it would have taken too much to get it a friendly place, but she wasn't willing.)
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by MA mommy
Yes, but I also know a lot of SAHMS that don't breastfeed or quit early on.
Yes, so add poorly trained OBs, CNMs and hospital LCs to the list of problems.
 

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Inadequate legislation and protection. State laws are NOT enough. We need a FEDERAL law protecting us NOW. It should be a crime to harass a nursing mother in public.
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Mama Poot
Inadequate legislation and protection. State laws are NOT enough. We need a FEDERAL law protecting us NOW. It should be a crime to harass a nursing mother in public.
Yes, yes...who do I need to write to? I live in FL.
 

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Don't forget the formula company propoganda that's distributed to expectant and new moms. Why should women go through the "bother" of BF when formula is "just as good"?

Also, the sexualization of breasts is a huge factor for many women. Some women are even embarrased to say "breast feeding" or "breast milk." Artificial baby milk seems more "modest" than breastfeeding.
 

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Formula advertising in every baby and parenting magazine and book and every doctor's office does a lot of damage.
Also, I agree the sexualization of breasts to the point where a lot of women can't even SAY the word breast or breastfeeding or goddess forbid NIPPLE
 

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I agree that I have known plenty of SAHMs who did not BF, or quit after a few weeks.

However...it can be REALLY hard to combine working and breastfeeding. I am struggling with this issue now, as we would like to TTC #2, but my current workplace is not an environment where pumping would work at all. With my son, I had a private office. I now work for a different employer, and although I FINALLY have a decent salary, it is a very small company and my office is shared with another man and woman. There is no conference room or other suitable private space other than the restroom. Since it took me pumping for 20-30 minutes at a time for 3-4 times per day to pump enough for my son, I know there is no way I could be spending that much time in the restroom away from my desk. Sadly, the woman I work with has a 9-month-old who she fully intended to BF and pump for, but she simply couldn't maintain her supply with just a couple ten-minute pumping breaks per day in the restroom. She started supplementing with formula by 4 months and her son fully weaned by 7 months. She is in a very similar position as me, where she earns significantly more than her DH, and carries the family benefits, and so not working is simply not an option.

Honestly, I have no reason to anticipate that my situation will change very much (like DH suddenly making lots more money and having access to health insurance coverage, etc.) so my options are: (1) don't have another child; (2) thrust my family into poverty by quitting my job; or (3) resigning myself that my next child may very well end up at least partially formula-fed. I guess so far we're pretty much going with #1, but it's heartbreaking.
 

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I'm sure those are contributing factors, but there are many other things that affect us:

- formula ads everywhere, marketing formula as 'just as good'
- a society that sees what's convenient for mom as what's best for the child
- a lack of information and abundance of myths, even among health professionals
- the sexualization of the breast
- a lack of support, encouragement, & access to help
- unwillingness to seek support and info
- inadequate legislation and protection
- a negative attitude towards what is natural
- a refusal of so many to acknowledge that breast is best

I also think that some people are just selfish and will not breastfeed, even if all of those problems are addressed. Some women just are not going to put up with mastitis and engorgement and will just say 'it's too hard' because it's slightly difficult. That's the saddest thing about it. We can fix all of these problens in time. We can lobby for better working conditions and better protection. We can change attitudes, educate people, and encourage people to do what's best for their child. That will, I'm sure, increase the number of moms who breastfeed; it already has. But no matter what, we'll never have a society where all capable moms breastfeed their children, unless formula is made unavailable to those who don't truly need it...which, in my opinion, should not happen because people should have choices, even if they aren't going to make the best one

Rising cost of living, btw, is a reason why I breastfed!
 

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Yeah, most of my friends who didnt BF'd were SAHMs. I put the #1 blame on the medical establishment. From the nurses in the hospital who push bottles and pacis to the Peds who freak over growth charts to the OBs who barely mention BFing during pregnancy. Its systemic. I dont know one (1st time mama) mainstream friend who has not left the hospital supplementing. So far, none have BF'd even close to one year. (and all SAMHs too)

Quote:
Inadequate, completely unpaid family leave time; miserly job benefits; substandard minimum wage; inhumane working conditions; rising cost of living.
Are you saying that 80% or more (the # FFing by 6m I beleive) moms are dealing with teh above? Come on.
 

