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Posted at 6:00 AM ET, 12/21/2010

Obama orders new federal breastfeeding policy

By Ed O'Keefe

Eye Opener

President Obama is asking federal personnel officials to draft "appropriate workplace accommodations" for federal employees who are nursing mothers.

The president issued a memo Monday to the Office of Personnel Management, asking for new guidelines to be published when ready.

The order is required by the new health-care reform law, which mandates new breastfeeding rights primarily for hourly workers in the private and public sectors. But Obama asked the federal govenrment to go a step farther by establishing new guidelines for all federal employees, no matter their status, according to White House aides.

The legislative branch already has breastfeeding policies. In the House, Congressional staffers who are nursing may use special rooms in the Canon House Office Building, after House Speaker Nancy Pelosi established special nursing rooms in 2007. Senate offices and committees also must make breastfeeding accommodations for staffers.

Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.) pushed for the inclusion of breastfeeding rights in the health-care legislation after securing passage of a similar bill when he served as a state legislator.

What was originally known as the Breastfeeding Promotion Act ensured that women cannot be discriminated against or fired for breastfeeding or pumping breast milk during breaks or lunch. It also provided tax breaks to employers who establish special rooms for breastfeeding mothers or that rent lactation-related equipment.

What would your recommend be included in the new federal breastfeeding policy? Have you suffered because of a lack of breastfeeding policy in your workplace? Leave your thoughts in the comments section below

Cabinet and Staff News: Robert Gibbs clarifies Vice President Biden's Afghanistan forecast. Biden taps Amy Dudley, former spokeswoman for former Sen. Ted Kaufman (D-Del.), as his new deputy press secretary. The National Zoo names a lion cub after OPM Director John Berry. Jack Lew begins anew at OMB. PETA honors Bill Clinton. Rahm Emanuel's mayoral campaign brings in big legal guns.

DEFENSE DEPARTMENT:
Contractors behaving badly mean headaches for U.S.: Documents describe previously undisclosed offenses committed by more than 200 contract employees in Afghanistan, Iraq and other countries.

Mullen calls on Senate to pass START treaty: The chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff appealed to the Senate on Monday to quickly pass a new nuclear arms treaty with Russia, saying it was "vital to national security."

EPA:
Automakers suing EPA over higher ethanol mix gas: They're suing over a plan to allow the sale of gasoline containing 15 percent ethanol.

FCC:
Net neutrality rules poised to win FCC approval: The agency is poised on Tuesday to pass net neutrality regulations, rules that would for the first time prevent Internet service providers from blocking or giving preferential treatment to Web sites on their networks.

GOVERNMENT WORK/LIFE/OPERATIONS:
Government workers under political fire: More and more, when politicians talk about government employees - whether they are federal, state or local- it is with the kind of umbrage ordinarily aimed at Wall Street financiers and convenience store bandits.

DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES:
HHS buys 'ObamaCare': The department has bought a Google advertisement to steer people searching for "ObamaCare" to a page that is customized to detect searchers' locations and steer them both to local health insurance information and to a list of "what's in the law for you."

JUSTICE DEPARTMENT:
Reported crimes continue to drop: The Federal Bureau of Investigation's semiannual crime report shows reports of violent crime dropped 6.2 percent from January to June.

NIH:
Study finds probable carcinogen in tap water of 31 U.S. cities: The chemical, hexavalent chromium, got public attention in the 2000 film "Erin Brockovich" and has been found to cause cancer in laboratory animals by the National Toxicology Program, part of the National Institutes of Health.

STATE DEPARTMENT:
Pentagon, State Dept. criticized over Kyrgyz jet fuel deals: To keep U.S. warplanes flying over Afghanistan, the Pentagon allowed a "secrecy obsessed" business group to supply jet fuel to a U.S. air base in Kyrgyzstan, turning a blind eye to an elaborate fraud involving fuel deliveries from Russia, according to congressional investigators.

TSA:
Auditors question TSA's use of and spending on technology: Before there were full-body scanners, there were puffers.

