I've talked about this topic before, but I am frequently reminded of the conflicts which moms feel when talking to other moms, whether they are friends, family members, co-workers, or even parenting partners. These conflicting opinions can strain relationships, make a mom doubt her instincts, and bring worry where it doesn't need to be.
Most of us have taken trips: trips with our friends, trips with our families, trips with our children. If we haven't taken the trip, we've talked about the trip - let's go to Vegas for your 40th, let's meet the Sullivans in Colorado to go skiing, let's get all the cousins together and rent a beach house next year.
Planning to return to work from your maternity leave can create a lot of anxiety but planning where you will pump should not contribute to that worry.The Affordable Care Act changed part of the rules for the Fair Labor Standards Act and requires employers to give employees “reasonable break time for an employee to express breast milk for her nursing child for one year after the child’s birth each time such employee has need to express the milk.”
Back in 2010, our government felt that breast pumps were not a medical "necessity" and therefore did not qualify for tax breaks or for any deductions from federal income taxes. Then in 2011, it became a part of the new tax code that breast pumps and accessories that "promote lactation" can be used as a tax break for some women. I am not a tax expert, and this is not official taxation advisement, but here are some things to consider when trying to use this tax benefit.
Holiday music, decorating gingerbread houses at the library, Santa Claus on the fire truck -- these are all signs it's holiday time in my community. In my house, though, it wouldn't be Christmas unless one of my children is sick or has a fever. This is just the way it's worked out the past few years. One year it was the flu - and we were all quarantined. Last year it was a stomach bug and this year the littlest one has a fever so we won't be doing our normal Christmas Eve routine tonight.
Last night I was watching an old episode of Law & Order from 2000, named Mother's Milk. They addressed the concepts of inexperienced motherhood, breastfeeding, lactation consultants and the dreaded "failure to thrive". I found it very interesting that almost 15 years later some of the same concepts are today affecting mothers we speak to about breastfeeding.
This hectic time of year reminds of me my awkward moments in breastpumping. The most awkward was answering the front door to our mailman Kevin (who has three kids my sons' ages). He held out the holiday packages very gingerly, never lost eye contact, and rushed away from the porch before I could yell "Happy Holidays" or "Don't forget your cookies in the mailbox". I closed my door and looked down - my shirt was unbottoned, nursing bra was undone on both sides because I had been nursing and pumping at the same time: I had flashed my poor mailman because I put the pump and baby down to run to answer the door. Poor Kevin. I made a normal moment for me a very awkward moment for him.