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Breast Cancer, mammary glands and nursing mothers

Discussion in 'Snippets of Life (Non-Fiction)' started by GayathriSundar, Oct 27, 2007.

  1. GayathriSundar

    GayathriSundar Senior IL'ite

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    Breast Cancer, mammary glands and nursing mothers

    Recently, in the TV telecast here in USA I have seen an advertisement. The advt. starts off with a bunch of ladies (including Whoopie Goldberg) asking - Who is your bra? After the viewer blinks for a few seconds; the advt goes on to reveal that it is asking about the person you rely on for support (pun intended I guess). Anyway, the advt is about donating for breast cancer research.

    Before I go on, dear readers, let me state that I have nothing against breast cancer or cancer of any type nor towards the research to find cures for it. Also I do not in anyway intend to hurt the feelings of anyone (or their near and dear one) who has/have suffered through this disease.

    What I find irksome is that breast cancer (atleast in the US) has become some sort of "star" cancer. Everywhere you see or hear is a request to donate to research to find a cure. I am all for cures. But in the same USA a nursing mother is frowned upon or not given any respect/privacy!!! Here I am relating from experience. When I went back to work after maternity leave of 6 weeks (the US federal law mandates 6 weeks for normal delivery and 8 week for c-section ; no wonder there are lots of cases of post-partum depression. But that is another thread.) I requested a room to express milk for my infant son. I did not want a special room - just one with a lock and key; even a storage room would have worked. But I was told (pretty coldly) that I should use the restroom (bathroom)!!!! I was angry beyond belief!! This was coming to me from the HR manager - a woman. Well I told her and the program manager that I refuse to use the bathroom because I do not eat in bathrooms. How could I feed my son with milk expressed in such surroundings!!! What if I am expressing milk and some other women is answering nature's call... oh the stench!!! I still feel nauseated when I imagine it.
    But I was blessed as at that time I had female managers and understanding friends who gave up their offices for me 3 times a day. (I was assigned a cubicle.)
    But these offices do not have locks - something to do with safety in office buildings. So I had a big printout saying do not disturb and my name underneath. I would push a chair against the door knob so no one could accidentally come in. Still twice some one did try to open the door by mistake. My heart would come up to my throat when that happened. It is sad that I hear this same treatment of nursing mothers in most US companies. Oh and I work in the IT department of a huge US defense company and not some small fund-starved company. I am not naming names!!

    Ok coming to the mammary glands - Hollywood, USA and every other country always flaunt these. Most men ogle them if they see a little uncovered flesh. Everyone is just obsessed with them. But esp here in USA, nursing your baby in Public (of course with modesty preserved) is a big no-no. Every other month I read an article in the parenting magazines on the difficulty and disapproval nursing mothers face to feed their babies in public. Whereas in India I did not perceive this - women could and would nurse with appropriate coverings!

    Utter hypocrisy according to me! Women have breasts to nurse their young ones not to support their sweaters or flaunt their cleavage.
    Support breast cancer research - I am fine with that; Breasts as an erotic part of the body - I am fine with that too as I am no prude. But this horrid treatment of nursing mothers - totally not fine!!

    What are your thoughts ladies?

    Gayathri

    Gayathri
     
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  2. Vandhana

    Vandhana Silver IL'ite

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    Dear Gayathri,

    Indeed very sad to read your experiences in your work place this is the first time i am hearing of such an instance. I myself have had really wonderful experiences both in the work environment as well as in the public for nursing mothers. Maybe Defense companies are different? I know a lot of small to huge companies which are very mother friendly. I have traveled a lot within US when both my kids were still nursing. I have never had any problems nursing in public. People respected my need for privacy and ensured i got it( this in planes, trains etc....., of course malls and the like). I have been through those instances when nothing else will do but mom......:mad:

    Anyway Breast Cancer Awareness is getting a big boost only in the past few years, i don't think we had these pink bows for BC about 5 ,6 years back..Someone correct me please if i am wrong.
    So don't loose heart, there are still people here who are considerate...

    Vandhana
     
  3. puni88

    puni88 Moderator Staff Member IL Hall of Fame

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    Hello Gayathri,
    I really feel sad reading your experience for nursing baby.
    At my office, we have a separete mother's room with a small refrigerator, where only females are allowed.
    Even one my friend used to pump milk in the mother's room and store them for nearly one year.
    I travelled to and fro to India with my 2 small kids and I never had any bad experience.

    And I totally agree with Vandana about breas cancer research etc.
    Please don't loose heart, it is sometime bad time and bad experiences.

    Take care,
    Punitha
     
  4. GayathriSundar

    GayathriSundar Senior IL'ite

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    Hi Vandhana,
    I am glad to hear that you had good experiences as a mother. I never actually had to use the bathroom as put down my rather heavy foot heavily!
    But the sister of a friend of mine actually has to use the bathroom and a colleague of mine at work also had no other option!! In my colleague's case she had to inform the HR everytime she used it so that other women will not be alarmed by the noise of the breast-pump. Doesn't this beat it all?? :eek:mg:
    I have also observed this publicity for breast cancer recently. Cancers in all forms need awareness, cure and eradication. "Breast" is no exception.

    It is a defense company with a badly put together IT arm.

    Gayathri
     
    Last edited: Oct 27, 2007
  5. GayathriSundar

    GayathriSundar Senior IL'ite

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    Hey Punitha,
    Maybe I should join your company - such a mother friendly organization and Boston is such a nice place. I have heard another person telling me of such a room .... magic room. Oh what I would have given to have such a room both during pregnancy and as a nursing mom.

    Yes good and bad experiences that is what life is all about.

    Gayathri
     

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