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By Ed O'Keefe  | December 21, 2010; 6:00 AM ET
Categories:  Eye Opener, Health Care, Workplace Issues  
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Next: Government workers under political fire

Comments

I very strongly support all of these efforts to enable women to feed their kids the natural way.

Just yesterday, the leading journal Pediatrics documented in a major study that breastfeeding leads to higher academic achievement.

Thank you Obama.

Posted by: paul65 | December 21, 2010 7:48 AM | Report abuse

It's about time. It was very difficult when I had my children. I'm glad that working mothers in the federal government will now have it easier to provide optimal health for their children.

Posted by: rosepetals64 | December 21, 2010 8:10 AM | Report abuse

Uh...so Fed Govt mothers are bringing screaming babies to the Office??? That does explain a lot re productivity in the Govt.

Posted by: snowbucks | December 21, 2010 8:49 AM | Report abuse

I think the Federal govt should make accomodations for Federal employees who wish to open carry during work hours and target shoot at lunch!

Posted by: sheepherder | December 21, 2010 9:03 AM | Report abuse

@snowbucks: It's being allowed, and enabled, to express milk while at work when you're a breastfeeding mother.

Posted by: DragonofAnger | December 21, 2010 9:07 AM | Report abuse

USDA has had a nursing mother's room for at least 12 years. I used it 11 years ago when I was nursing my son and it was the only way I could keep nursing while working and being away from the baby for 9 hours. I'm glad Obama is requiring this of all agencies.

Posted by: kellys2 | December 21, 2010 9:15 AM | Report abuse

Here's a revolutionary idea: have a baby, stay home and raise it. Can't afford to stay home and raise it? You can't afford to have a baby.

Posted by: ludditegirl | December 21, 2010 9:38 AM | Report abuse

Doesn't obama have better things to do????

Posted by: highwaybluesoccer | December 21, 2010 9:50 AM | Report abuse

The policy needs to include refrigerated storage space. If a place of business has a refrigerator, there needs to be space set aside in a drawer or on a shelf for expressed breast milk.

Posted by: twinmom6 | December 21, 2010 9:57 AM | Report abuse

Adjusted for inflation, wages haven't increased since the mid-70s. Almost nobody can afford to have kids without mom working these days. Don't be a jerk.

****

ludditegirl wrote:

Here's a revolutionary idea: have a baby, stay home and raise it. Can't afford to stay home and raise it? You can't afford to have a baby.

Posted by: Dadrick | December 21, 2010 9:58 AM | Report abuse

It's the breast thing that the administration could have done.

Posted by: bs2004 | December 21, 2010 10:05 AM | Report abuse

ludditegirl wrote:

Here's a revolutionary idea: have a baby, stay home and raise it. Can't afford to stay home and raise it? You can't afford to have a baby.

_____________________

Here's another Tea Party life which has been a total bust.

Posted by: bs2004 | December 21, 2010 10:07 AM | Report abuse

Government. Is there anything it can't do?

Posted by: bzod9999 | December 21, 2010 10:09 AM | Report abuse

Dadrick wrote: Adjusted for inflation, wages haven't increased since the mid-70s. Almost nobody can afford to have kids without mom working these days. Don't be a jerk.

****

bs2004: Here's another Tea Party life which has been a total bust.

****

As I said, then you can't afford to have kids. Or, better choices should be made. People confuse needs with wants and talk themselves into believing they need two incomes.

I'm actually pretty progressive but get tired of having to haul the freight for parents who can't or won't do their jobs because of child-related issues. And then there are all the behavior problems that result from kids being warehoused in day care. Why have kids for someone else to raise?

Posted by: ludditegirl | December 21, 2010 10:25 AM | Report abuse

I am a working mom with a 6 month old baby. I made the decision to breastfeed and pump while at work, as that is best for my baby and for work. She is getting anti-bodies from me and has been healthy, which means less time out of the office. I am glad Obama is pushing for the breastfeeding policy; however, I have one issue. I don't feel that breastfeeding moms should have to use leave or take leave without pay for the time they need to express milk. The federal government doesn't have maternity leave, so mothers are forced to use their leave while out after having their babies. Now, they must use leave to provide milk to their babies. How many workers take extra time on smoke breaks for chatting around the office? Mothers without much leave and who cannot aford to take leave without pay will be forced to choose to discontinue breastfeeding.

