Support women who can't BF due to work?

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Support women who can't BF due to work?
12
Sat, 04-05-2003 - 9:27pm
As I was reading some literature I got to thinking about this...there *are* jobs/careers that women have that are absolutely NOT compatible w/breastfeeding (and pumping).

As a pro-bfer (the ones who believe everyone should bf'd period & formula is detrimental and to be avoided at all costs) understanding of these situations or do you still say *something* can be done so bfing can take place? Even if that means a career change or quitting.

I'll give you my true life scenario as an "example" of what I'm speakig of....Had I chosen to be a WOHM (and had I been able to and wished to make the bf/ff *choice* a bfing one) I would NOT have been able to BF or pump while away.

Reason being....

1) I had to travel. Both by day...overnight...gone for a few days...gone for a wk. Can you see me FedExing EBM? I'm sure some women would do it.

2) If I was in a studio working w/a group and we didn't take breaks to get a song just right I could not in my role leave the studio to go pump.

3) My hours. I'd often leave the house @ 6am and return @ 11pm not having *any* free-up time that would have allowed "pumping". I didn't even have time for coffee -- drank it while spilling it running from a to b.

4) I had enough luggage & brief case, extra files, cell phones, pagers, etc. to carry...can you see me carrying a pump? The stuff to send it back home in?

5) I can see me excusing myself during the middle of "fan fair" or an awards event to pump and send milk home or try to find a place in the venue or arena to keep it cool...and can you see me in a sequined gown finding a place to pump? LOL

6) I would have had to took the pump EVERYWHERE. There were days I'd think I'd be in the office all day only to discover I'd never see the front door of the bldg. There were days I'd be off on a plane for a "day" trip that I had no idea I was going on until time to leave the for airport...no time to run home for the pump and stuff LOL

Now some will say..oh you could have...well, I'm here to tell you.....I'm the one that is an expert on how *my* career was and I can tell you that I know for a FACT that NO it would have been impossible.

Not to mention that I'd have to be conscious of whatever vehichle I jumped in that morning I remembered to move the stuff I carried in the car for pumping LOL I've done this w/files and promotional material..fun to get 1hr across town and realize, duh, that was in the other vehichle!

So are there exceptions for the working women?

Food for thought (and to get off the smoking thing LOL)

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iVillage Member
Registered: 03-25-2003
I'll take a stab at this one, even though I am pro-BF, I certainly can see that FF does have its place under certain circumstances.

Women who truly desire to BF will find ways to do it, even having demanding/difficult careers. I've tried to answer some of your scenarios.

<<1) I had to travel. Both by day...overnight...gone for a few days...gone for a wk. Can you see me FedExing EBM? I'm sure some women would do it. >>

LOL, You don't Fed-Ex it. You have an ample supply built up @ home anticipating your out of town trips. You pump & dump while you're away to keep your supply going.

<<2) If I was in a studio working w/a group and we didn't take breaks to get a song just right I could not in my role leave the studio to go pump>>

I have to answer this one with a ? for you-What if you had diarrhea? It wouldn't take THAT long to pump enough to keep you from getting engorged. Also, there wouldn't be anyone at all who could cover for 10 minutes?


<<3) My hours. I'd often leave the house @ 6am and return @ 11pm not having *any* free-up time that would have allowed "pumping". I didn't even have time for coffee -- drank it while spilling it running from a to b. >>

You will make time fr what is important to you.


<<4) I had enough luggage & brief case, extra files, cell phones, pagers, etc. to carry...can you see me carrying a pump? The stuff to send it back home in? >>

There are some very good handheld pumps that can even fit in a larger purse-wouldn't take up any more room than let's say....hmmm.... a few bottles of formula.


<<5) I can see me excusing myself during the middle of "fan fair" or an awards event to pump and send milk home or try to find a place in the venue or arena to keep it cool...and can you see me in a sequined gown finding a place to pump? LOL >>

I'm not familiar w/ the facilities @ "fan fair" but I would hope that there would be bathrooms. I pumped in the bathroom when I worked and although I didn't have sequined attire, I did have to take of my dress before.


<<6) I would have had to took the pump EVERYWHERE. There were days I'd think I'd be in the office all day only to discover I'd never see the front door of the bldg. There were days I'd be off on a plane for a "day" trip that I had no idea I was going on until time to leave the for airport...no time to run home for the pump and stuff LOL >>

If you know that's how your day will be, then always carry your pump. You wouldn't dream of leaving a cell phone/pager/pda.


<

Not to mention that I'd have to be conscious of whatever vehichle I jumped in that morning I remembered to move the stuff I carried in the car for pumping LOL I've done this w/files and promotional material..fun to get 1hr across town and realize, duh, that was in the other vehichle>>


Like I said before, if you TRULY wanted to BF, you'd be able to find some way to work around almost any situation. Plus, You don't have to pump as frequently the older a baby gets. So it's not as if pumping takes a huge amount of time.


<>

Yes, I would think it would be very difficult to be a police officer or an ER doc (these are the only 2 that come to mind right now) & exclusively BF. Their jobs can be so erratic & are life and death which, to me, is a little more important than a record being made.

Janet & nursling Sierra






iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Thanks for your opinions! :o)

<<>>

Having BTDT in *my* career I can see it being more of a challenge than one can endure LOL Perhaps an impossibility

<<>>

LOL...well, I can say that when I was out in the middle of an outdoor area with only those crummy port-a-potties (that I have NEVER went into not once LOL) and I'm out there for 5 hours pumping and keeping it fresh would definately be a problem. And there was NO way I could leave in *my* position (would you like to see the emcee not appear on time? LOL)

<<>>

Not in *my* position, no one to cover for 10 minutes unlesss EVERYONE (muscians, groups, everybody in the control booth ALL took a break). I know and I realize that is hard for people who don't understand my career to understand the *whys*. Hmmm, I can say I never had to run to the bathroom for other reasons LOL

<<>>

While it may have been very important I would have HAD to choose btw it and my career...I just didn't have the flexibility. Today's women don't in the same positions (I've been a Housewife for 8rs now).

