Mama Knows Breast

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At Long Last–Baby TomKat Makes Her Debut

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Ok, fine, it’s not breastfeeding news, but I can’t resist. The first photos of Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes’ baby have finally appeared. We’ve had months of media speculation…Where is Suri? Why won’t they show photos? Is something wrong with Suri? Is something wrong with Katie? (Why in the world is she with that wacko?!?!) Now finally, the world is getting their first glimpse of the TomKitten. Baby Suri appears with her mom and dad on the cover of the October issue of Vanity Fair. Annie Leibovitz took took the photos. I’ll go get the magazine tomorrow. Perhaps Katie will have something to say about breastfeeding.

And the Booby Prize Goes to— McDonald’s in the UK

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A UK based non-profit has awarded the breastfeeding “booby prize” to McDonald’s in Britain. The organization, National Childbirth Trust (NCT), says that women find the fast food chain unaccomodating to breastfeeding moms. NCT says moms have been asked to either stop breastfeeding, or take their babes to the “loo.” How unappealing. McDonald’s in the UK has defended itself in the media, saying its policy is to allow breastfeeding in its restaurants. NCT did give high honors to Ikea, the Swedish furniture giant.
So does McDonald’s have a bad rap here on the other side of the Atlantic? Have you been forced to take your tot’s very own “fast food” somewhere else? Tell us your views. And who do you think deserves the booby prize closer to home?

Comments on the NYT Story About Breastfeeding at Work

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Here are the comments that people have written to the New York Times about the challenges of breastfeeding at work.

Breastfeeding Challenges for Working Moms

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To state the obvious…The New York Times is reporting that breastfeeding is easier for “professional” working moms, than it is for “working class” moms. In this front page story, the Times highlights the differences at Starbucks. At the corporate offices in Seattle, moms have a special lactation room and company-supplied pumps. Women who work in the Starbucks coffee shops, on the other hand, have to pump in the same bathroom that customers use.
Is this really news? Or is the Times finally telling a story that needs to be told? Health care professionals tell us that breast milk is the “gold standard” for infant nutrition, but our working culture makes breastfeeding a big challenge.
Moms who work in restaurants, department stores and factories have to jump through hoops to find a place and time to pump. Even under the best of circumstances, moms who have a private office, designated lactation room or conference room, find that they have to explain to their bosses, colleagues and clients that they are unavailable at certains times of the day because they need to pump. Let’s face it, breastfeeding is simply much easier for moms who are able to stay home with their babies. They don’t have to worry about pumping often enough during the day to maintain their milk supply.
According to the New York Times article, The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services is about to launch a campaign called “The Business Case for Breastfeeding.” This will emphasize findings that breastfeeding reduces absenteeism and pediatrician bills. But is an ad campaign really going to change anything for women in this country? Maybe, maybe not. At a minimum, it can’t hurt. Even if one company finds a way to make it easier for breastfeeding moms, then it’s a start. For the forseeable future, be prepared to fight your own battles.
So what’s your experience? How supportive is your office?