Posted by: wrkgmom | December 21, 2010 10:29 AM | Report abuse

I'd rather not listen to screaming hungry babies at work. If you can't nurse at home until after your child weans, then don't give birth. Humans are not an endangered species.

Does this mean I can bring my dog? He needs to be walked mid-day. And he behaves better than a child.

Posted by: brunog | December 21, 2010 10:56 AM | Report abuse

Another "right" granted to us by our glorious leader. I am anxiously waiting for my rights to free education, housing and automobile.

Posted by: dcharlson | December 21, 2010 10:57 AM | Report abuse

Our busy little naked emperor hasn't learned a thing from his shellacking. How much money will this new initiative cost taxpayers?

How about people actually afford to have the kids before they pop them out and make demands on society to pay for their care?

Nanny govt to be shut down come 2012.

Posted by: Desertdiva1 | December 21, 2010 11:19 AM | Report abuse

What a moron. I don't think that hearding sheep is the only thing that is going on with Sheephearder. As for Ludditegirl, apparently she is barren in both brain and body.

Posted by: garypierce1 | December 21, 2010 11:28 AM | Report abuse

You have got to be kidding? We have 9.8% unemployment, record deficits and this is the memo our commander in chief sends out. ASTONISHING!!!

Posted by: agerulis | December 21, 2010 11:31 AM | Report abuse

I have read somewhere on the news that something like "Wise Health Insurance" is offering lowest health insurance rate for low and middle income families so search online and find them.

Posted by: patewart | December 21, 2010 11:47 AM | Report abuse

Is this about care?

Or control?

Posted by: RealTexan1 | December 21, 2010 11:55 AM | Report abuse

Are you critics kidding? This seems pretty clear to me: it's about PUMPING while at work, not bringing babies in. When you breast feed, and leave the baby at home, you need to pump to 1) keep up a supply of milk for your baby; and 2) keep the breast producing milk.

Not all of us can afford to have one parent stay at home for 2-3 years just for the sake of being able to pump; this is particularly true after decades of supply-side economics have basically eviscerated any hopes of having a one income family (other than maybe a few bankers or lawyers). Grow up, you Tea Party twits, and try actually reading something (or maybe even learning something about it) before you comment loudly on it.

Posted by: minister1976 | December 21, 2010 12:22 PM | Report abuse

I've never understood the problem with this. If I were King, I'd have HHS require businesses to REQUIRE all new mothers to come to work topless, and let them do whatever it is they want to do with their breasts wherever they want to do it.

Posted by: Curmudgeon10 | December 21, 2010 12:32 PM | Report abuse

I am disappointed with many of these comments. The benefits of breastfeeding are scientifically indisputable. Breastfeeding women who work PUMP their milk -- they do not bring screaming babies to the office. The milk is both fed to the baby with a bottle and allows the woman to keep producing milk for when she can nurse her baby herself -- which is the majority of the time.

Presumably, the well being of American children is more meaningful to our society than the well being of our dogs. Some individuals may differ, but hopefully our society concurs.

And, ludditegirl, your hostility sounds like it needs to be directed towards individuals, not working women as a whole. Your bitterness is tainting your logic. You sound simplistic and heartless.

Working in a place with a nursing room had a huge impact on my ability to keep nursing my son -- while having a small financial impact on our institution. The nursing mothers I know work much more productively than their colleagues during the months they pump -- instead of shedding time in the lunchroom, or chatting in their offices, they are pumping or working -- or both at once. Simple, end of statement.

Presidents always issue smaller-scale changes such as this one, no matter their political leaning. That does not mean they are not paying attention to larger issues -- not matter what you think about their decisions. This one happens to be more scientifically supported than many.

I know these forums are more often for knee-jerk dramatists than those who are thoughtful, but I'm just completely discouraged by some of the waste-of-energy, vitriolic postings on this topic.

