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Obama to Berry: Accommodate nursing mothers in the workplace

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President Obama just issued a memo to Office of Personnel Management Director John Berry regarding civilian employees who are nursing mothers. The memo simply says Obama delegates the authority to Berry “with respect to providing appropriate workplace accommodations for executive branch civilian employees who are nursing mothers.”

Not a whole lot of detail on what that’s going to mean. We’re trying to find out and will report back as soon as we know more.

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  1. twpval Says:
    December 22nd, 2010 at 4:17 pm

    OMG! Now we have to pay and provide workplace accomodations for nursing executives. This is getting out of hand. Bad enough that we have to provide daycare but now we have to provide someplace other than the ladies room for them to feed their kids. What’s next?

  2. Lagomorph Says:
    December 23rd, 2010 at 12:12 pm

    Next will be a required room suitable for creating children thus necessitating the breast milk room and day care.

  3. sw80 Says:
    December 23rd, 2010 at 4:41 pm

    To twpval, that’s a typical knee-jerk male reaction. This is a benefit adopted by many private industry companies for (at least) the last 5 years.

    You don’t want to see the person your work neighbor pumping milk. It would be uncomfortable for both parties and embarrassing for her (especially first time mothers). Most will do it in a restroom, but would you want your newborn to drink milk it’s mother was forced to prepare while the equipment was on the floor of a public bathroom stall? Providing a small area dedicated to this would give her a private, hygienic place to take care of this and then return to her work area.

    It encourages continued breast feeding which has a multitude of advantages for mother and child, and allows mothers to return to the workforce and back into their jobs sooner (which is good for everyone). This doesn’t need to be a big or expensive project. In one of my past workplaces we did this by repurposing a tiny storage closet. We put in there a rocking chair, small mini-fridge (for bottles), and lamp and hung a picture and it was very nice. The other we converted 1 (of the 3) women’s restrooms to a have a door with a lock & key and put a small bench and end table in there, and the admin held the key. It’s a great benefit and I’m glad to support it.

  4. craig Says:
    December 24th, 2010 at 12:09 pm

    Can the self righteous indignation! Would you want your baby fed in a restroom?

  5. Fedline » OPM: Bathrooms won’t cut it as nursing space Says:
    December 30th, 2010 at 3:14 pm

    [...] President Obama last week told Berry to lay the ground rules for the government’s new nursing policy. [...]

  6. Nicole Says:
    January 11th, 2011 at 7:16 am

    Actually the Federal Govt is late on this…..military and private sector have been doing this for years. They provide a designated area for smokers….do you think that is getting out of hand too? I do! It’s about time they give an area for breastfeeding.