New Policies Say Moms Can Bring Breastfeeding Babies to Work
One county is taking a new approach to support working mothers alike with a new initiative that would allow breastfeeding mothers to bring their babies to work with them.
The Allen County Board of Health in Ohio recently developed and approved a contract enabling women to file a request to bring their child to work while breastfeeding, reports LimaOhio.com.
The Board reported that it based its policy off of other progressive businesses, such as those in California, that allow for breastfeeding mothers to bring their babies to work, depending, of course, on the specific job and job duties.
Basically, the policy states that mothers must put in for a request that will be approved on a case-by-case basis: the baby must be under 6 months old or not mobile (no crawling allowed here, folks!), and the whole thing may get nixed if the baby is too much of a distraction to the work environment.
“It's certainly novel,” said one board member. “It will also be challenging for the area because it's never been done here.”
On one hand, I applaud this policy because there are some jobs where it would simply just be easier to bring the baby to work and fit in feedings. Honestly, nursing a baby can be a full-time job in and of itself, but on the other hand, I also think it could put a lot of stress on a mother to have to worry about doing two things at once. I've been there–I've breastfed all of my babies and with my
I've been there. I've breastfed all of my babies, and with my son in particular, I had a horrible time getting him to take a bottle. At the time, I was working as a nurse at a local hospital, and although I tried my hardest to only work shorter shifts so I could just nurse him before and after work, sometimes the patient load was so busy that I had to stay longer.
I can remember one time in particular when I was mandated (nurses can be legally forced to stay at the hospital if there are no other staff available) to stay over my shift and ended up working 16 hours. My poor mother was watching my baby, and eventually, he stopped refusing his bottle and wouldn't stop crying. She called me in desperation, and I could hear my son wailing on the other end. I'll never forget that feeling of panic that overtook me, knowing that my baby needed me and that I couldn't feed him.
My own manager saw me breaking down in tears over the incident and let my mom bring my son up to me, and I was actually able to nurse him in the nursery, where I was caring for a sick baby, who had to be monitored 24/7.
It felt like an impossible situation, and I just remember thinking, “There should be a better way.” No mom should feel the stress of being pulled in two opposite directions. In my mind, it might make a whole lot more sense to simply allow breastfeeding mothers more flexibility, like half days in the office or at home, instead of encouraging them to drag their babies to work with them. It's much harder to deal with naps and diaper blow-outs in an office setting, you know?
Whatever the outcome of this policy is, I think it's a great step in recognizing 1) how valuable breastfeeding is to all of us as a society and 2) the challenges that working mothers face when trying to breastfeed.
What do you think? Should breastfeeding mothers be allowed to bring their babies to work?