Posted by: HeyBabaloo | December 21, 2010 12:41 PM | Report abuse

bear in mind not all of these children are dumped into daycare - perhaps the mother is working while the father stays home to care for the child. the child still needs milk. i mean, come on people, use your brains.

Posted by: rubyx4soho | December 21, 2010 12:49 PM | Report abuse

I stopped reading this story after the third paragraph. I would be inclined to take this reporter, his report and your paper more seriously, if you knew how to spell "government" and knew the difference between farther and further.

Posted by: texjoey | December 21, 2010 12:59 PM | Report abuse

I wonder where in the Constitution a federal breastfeeding policy is called for? Is there no area the government won't intervene, including coming between a baby and its breast milk?

Does it strike anyone on the Left or Right, that Washington one-size-fits-all policies are a burden on the economy? Try letting individuals--employees and employers work out their own accommodations without presuming to be a philosopher king.

Posted by: forbes400 | December 21, 2010 1:14 PM | Report abuse

If people are going to choose to be punished with children, why should they get more space and breaks than those who do not choose such a punishment?

Posted by: getjiggly1 | December 21, 2010 1:19 PM | Report abuse

So let me get this - so that means our public sector allows kids to go to work w/ their mothers? No wonder nothing gets done....sorry - this is fed jurisdiction run amonk.

Posted by: short1 | December 21, 2010 1:20 PM | Report abuse

How about accommodations for those wanting to have a baby to breastfeed?

Just kidding!

Breastfeeding a baby even in public places is not a stigma in the rest of the world!

But this is America!

Posted by: kishorgala | December 21, 2010 1:36 PM | Report abuse

When not breast feeding, where are the kids? Is this going to lead to a government funded day care centers for mothers who are also federal workers? How much time is anticipated by having the mother drop the kids off at this new 'kid holding area', go to their work, leave work to breast feed, go back to work, etc...?

Posted by: ahashburn | December 21, 2010 1:40 PM | Report abuse

Some of these comments are so completely absurd that I can only assume the ignorance is on purpose or is another sign of how completely out of touch this country is with nature.

Posted by: tink712 | December 21, 2010 1:50 PM | Report abuse

OMG! Some of you people are seriously lacking in brain power! Can you READ? The policy has to do with mothers pumping milk from their breasts while at work to keep their milk supply up when away from their babies. It has NOTHING to do with bringing babies to work to feed. This is an Human Resources policy, which has its place in the federal government, as we are made up of employees that need certain benefits and HR policies. Can I just say, duh? As to those of you who comment that children are a punishment, etc., you wouldn't be here if your mother and father thought such a thing...or maybe they did and that is why you turned out so hateful. Some of these comments are just so obsurd...

Posted by: wrkgmom | December 21, 2010 1:53 PM | Report abuse

Some of you are complete A holes.

Posted by: elbuzz1 | December 21, 2010 2:04 PM | Report abuse

There's nothing worse than trying to express milk in your office during lunch. Even with a SIGN on the door, people still knock and want to talk while you are busy!! If a mom can express her milk at work, it helps to keep her supply up.

To all the whiners - shut up! Expressing milk at work with a pump allows the mom to freeze/refrigerate the milk for later use. NO babies at work. No CONSTITUTIONAL issues. Get a life and stop complaining for pete's sake!

Posted by: ladywkids | December 21, 2010 2:11 PM | Report abuse

Is this breastfeeding going to take place on or off the clock? If so, how would it affect the workplace conditions of other workers? And while we're on the subject: if babies are in the workplace, what happens when Mama's Little Angel drops a love bomb in the office? Are the rest of us supposed to just deal with it? I never realized how selfish mothers truly are.

Posted by: CubsFan | December 21, 2010 2:25 PM | Report abuse

Could you please move your mammary excretion in our lunch refrigerator over a wee bit…I need a place for my urine sample.

Posted by: snowbucks | December 21, 2010 2:26 PM | Report abuse

Is there any aspect of our lives Obama doesn't want to control? Jeezus H....

Posted by: fishguts | December 21, 2010 2:37 PM | Report abuse

Wow...Mr. Obama, serious? Is this the best you could up with today?

