Saturday, February 07, 2009

the liberation of motherhood- that New Yorker article on pumping

Sonya Lunder wrote a really great blog at about that New Yorker article that has everyone all atwitter. It's about breastfeeding, pumping, and moms at work. The main argument of the article is not necessarily about whether whether pumping is better or worse than breastfeeding. The pros and cons are pretty well known by most moms who are dealing with this.

No, what's interesting here is that the author is asking us to step back a bit and ask why we're enabling pumping (to the extent that we're enabling it at all), but not (also) advocating harder for longer maternity leaves, which would definitely help lengthen breastfeeding relationships.

It's a good question. Most moms I know who pump would gladly exchange a few weeks (paid) at home nursing with their infant over a few weeks attached to a pump, hunched in a corner at work. It's a question of not losing pay, for most people.

Of course, there are those for whom the trip to the office is a needed and welcome break from their role as mother, validating for them their existence outside the home and in the world of adults. Some of these moms struggle with juggling the pump; some toss it altogether.

It's such a personal question, from mom to mom, of how to balance your needs with the little ones who need us to fulfill their needs. It comes down to choice, for me.

Here's the fundamental question: How much freedom do you have to mother the way you want to mother?

Do you feel chained to your job? Chained to your kid? Bound to a health insurance company that's giving you very little in return for very large portions of your income?

Here's an organization that's working (laboring!) to make mothering as liberating as possible: