“As if Breastfeeding isn’t hard enough, I started my journey without knowing a single person that had breastfed. I was more than under-educated about the process. But like all determined mothers I was going to succeed at all costs.
I made my dreams come true: I began to painfully, tiredly, and happily nourish my little girl. Then suddenly I hit my biggest obstacle yet, returning to work. My employer was the definition of unsupportive. I had to request for them not to put me in a bathroom to pump. I had to beg to be given adequate break time. I was forced to listen to degrading comments by my management including “you would just flop them out anywhere”, and “Danielle probably has some milk for you”.
All of these events came to a head when my little girl turned one. My employer informed me they would no longer provide any breaks for me to pump, except for lunch, in my ten hour work day. As a resident of Tennessee I was very aware that my pumping breaks were protected by law. I promptly requested to speak with human resources. After that day I armed myself with knowledge of laws and recommendations by healthcare professionals.
Our Human Resource VP’s showed up to my local branch unannounced in front of all my colleagues and asked to speak to me. I gladly obliged! After discussing my right and needs with Human resources our company polices were update to accommodate nursing mothers until age two.
Needless to say, I no longer work for this company. I am happy that I could make a difference to future mother that happen to work for the company, but I need to be somewhere that was going to support my entire journey. My new employer, Eastman Chemical Company has been nothing but supportive. I can’t say enough good things about their support for nursing mothers.
My daughter just turned two and we continue to breastfeed. Even when faced with possibly losing a source of income, I stood my ground and made a difference for me and future mothers!”
Danielle, Elizabethton Birth Rally & BABE Breastfeeding Coalition
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