Posted by: Tuffluk | December 21, 2010 2:45 PM | Report abuse

Some of you will complain about everything. You must be from the Prof. Wagstaff school of thought: Whatever it is, I'm against it.

What happened in your lives to make you such miserable human beings? You're not half as clever as you think you are.

Posted by: jckdoors | December 21, 2010 2:49 PM | Report abuse

WHile a good step to take, this is not an historic breakthrough...
I recall that Prez CLINTON enacted similar (vs similac) legislation that empowered federal employees to breast feed - or express milk - while at work... the only stipulation at the time was they were to do so while standing by an uncovered window with good line-of-sight to the Oval Office. WIllie waned to be kept abreast of how the new rules were being observed (as long as he wasn't being observe).

Posted by: dbsinOakRidge | December 21, 2010 2:56 PM | Report abuse

I'll never forget Christmas shopping in Sears, buying hundreds of dollars of tools, appliances, and clothes for my family, but when I asked to sit in the dressing room to nurse my baby for 15 minutes, they shooed me away. Sears, ya lost my business 4-ever that day 24 years ago.

Posted by: HookedOnThePost | December 21, 2010 2:57 PM | Report abuse

"It also provided tax breaks to employers who establish special rooms for breastfeeding mothers or that rent lactation-related equipment."

I wonder if this tax break showed up on the list of things to be removed by that precious deficit reduction committee?

Posted by: ThrityYearResident | December 21, 2010 2:59 PM | Report abuse

First of all, these are areas where nursing mothers can PUMP milk for their infants, not places where mothers bring their children into work and nurse them. Duh. Women without a dedicated area for pumping are forced to pump in public (e.g., at a cubicle, in their cars) or in the bathroom.

As to other ideas for helping American families raise their children in the healthiest way possible:

1) Paid parental leave! The U.S. is the only "developed" country in the entire world without paid leave for new parents. It's embarrassing, and it is a sad statement about our priorities. (I'll also note that many "developing" countries already provide paid leave for families.)

2) Even if not paid, the FMLA period for unpaid leave should be extended to six months. Developmentally, and for the promotion of successful breastfeeding, six months makes a lot more sense than the current 12 weeks permitted under the FMLA.

3) Many federal government sites do provide on-site day care now; this should be expanded, so more employees can have access to affordable, high-quality day care for our children.

4) The dependent-care flexible spending accounts already offered to federal employees should cover a spouse providing care to the child. Raising a child is the most difficult---and most important---job I have ever had.

5) All families with children should be provided with financial assistance to care for their children (the Canada Child Tax Benefit is one example).

We have a long way to go, but thank you, Obama, for starting us on the path!

Posted by: nm7300 | December 21, 2010 3:08 PM | Report abuse

How many hours AND infrastructure money is lost to smokers who need a covered area to do their nasty thing? Be human, folks.

Posted by: HookedOnThePost | December 21, 2010 3:11 PM | Report abuse

seriously people - this does not cost anything for implementation and government agencies. Just a small room in a building (and yes I realize space can be tight). Most people will do the pumping during breaks/lunch time and pumping for most of us only only takes 10-15 minutes 2-3 times per day. If you think this time will cost money - then how about saying no smoke breaks? That wastes waaaay more time then pumping ever would. And people - really --- you think this rule is about bringing the baby into work?? LOLOL too funny.

Posted by: bobobee | December 21, 2010 3:11 PM | Report abuse

this guy is a absolute arrogant,incompetent,shucking and jiving fool.hustling more votes with a breast policy? any news on saving our peoples lives in afcraphole?

Posted by: pofinpa | December 21, 2010 3:14 PM | Report abuse

I agree with ludditegirl. Infants, babies and children need a full-time parent at home, preferably the Mom. If you can't afford to stay home and raise your children, you can't afford your children in the first place.

Posted by: TooManyPeople | December 21, 2010 3:58 PM | Report abuse

For the people posting who are too lazy and/or dumb to realize it: most PRIVATE COMPANIES provide a small area for nursing mothers to pump during the day. It's not a big deal. The only shocking thing about this story is that federal employees don't already have this type of area in their offices.