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I agree- there is no way a woman working at a fast food restaurant or a convenient store is going to be able to take a break to pump. I was a hostess at an upscale bar and even there I knew that if I went back to work I would have to give him formula while I was away because the pace is too hectic to even use the restroom much less try and pump. We didn't even get a break to eat (working 9 hour shifts). The existing labor codes aren't even enforced so I doubt pump breaks would be even if they were mandated by law. In these sort of jobs if you make a stink over having a pump break they will just find whatever reason they want and fire you or if you live in a state like GA where you can be fired without any reason whatsoever at any time they can just plainly say "sorry, we need someone who doesn't have to take breaks all the time."
And the maternity leave issue is definately critical. Since most women I know go back when their babe is 6 weeks old there isn't even time for a good milk supply to be established and babies at that age are likely to want to nurse very frequently which can't happen if mama is at work only getting 1 break a day if she's lucky.
I really feel for single moms and moms who are in the situation where they have to work and have no other choice. The babies suffer and the mamas feel guilty (or go into "oh well formula is just fine" mode) and the companies keep making the $$$
 

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And the maternity leave issue is definately critical. Since most women I know go back when their babe is 6 weeks old there isn't even time for a good milk supply to be established and babies at that age are likely to want to nurse very frequently which can't happen if mama is at work only getting 1 break a day if she's lucky.

Yup. This aspect is HUGE. Yes, there are other issues as well, but the work environment is a biggie.

My youngest, was very colicky and HN, and refused a bottle in any shape and form. She was waking 1-2 hours every night to nurse, and nursing every 2 hours during the day.

I was 'lucky' and got a 4 month leave from work. I asked for a 2 month extension... b/c of the issues... and they refused. It was one of the primary reasons I left. What on earth was I supposed to do? A child that refused a bottle in any form, where I was a walking zombie, and she'd nurse for 45 minute stretches... not to mention I couldn't pump more than a few ounces, she'd scream in the carseat no matter the duration of the drive, and she refused any form of 'mechanical' support (no swings, bouncy seats, etc), and NEEDED to be held all day....

And I was 'lucky' b/c I got 4 months of leave.... and I still couldn't go back. Maternity leave is a huge issue.

I think the other main (and primary) issue is that breast-feeding is NOT the status quo. If we grew up with it, no one would bat an eyelash about doing it, and women would have fought for and won the right for longer maternity leaves and benefits long ago.

There are many items that feed into the reasons that it isn't the status quo... everything from sexualization of the breast, to lack of support, to people that continue to see NIP as some fringe non-normal act.

Tammy
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Bensmom, it's easy to get insulated in a subculture where SAHMing is the norm, but the majority of American mothers work 20 hours or more per week, whether they want to or not. I wouldn't be surprised if that majority was around or above 80%.
 

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Personally, I think inadequate pumping time/lack of a place to pump at work is one of the major reasons why women stop BF early. It may even be the biggest reason. I went back to work at 8 weeks PP and while my BF relationship was fairly established, I had to fight for enough pumping time and ended up pumping in the employee bathroom. I work in a restaurant and there was literally no other place for me to pump, unless I wanted to lock myself in the freezer and risk being walked in on (and I don't think pumping in a freezer is really the best idea anyway). I ended up having major supply issues after a couple of months and wound up supplementing with bottles while I was at work and with an SNS at home until I was able to build my supply back up.

I don't even get paid maternity leave, so I pretty much have to take the minimum (8 weeks was my minimum because I had a c-section). Hopefully DH will get a raise before this baby is born and maybe we can build up our savings enough for me to take 12 weeks this time, but I'm not holding my breath.
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Mama Poot
It should be a crime to harass a nursing mother in public.
I am going to add to my original statement and take it one step farther. It should be AS SERIOUS of a crime, and equally unacceptable to harass a nursing mother as it is to call a black person the N word.
 
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