Professor Breastfeeds During Class – No, That Won’t be on the Final Exam
Working moms know that trying to find the balance between meeting work responsibilities and family needs is a never ending battle. Add sick kids to the mix and it becomes a real juggling act. But for American University professor Adrienne Pine, when her infant daughter was running a fever on the first day of class and she was unable to take her to daycare, she decided that taking her child to work with her was the best option.
In the midst of teaching her 40 students, Pine’s baby girl started fussing, and the professor decided to begin nursing the child to quiet her. According to the professor, this natural act with her child, which she participated in on buses, trains, in restaurants, and many other public arenas, should not be newsworthy. Yet, the school newspaper disagreed and ran a story regarding her breastfeeding in class, which has since also obtained attention from major news outlets. This in turn has caused debate on the college campus – and around the country.
As a mom who nursed all three of my children, I am an adamant supporter of a woman’s right to breastfeed, and do not have issue with nursing in public. But breastfeeding aside, I have concern with a mother believing that she should bring her sick child to her place of business. This seems to lack professionalism for the workplace and compassion for her child’s well-being, since the child should be home resting, not exposed to even more potential germs from strangers.
I understand that this mother did not want to cancel class and could not drop off her child at the usual daycare, but as a mother (or parent in general), you have to be flexible and have more than one option for dealing with the challenges of having sick children. Find a family friend, neighbor, or babysitting service. Get a back-up plan that doesn’t involve interrupting your duties at work or figure out a job that works better for your family life (like working from home, etc).
Is this just me – or was this mom unprofessional for bringing her child to work in the first place?