Breastfeeding at work – will we ever see the day?

29 Apr

Miranda Kerr posted this pic of herself on Twitter and labelled it – ‘Another day at the office’. I’ve previously posted about Miranda Kerr’s apparent breastfeeding crusade – something I don’t wholeheartedly support. BUT – the picture and her comment does raise an interesting idea. Miranda is indeed in the rare position of being able to breastfeed in the workplace – if only all offices could be so accepting. It has always struck me as somewhat inconsistent that the World Health Organisation recommends exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months of a baby’s life. But just how many workplaces are set up for women who return to work but also want to breastfeed their children – or at the very least – express milk for them?
The Australian Government’s paid parental scheme is certainly a step in the right direction – 18 weeks of pay at $543 a week is certainly helpful for some women who want to be at home with their babies. But it’s not the entire solution. What if you want to breastfeed beyond 18 weeks? What then? In my experience, the only real option is to express milk in a private place at work, probably the toilet, which is hardly acceptable. Would you want your dinner prepared in a toilet? Didn’t think so. Unfortunately, it’s one of those issues which I fear won’t be addressed in a hurry. Just this week, I read a news story about some research at the Montana State University which showed mums who breastfeed are seen by their colleagues as “less competent” than those who bottle-feed their babies. Read the story here. Through a series of experiments, they determined that breastfeeding mothers are viewed as less able to work and even thought of as more likely to be poor at maths. Can you imagine talking with your boss about accommodating your breastfeeding needs? It would be a weird conversation. But the point is – it shouldn’t be.

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One Response to “Breastfeeding at work – will we ever see the day?”

  1. Anonymous April 29, 2011 at 8:00 am #

    its very handy to be good at maths while breastfeeding….2 boobs + one baby = one happy baby.easy.

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