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Thread: Teacher needs help!

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Richmond, VA
    Posts
    39

    Default Teacher needs help!

    My good friend is a teacher who is heading back to work in January. Her sweet baby will be 3 months old. Our state follows the federal laws re: pumping, but her school system is refusing to allow her coverage for 30 minutes mid-day to get that mid-day pumping session in. She has already planned to pump during her planning break in the morning, and after school. It's not possible to pump during her lunch break, as it is only 16 minutes long start to finish. They are saying that it's asking too much to have another teacher to volunteer to cover her class during those 30 minutes per day. (If she doesn't need coverage, such as in the morning during her planning period, they have no issue with it.)

    Help, mamas! What should she do?
    Alexis, a mama to Conor, 4/29/10

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    21,353

    Default Re: Teacher needs help!

    I'd say that her first stop should be w/ the teacher's union. Perhaps the union can push her case with admin? Or, alternately, the union may be able to do some outreach on her behalf and find another teacher or teachers who will volunteer to cover for her during lunch, without requiring that the administration ask. I'm guessing they wouldn't have a problem with her pumping during lunch if she could find someone to cover for her without them (the admin) needing to coordinate it.
    Coolest thing my big girl said recently: "How can you tell the world is moving when you are standing on it?"
    Coolest thing my little girl sang recently: "I love dat one-two pupples!"

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Richmond, VA
    Posts
    39

    Default Re: Teacher needs help!

    She has asked her coworkers to cover for her but her administration says this is inappropriate. Their argument is that they aren't legally required to have someone else do her job so that she can pump.

    We are a non-union state. We do have education associations, and I suggested them to her, but she's not a member, so I don't know that they'll help her.
    Alexis, a mama to Conor, 4/29/10

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    21,353

    Default Re: Teacher needs help!

    Say what you will about unions, but this sort of thing is precisely why they're needed.

    The admin's position sounds like total BS to me. If your friend can find a coworker or coworkers who are willing to cover for her without recompense, WTF does it matter whether or not the admin or district or whatever is "legally required" to do something? Can't one teacher help another out without it being kicked back to lawyers? Sounds like the admin is afraid of setting a precedent. Cowards.

    I'd contact the educator's association, and if she doesn't get joy from them, well, I'd probably contact the ACLU, or someone in worker's rights...
    Coolest thing my big girl said recently: "How can you tell the world is moving when you are standing on it?"
    Coolest thing my little girl sang recently: "I love dat one-two pupples!"

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Northern Cal.
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    Default Re: Teacher needs help!

    My sister has a six month old baby and is a teacher in Oakland. This is a very breastfeeding-friendly area, she is represented by a union, la la dee da, but the reality is, it is VERY HARD for her to pump. There just isn't time. She pumps twice a day, during her planning period and during her lunch break, and even that is a struggle. So this isn't that helpful, but your friend is definitely not alone. Teaching can be a very unfriendly profession for breastfeeding mothers. I hope some other mamas come along with words of wisdom.


    You can call me JoMo!

    Mom to baby boy Joe, born 5/4/09 and breastfed for more than two and a half years, and baby girl Maggie, born 7/9/12.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
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    4,836

    Default Re: Teacher needs help!

    Is the actual school day 7 hrs? Would there be anyway at all they could bump her planning period to mid-day, right before lunch, then she could pump when she gets there, pump during planning and then pump right after school. Is that enough sessions? Sorry, I don't know how often you have to pump at that age

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Posts
    4,894

    Default Re: Teacher needs help!

    I would pump during the lunch break anyway. 16 minutes could be long enough and any time is better than nothing. Remember that your body gets use to whatever schedule you put it on. So if it's not possible to fit in multiple sessions, fewer longer sessions will cover it. The key for her will be to see what her output is and if she's providing enough during the time she does have.
    If you obey all the rules, you miss all the fun. - Katharine Hepburn

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Posts
    58

    Default Re: Teacher needs help!

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*joe.s.mom View Post
    My sister has a six month old baby and is a teacher in Oakland. This is a very breastfeeding-friendly area, she is represented by a union, la la dee da, but the reality is, it is VERY HARD for her to pump. There just isn't time. She pumps twice a day, during her planning period and during her lunch break, and even that is a struggle. So this isn't that helpful, but your friend is definitely not alone. Teaching can be a very unfriendly profession for breastfeeding mothers. I hope some other mamas come along with words of wisdom.
    I was surprised to learn how difficult it can be for teachers to pump. My support group has a number of teachers. Some of them have been able to pump enough for their babies (often by adding a pumping session outside of work hours) and they generally have a shorter workday than many professionals which can help the baby need a little less milk when away from mom. That said, several of the moms who teach had to supplement with formula at daycare until their babies were on solids, because they just couldn't pump enough times in their day and planning periods were not well-scheduled. If the administration can't/won't move that planning period, they were out of luck.
    Katie - mom to Lily, 8/5/2010

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