If you haven’t already read this little gem of a judgement regarding the termination of a breastfeeding mom who took too many pumping breaks, well, all I can say is read it and weep (especially when you add in this story that indicates employees taking similar breaks for a smoke weren’t similarly terminated). I am honestly not writing to argue the merits of the case – maybe her termination was technically justified, but how a company can afford not to work with its female employees (no matter if they work on the factory line or in the C-level suite) to schedule breaks that work within their physical needs (and yes, lactation is physical and pumping when away from baby for more than three hours is most definitely a need) is just beyond me.
Rather, I’m writing to thank the Ohio Supreme Court for bringing to my attention that men have apparently gained the ability to lactate and therefore share in the breastfeeding responsibilities of infants. How else could you explain this statement in their ruling:
“Breastfeeding discrimination does not constitute gender discrimination.”
I can only assume they mean breastfeeding discrimination isn’t gender specific because both genders can breastfeed? Awesome! Pumpkin is due two months from today and I will be thrilled to share with the hubby those middle of the night feedings, sore nipples and milk stains on the front of my shirts from leakage just when the kid sleeps through even 15 minutes of his routine feeding. Score for me, right?!
This announcement comes just in time and really begs the question, why have you boys been holding out on us so long?
So thanks, Ohio Supreme Court, for outing men’s role in breastfeeding for all us sleep-deprived, engorged and lanolin-layering moms.
Although I suppose this means that Totes/Isotoner and companies across the country might need to consider pumping breaks for their male employees, too. I have a sneaking feeling if this were the case, it would get done in a heartbeat.