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Thursday, May 27, 2010

I am protected by the new law!

There is a law that went into effect (Amendment to FLSA in the Act signed by President Barack Obama on March 23, 2010) that protects breastfeeding women in the workplace, whether they pump or feed their babies directly at the tap. It states that the workplace must also provide pumping/feeding breaks in addition to a private space (which is not a bathroom) in order to do so. The breaks do not have to be paid.

While I do have my own office with a door that closes and I have my pump, Elise has not been taking the bottle so well, as in only about 20% of the time. It was so frustrating on my first day back to get a call from the husband that she wouldn't take it (he tried, she cried, fell asleep, she woke up, and he tried again). If you have been a long-time follower of mine, you will remember that when Andrew was this age, I had a temporary accommodation to go home twice a day (at 10:00 and 1:00, the 1:00 being my half hour lunch anyway) to feed him. I was actually going to quit my job until we came up with that solution. It worked marvelously for us and once Andrew got a little older, around 9-10 months of age, I was able to spread out the feedings to every 4 hours so I could just go home at noon.

Anyway, fast forward to the present. I type up my formal request for accommodation and it gets approved and my supervisor (who also happened to breastfeed all 5 of her children) was more than happy to approve it and said that I was covered until 1 year after the birth of my child under Federal Law.

I am just so happy that the stress of this is gone. I don't have to sit here and wait for a call to see whether or not she has taken the bottle. Stress definitely affects how much milk one can pump -- I can attest to that. On Monday (my first day back) I was so full and by 9:30 I had to pump. I had just gotten a call 15 minutes earlier that she was refusing the bottle, so I was all stresses. I got 4 ounces out but I knew there was more in there so I stopped the pump, massaged the breasts, turned it back on and I managed to get a little bit more but I could tell there was more. Just then an e-mail from the hubby popped up on the screen and he stated that we would just have him bring the baby to me twice a day. I'm not kidding you, as soon as I read those words, the holy geysers of milk opened up and I got 5.5 more ounces (for a grand total of 9.5 ounces; I mentioned in the past that I have oversupply!).

Anyway, my supervisor said it didn't make sense to have him bring her here twice and have to feed out in the car (since my 2 1/2 year old is extremely hyper and just wants to run around) and that she'd feed better in the comfort of her own home. I concur, so that's the arrangement. :)

And it's nice that if anyone gives me slack at work, I can now state tht I am protected under Federal Law. I am also happy that I work someplace that was happy to accommodate me before even though the law wasn't in place.


Anonymous said...

That is great! It is awesome that your boss breastfed her babies too. It always helps to have someone who has been there and understands. I don't know what I would've done if I'd had to work when Keegan was nursing. I think he took exactly one bottle, ever in his life!

Miley said...

I was fortunate enough to have a boss who let me pump & also nurse at work if needed. My daughter would basically starve herself until I got home!

Kaci said...

That is nice. You are fortunate to have an understanding boss even if the law protects you. Scarlett also refused the bottle but I was my boss so I just went & fed her as needed.

Anonymous said...

Wow that is awesome! And your boss sounds pretty great too. :-)