I'm a woman but I don't have a child. But I do have an office fantasy football league, so I'm certainly not going to complain about the few minutes my coworker might spend pumping. I highly doubt all the critics on this board do nothing but attend to legitimate work needs while at the office.

Posted by: bluehenjen | December 21, 2010 4:26 PM | Report abuse

I strongly support this new policy and am dismayed by the insensitive and uninformed comments. I am a federal employee with a baby, and had to pay my own maternity leave. I pump at work and actually work very well while pumping, as I can use the computer and take calls while I pump. My husband takes care of our baby at home, and we are all healthier thanks to breastfeeding, instead of using expensive, unnatural formula. We have many fewer sick days or problems than other families, and believe it or not, I've been working very hard (nights and weekends too, with no overtime, just the chance to provide good public service and make a difference in the world). So thanks to being treated fairly, my family is producing a lot for your tax dollars.

As to those who think women should not have babies unless we can afford to stay at home to take care of them full time, please go live in a country that does not have any constitution, as the most fundamental right is equality. Your policies would discriminate against women and you might as well be living in a country where men dominate women and no one cares about anyone else's rights... but then again you would have no rights either, so you would have to suffer the consequences, such as poverty, malnourishment, violence, etc.

Posted by: MeNU2 | December 21, 2010 5:08 PM | Report abuse

Oh god, what a disgusting party the Democratic Party has become! Breastfeeding policy?

Thank God this law is going to be struck down.

Posted by: FormerDemocrat | December 21, 2010 5:11 PM | Report abuse

Some of you are complete A holes.

Posted by: elbuzz1 | December 21, 2010 2:04 PM
=======================================
And the rest are incomplete ones. But A holes, nonetheless.

Posted by: kishorgala | December 21, 2010 5:12 PM | Report abuse

Could you please move your mammary excretion in our lunch refrigerator over a wee bit…I need a place for my urine sample.

Posted by: snowbucks | December 21, 2010 2:26 PM
====================================
I bet you grew up drinking urine.

Posted by: kishorgala | December 21, 2010 5:16 PM | Report abuse

I'm for it. It's a shame society/organizations/businesses are block-headed about Breastfeeding. Small minds,racists,too many obstructors plague Americans. So what if a look at a breast happens;so what if blacks are now found in all aspects of American life, GROW UP Americ!

Posted by: naahbob | December 21, 2010 5:46 PM | Report abuse

luddite girl wrote:
I'm actually pretty progressive but get tired of having to haul the freight for parents who can't or won't do their jobs because of child-related issues.
-------------------
And just how is providing a room for mothers to pump breastmilk affecting you *at all*? Love to hear your answer. I agree, you are being a jerk.

Posted by: itsme1 | December 21, 2010 5:48 PM | Report abuse

LOL...drink up, babies! When you hit retirement age, Obama doesn't care if you starve.

Posted by: solsticebelle | December 21, 2010 6:07 PM | Report abuse

Boobs regulated by the Head Boob! Isn't there anything in our lives that this socialist won't regulate and/or tax? Oops! Shouldn't have said that. Now he'll start taxing women by size........

Posted by: TexRancher | December 21, 2010 7:44 PM | Report abuse

Wow. Incredible. If a Republican did this, you'd be applauding his family values in helping working moms. Because it's Obama, OMG ITZ TEH BAD. Some points:

1. What is being regulated or taxed here? It costs employers nothing and saves them money in the long run-- breastfed babies are sick less, so moms have to take less time off work.

2. Aren't you Right Wingers all about freedom? Mothers should have the freedom to work and pump in a private place so they can continue to choose how they feed their babies.

3. Don't you all squeal constantly about "welfare queens" and people having babies who don't work? Why not cheer on an effort to make it easier for poor women to work and provide for their families? So many women drop out of the workforce b/c it's so hard to do both. Anything that makes it easier is good for the American economy.