<<>>

Well, there are bathrooms...but lets just say w/THAT many people, THAT many women standing in line for 1hr or more to just get IN THE DOOR and no walking room when you get in...challenging! Not clean at all, yuck! I'd be alarmed at actually producing a substance for my baby to EAT from THOSE bathrooms! Out doors...I'd have a hard time to find a place to store it if I could pump. My attire would be ok if I had a strapless or spaghetti strap style....but I've worn other things that there is NO way LOL

I decided during my pregnancy to give up my much loved career so I wouldn't have to deal with these issues....even as a FFer.

Thankfully I'm enough "in the circle" I still get to visit w/business associates and friends plus I still get to do the entertainment/social events just like I did when I worked...a true plus for *me*!











iVillage Member
Registered: 03-25-2003
No offense meant by this, but my opinion is that someone in that sort of job should think twice about having children anyway. What's the point if you work 6am-11pm and are out of tow often? You would never see them anyway. I take it you don't work there anymore, so I am assuming that's why you quit?
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
I quit for a variety of reasons....

Most importantly I wanted to be HOME with my baby.....and that is true no matter if what job or what hours I worked or even had I only worked part-time.

Secondly, this was a big part of it. However, in *my* situation I would have hired a Nanny to keep our baby at our home, making things much easier for our family. And I would have hired a Nanny to travel w/me. I also was in a top level management position and would have had the opportunity to have the baby be right there in the office w/me pretty much on a regular basis for days I was there...and I could also work from home. The Nanny would also travel w/me. These are circumstances that not everyone would have the opportune to make into reality.

The description I gave is of someone in a position like mine that didn't have the flexibility I did due to my position.

I don't feel women shouldn't have babies when they are in these positions, I feel that is a personal and individual choice.

I have found that I love and adore being home. I love being a FT housewife and a Sahmommy (I was a housewife even while working). I love it so much that I even nixed my plans to "someday return to my career". Plus it helps that I get perks, I get to attend entertainment and social functions, I still go to lunch with people, etc. I got the *best* part of the job w/out having the job LOL Plus, we never lived on my salary any way...we only "lived" (i.e. mtg, bills, necessities, extras, travel) on DH's salary.

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
i think there should be support at work so women CAN bf. studies show that workplaces that make minor efforts ( a private room w/ a fridge) have fewer absences by working mothers (their kids are sick less) - more productivity = more profitability.

of course, there are instances where a mother truly can't pump -- but i tend to think of those women as being in roles like surgeons (really can't leave a patient on the table), etc.

to provide an anecdotal example - i have a friend who returned to a job less than 4 weeks after delivery (not enough time to get the hang of bf), and didn't really feel she had the facilities/support to even attempt to pump at work. do i support her...of course, but i do think that a little bit of education for her employer would be KEY!

her son has gastrointestinal problems that put him in the hospital from 6 weeks - 9 weeks. she missed almost as much work as she did post delivery. she just had her 2nd and is bf-ing because her dr believes that would've helped her older son's problems. sure, this is just anecdotal, and can't be proven, but it does make one think....

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-27-2003
I'm not sure what you did for a living but I am sure that if you REALLY wanted to bf you would find a way. I'm sure lots of women with fast paced carrers sucessfully breastfeed. They have their baby brought to them, they carry a pump with them, they freeze lots of breastmilk for when they go on trips.

I'm pretty sure that if I had your career (although I can't see myself looking good in a sequined dress) I would suppliment with formula but I KNOW there are women out there who want to breastfeed badly enough who would do everything humanly possible to provide their child with breastmilk. You just have to want it badly enough.

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
*I* personally could have due to the fact *I* was in a flexible upper level management position and also could easily afford to hire a Nanny for being at our home, at my office, and travelling w/me.

But for other people in *my* type of position.....it would be difficult and almost impossible...I know, I've BTDT. Wanting it badly enough would = down scaling your career and/or quitting. A choice a mother would have to make. As I say, I know, I've been there and I've seen first hand.

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Mon, 04-07-2003 - 10:27am
"Wanting it badly enough would = down scaling your career and/or quitting. A choice a mother would have to make."

personally, i would think anyone working 6am-11pm may want to scale back once they had a child regardless of feeding method.

as far as pumping in a sequined gown goes...i have to giggle. is that a daily occurence..would it happen that many times in a child's first 6 mos?

my sil was a bridesmaid several times during my neices's first 6 mos. she "climbed" out of the dress (no sequins though, but a few seed pearls) to pump at formal weddings...its really not that unusual.

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Mon, 04-07-2003 - 10:31am
well said (nt)
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-25-2003
IM not being rude, sarcastic or judgemental, but ... Why/How would someone w/ THAT carreer, w/ that kind of schedule, even HAVE kids? I mean, yes, most mothers HAVE to work (im at work now, lol). But there ARE other carreers & jobs, even if they are just temporary. I think it would be SO unfair to a child to have a mother w/ that schedule, & no, i dont think there WOULD be any way to successfully breast feed. Heck, i dont think the kid would know that mom any better than they know their sitter, & thats sad, to me.

Im happy for you & for your child, that you chose motherhood & your childs need for you, as oppossed to that kind of schedule! Yikes! R~

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