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DC Police Officer Takes Leave Because of Breastfeeding Policy

by Prince Of Petworth July 1, 2011 at 10:30 am 44 Comments


Photo by PoPville flickr user fromcaliw/love

A reader forwards the following email:

[BirthOptionsAlliance] DC Police Officer forced to take leave w/o pay because she wants to BREASTFEED!

A mother in DC needs our help! She is DC Police Officer and has been forced to take leave w/o pay which obviously is putting a financial strain on her family, because she wanted to continue to breastfeed her baby after returning to work. The job initially providing support, quickly changed their tone, when the mother complained about the sanitary conditions of the nursing rooms which were reported to not be up to code. At this point she was told that she would essentially have to choose between her job or continuing to breastfeed her baby.

Fox5 explains:

The new moms say they’re being required to wear bullet proof vests when on duty, which can be quite painful. One of them says it’s so bad she’s being forced to take leave without pay.

Chief Cathy Lanier defended her policy Monday saying there is not much more that she can do.
The Chief said when you are talking about mothers nursing their babies for a year or more its tough to be more accommodating than she’s already been.

Do you think DC is being unfair in its policy? What have police officers who breastfeed done in the past? What do you think is a reasonable time before breastfeeding officers are required to return to their normal duties?

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