Breastfeeding at work-I am SOOO lucky to be Canadian!!

Welcome to The Breastfeeding Cafe Carnival! This post was written as part of The Breastfeeding Cafe's Carnival. For more info on the Breastfeeding Cafe, go to www.breastfeedingcafe.wordpress.com. For more info on The Carnival or if you want to participate, contact Claire at clindstrom2 {at} gmail {dot} com. Today's post is about Breastfeeding and Employment. Please read the other blogs in today's carnival listed below and check back for more posts July 18th through the 31st!

I have the great privilege of being a Canadian mom.  As such, most of us working moms are granted one-year of maternity or parental leave from employment.  And I looked forward to that year like nobody's business when I was pregnant with my first baby.  In the end, my maternity leave started even earlier than anticipated because of a complicated pregnancy and two months of bed rest.  I swear that I fully intended on going back to my career.  I was in an upwardly mobile position within a large pharmaceutical company, I was good at my job and I really loved what I did.

The original plan had been to breastfeed exclusively for the required 6 months and then to slowly wean and be able to go back to work after one year.  Well, like all good laid plans, that one flew right out the window the minute I had a 3 pound, 13 ounce preemie baby boy who was going to need all the breast milk I could give him for as long as I could give it to him!

I don't know how all of the working moms in the US do it??   If you don't know already, the most leave moms in the US can get once they have a baby is 12 weeks..... UNPAID.  Then they have to go back to work, leave their 3 month old baby in daycare and somehow try to still breastfeed or pump during this time to keep nursing their infants. For being one of the most developed countries in the world, this seems so ass-backwards to me (and I am sure to all the moms that have to live this reality too)!!  Our children deserve the best start in life and staying with their mothers and nursing exclusively for at least 6 months, for the most part is the BEST we should be giving them.  I hope that the Obama administration sees this and works harder to make a change for the better for all moms and babies in the United States.

For myself, in the end, I decided NOT to go back to work after my year of maternity/parental leave was up.  My job involved a lot of travel and I could not see leaving my baby for a week at a time and still expect to be breastfeeding him upon my return.  It was a hard decision to make, I left behind a nice salary, a successful career and a lot of sweet perks too!  But is was also the best decision I have ever made.  I got to stay home with my children and I also found my true passion and started my own business.  So, for baby number two, my employer (ME) was very understanding of my need to breastfeed-although, I gotta say, the pay here kinda sucks!!

Thanks for reading, Natasha!~


Here are more post by the Breastfeeding Cafe Carnival participants! Check back because more will be added throughout the day.