4. No one is getting paid breaks to pump. You just made that up. Women pump on their lunch breaks and simply need a private place to do it. That seems like a basic right, just like you (probably) like to defecate in private, except breastfeeding requires a slightly cleaner location. God forbid. (And all you smokers: I hope you are punching out every time you go for a cigarette... no one takes more paid breaks than a smoker)

5. None of you have any place or right to judge people who work and have children. Just because you are either economically privileged enough to survive on one income, or don't mind receive transfer payments from the government to subsidize your non-working status does not mean other people should do as you do.

Posted by: SleepTightYaMorons | December 21, 2010 8:11 PM | Report abuse

no problem with the policy, but dont you think you're being a little dramatic when you ask whether people have "suffered" rather than merely "inconvenienced" by lack of breastfeeding accommodations?

Posted by: dummypants | December 21, 2010 8:19 PM | Report abuse

Dummypants, obviously you are not a mother, and has never breastfed or pumped at work, if you don't think suffering is involved,

Posted by: SleepTightYaMorons | December 21, 2010 8:31 PM | Report abuse


Posted by bluehenjen: I'm a woman but I don't have a child. But I do have an office fantasy football league, so I'm certainly not going to complain about the few minutes my coworker might spend pumping. I highly doubt all the critics on this board do nothing but attend to legitimate work needs while at the office.

Same here! LOL! And most women pump during their lunch breaks anyhow. Most people complaining here probably spend time being trolls on WaPo's site instead of working anyhow.

dummypants: no problem with the policy, but dont you think you're being a little dramatic when you ask whether people have "suffered" rather than merely "inconvenienced" by lack of breastfeeding accommodations?

Ask a woman who's had to go the whole day without being able to pump.

Posted by: TracyDC | December 21, 2010 8:47 PM | Report abuse

I am fortunate enough to work for a company that has been supportive of working parents for many years and also for working & nursing mothers! The first lactation room in our company was established in the early 90's. For a science driven company, the people in charge realized long ago that the data supporting extended breastfeeding & the benefits to employers is undeniable! The facts are the facts - employee retention of happier employees, reduced time away from work for sick children, reduced medical costs for the family (& employer), etc.

This directly relates to a bonus for taxpayers too! With taxpayers picking up the tab for the uninsured, we are reducing costs by encouraging mothers to nurse their children for extended periods. Not just the short-term (ie. colds, flu, ear infections) but for the long haul with reduced obesity rates, heart disease, breast cancer...the list goes on! Breastfeeding affects a person for their lifetime! Not to mention the savings for WIC not having to provide formula for the children!

I am one of those republicans and I fully support this part of the legislation! Anyone that has ever held off a pumping session due to a lack of appropriate pumping accommodations will agree that engorged breasts ARE painful and a plugged duct, breast infection and hospitalization due to the lack of accommodations are even more painful and costly to a company/taxpayers than providing a small, private, clean place to express milk! So the question is not dramatized in using the word "suffered"!
------------------------------
Could you please move your mammary excretion in our lunch refrigerator over a wee bit…I need a place for my urine sample.

Posted by: snowbucks
-----------------------------
Be happy that you don't have me as a co-worker because you would not be storing your urine anywhere near my food...much less my child's! The two are completely different (even if, in your ignorant mind, they are "excrement"). My MILK has been donated to milk banks to help extremely ill babies with severe allergies that can not tolerate formula, that are in NICU's around the country, that would DIE without it! That's in addition to nourishing my own children.

I have been more thoroughly screened than any blood or tissue donor you have ever met. My donations HAVE to be free of bacteria and viruses or an entire batch of liquid gold would have to be discarded and seriously ill children's lives would be at risk since milk banks are already running without enough milk to go around. You want to know why a nursing mother requires a clean & private (non-restroom) place to pump - that's why! I just hope you ignorant people out there never have a child that requires breastmilk to save their life!

And I do all this WHILE I work...yes, there are ways to pump and work and it's as simple as a wireless connection, laptop and hands-free pumping skills! WIN for my baby, me and my employer - and the taxpayers!

Posted by: bitzerdm | December 21, 2010 9:11 PM | Report abuse

“Obama orders breastfeeding policy”

Is Michelle ok with this and aren’t their kids a little old to be breastfeeding?

