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Weird attitudes to breastfeeding from your peers?

(14 Posts)
Kosmik Fri 07-Jan-11 16:00:04

I have been having a laugh at the attitudes to breastfeeding from health professionals and MILs and I thought I should share my story of the attitude of my colleagues when I returned to work when my son was 8.5 months old.

I work as a registered nurse in a hospital in the North West of England. I informed my manager of my intention to express my milk at work and was provided with a clean private room in which to do this. I stored my expressed milk in a sealed bottle in the staff fridge and then took it home in a cool bag at the end of the day.

I was aware that this was a bit of a novelty with my colleagues which I can understand. However, one of my colleagues, also a registered nurse, asked me if I would store my expressed milk in a bag out of sight as the sight of it in the staff fridge was offending some people. In my initial shock I was actually holding back tears.

I have never got over this and it has made me more determined than ever to ensure that my children get the best possible start in life. Reading "The Politics of Breastfeeding" by Gabrielle Palmer has helped me to come to terms with and understand why some people react as they do to breastfeeding.

coldcomfortHeart Fri 07-Jan-11 16:04:29

Wow Kosmik that's terrible. sad But now you are a clued-up HCP!

Politics of Bf is incredible, I am trying to get my doctor sister to read it but she's a bit hmm Everyone should read it, regardless of gender, occupation or age but it's particularly good for hcp's

nymphadora Fri 07-Jan-11 16:06:34

I never considered offending work colleagues blush I fed dd3 last time I visited work & didn't get any reaction.

tiktok Fri 07-Jan-11 16:08:27

Let me get this right.

This is a nurse.

Someone who has to see and sometimes handle blood, urine, shit, sweat, and every other bodily secretion, on a daily basis.

And what offended her was the sight of your bagged and sealed breastmilk? And it offended her, and others, so much she reckoned it was your problem?

I feel like crying, too.

EauRouge Fri 07-Jan-11 16:15:28

What an awful thing for your colleague to say! shock I'm so glad it strengthened your resolve rather than embarrassing you into stopping.

I really need to re-read PoBF, it's been a while.

pommedeterre Fri 07-Jan-11 16:38:15

Agree with Tiktok re your colleagues profession. Breastmilk in the fridge worse than old lady's poo dribbled all across the ward from bed to bog??? Really?? Jeez.

moonstorm Fri 07-Jan-11 18:54:56

Did they consider the cow's milk offensive, too? How can human milk be offensive?

gallicgirl Fri 07-Jan-11 19:18:59

Is it a promotion for the book?

I can't work out how to look at profiles to see when people joined and how many posts they've made.

Seems a pretty strange thing for a nurse to say. Perhaps she needs to spend some time on maternity wards.

crikeybadger Fri 07-Jan-11 19:57:31

gaillicgirl- you click on the user name to see if someone has set up a profile.

Not quite sure where you're coming from though...confused

gallicgirl Fri 07-Jan-11 20:08:23

ah I see. That's what I thought but this user mustn't have a profile as it doesn't do anything.

I just wondered if the OP was posting simply to promote the book or if it was a genuine post. If it was a different workplace, I wouldn't have given the situation a second thought, but for a medical professional to be offended seemed really strange to me.

Perhaps there's something more to the situation, like the colleague is cross that Kosmik is allowed time to express?

MummyBerryJuice Fri 07-Jan-11 20:39:53

Gallicgirl - I've quite a few paeds as friends, some of whom won't hesitate to tell you (on a personal level) they think of bfing as unnatural. One's family and cultural backround often affects one's perception of bfing more than education.

Kosmik Fri 07-Jan-11 21:23:34

gallicgirl - I joined Mumsnet just last night and after reading your post have set up a public profile. You are right - there was more to the situation, I hadn't been on that ward long and I never felt accepted by the team as I was 7 months pregnant when I joined them and it was very 'cliquey'. The comment from my colleague I felt was a personal rejection of me as well as a display of their ignorant attitudes. I wouldn't want to be part of a team of bullies that treated newcomers that way anyhow. I have since moved to another ward where I am valued and treated with respect and I am now very happy. Although the incident was 15 months ago I am still in shock over what happened because it was unbelievable. You couldn't make it up!

gallicgirl Fri 07-Jan-11 21:39:10

I think the profession was why I was a bit suspicious - sorry. Nothing personal really! It seems your colleague maybe used the milk as an excuse to be nasty to you. I'm glad you're in a happier workplace now.

I have to admit, it'll be interesting to see how supportive my colleagues will be if I'm still breastfeeding when I return to work. Luckily I'm a bit bolshy so don't mind telling people what I think when need be!

coldcomfortHeart Sat 08-Jan-11 12:38:56

Kosmik I think you should change your user name to Kosmilk now wink

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