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Thursday, July 05, 2007In all the conversations I've had with nursing women about unsupportive work environments, I find myself being continually thankful for the support I've received in my industry.
Last week I headed off to Denver for a two day conference. There were five of us speaking to a small seminar of about 40 attendees on the subject of search engine marketing. I spoke on social media marketing and viral marketing and of course used both The Lactivist and Bento Yum as case studies.
Since Emmitt is still refusing to drink breast milk from a bottle or sippy cup, he went along with me. Greg came to keep an eye on him, marking the first time he's gone on a business trip with me. I'd nurse Emmitt before the conference, then again at lunch when Greg brought him by, and then again when the show wrapped up around 5pm. (Emmitt's a night eater, so going for 5 hours during the day is easy.)
What made things great was how supportive everyone was. There was no going off to hide in a corner, or trying to be "business-like." In fact, there were multiple times where conference attendees would come over to talk shop with me while I was sitting there nursing Emmitt.
I had something similar happen at a show here in Columbus in May. A friend was downtown with Emmitt and I since he was eating more frequently then. At lunch, a man in his 40's in a business suit came by our table and asked if he could ask me a few questions. I said "sure, but I'm about to feed Emmitt." The man said "I don't mind if you don't."
So, we sat and talked shop for about 20 minutes while Emmitt had his lunch.
In fact, I've been struck at how many people come up to me after I speak to tell me how much they enjoy this site and to share their own breastfeeding stories with me.
For instance, when I was in New York earlier this year, I did a radio interview. Afterward, the host told me that his wife was still night nursing their 2.5 year old. Just last week at the show, one of the women attending had a 5 month old that was pumping for.
Not sure what point I'm trying to make here other than to say that there as often as we hear about women having problems juggling nursing and work, there are positive stories out there as well. I'm certain I'm not the only person that has found support.
So how about some positive stories. Any one else out there work in a particularly supportive environment and want to share it with us? Sometimes we need that reminder that our culture is changing, even if it's changing slowly.