Posted by: gun313 | December 21, 2010 10:57 PM | Report abuse

“Obama orders breastfeeding policy”

Is Michelle ok with this and aren’t their kids a little old to be breastfeeding?

Posted by: gun313 | December 21, 2010 10:58 PM | Report abuse

Boy, it sure didn't take long for the partisans to milk this subject. With all the boobs in Washington, however, such a policy should not surprise anyone. For the record, I'm all for free expression, provided of course it's not in my morning coffee.

Posted by: VeritusMaximus | December 21, 2010 11:05 PM | Report abuse

Wow. Just wow. I need to go pump now so my baby can eat at daycare tomorrow. Shame on me for providing her with the best food possible - I guess I'm just a horrible person.

Posted by: pixnlil | December 22, 2010 10:22 AM | Report abuse

"I am a working mom with a 6 month old baby. I made the decision to breastfeed and pump while at work, as that is best for my baby and for work. She is getting anti-bodies from me and has been healthy, which means less time out of the office. I am glad Obama is pushing for the breastfeeding policy; however, I have one issue. I don't feel that breastfeeding moms should have to use leave or take leave without pay for the time they need to express milk. The federal government doesn't have maternity leave, so mothers are forced to use their leave while out after having their babies. Now, they must use leave to provide milk to their babies. How many workers take extra time on smoke breaks for chatting around the office? Mothers without much leave and who cannot aford to take leave without pay will be forced to choose to discontinue breastfeeding."

So we tax payers, or private employers should pay you to not work while the women who aren't lactating at the time, and men who NEVER get to claim lactation as a paid time off scheme, get to work harder to make up for your absence? Because YOU can't afford to take time off? Is that what you're saying, punkin? I would say with about a 100.9% accuracy rate that you voted for Obama because only an Obama voter could have such uncanny workplace insight!

Posted by: doodad_acree | December 22, 2010 10:32 AM | Report abuse

pixnlil, yes, you are a horrible person. Not only were you punished with a child, but you are now punishing your child with day care.

Shame on you.

Posted by: getjiggly1 | December 22, 2010 12:00 PM | Report abuse

Some people use breaks to chat, go to the restroom, eat, text, check email, smoke, go to the gym, or leave online comments to Washington Post articles. Other people use it to express milk to take home to feed their children.

For those who don't know, a "Mother's Room" can look like a small office with a combo lock on the door. It includes a sink, chairs, microwave & mini fridge. Several women may be there there for about 15 min. Some continue to work.

Still, all of these converted little spaces, full of women who need to pump to feed their babies during the work day should be SHUT DOWN!

The United States Federal Government, that currently provides workers with NO MATERNITY LEAVE, should provide a MATERNITY LEAVE POLICY that allows PARENTS to be with and FEED their children. Yes, we should pay to allow our parents time to be with, nurture, and feed children!

Women working for the government in a country that claims to be "a leader" spend spare moments locked away in a room full of other working mothers covertly (yes, covertly) pumping food for their children because they work for the US federal government.

We're not "progressive" because we are establishing a federal breastfeeding policy. We aren't "progressive" because we provide a locked room for breastfeeding mothers to go into! What? We pat ourselves on the back because it's a few steps above a toilet stall?

I challenge our leaders to step it up and create a federal maternity leave policy similar to other developed nations. Until then, we're still "developing" as a country.

Posted by: belau | December 22, 2010 2:46 PM | Report abuse

This is of crucial importance, yes, siree Bob. Make sure you have a special section for transgendered "its" and a special section for the muslim chicks that have needed a special swimming pool, or special hours for swimming and do not want to be screened at airports. They obviously need special attention here as well, so bend over backwards you politically correct losers We wouldn't want to hburt rtheir precious feelings

Posted by: nomobarry | December 27, 2010 4:56 PM | Report abuse

This is stupid. What about the REAL problems whe have in this country. I'm sick of women always milking (no pun intended) the mommy card. Today's parents are such a bunch of whiners. Always with their hands out, wanting help and support from everybody else. And then they turn around and don't even have the sense to teach their brats how to behave in a civilized manner.

Posted by: tommybones | December 28, 2010 3:14 PM | Report abuse

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