breastfeeding

Have you seen the awesome lady with the breast-milk bag dress?

image via  Kasey Jones

image via Kasey Jones

image via  Kasey Jones

image via Kasey Jones

image via  Kasey Jones

image via Kasey Jones

image via  Kasey Jones

image via Kasey Jones

As reported by ScaryMommy, artist and mom and two Kasey Jones (<--- click through to see more of her gorgeous work) has released a series of images of herself at the office in what she dubs a "working mother suit," an outfit covered entirely in breast-milk bags. "I created this series to bring awareness to the harsh realities of what it takes to be a working mother," she writes in her artist statement. "Our system does not support new mothers or families during this transitional phase. It was my duty as a social artist to shed light on how taxing it is on our physical and mental health." 

Kasey is heroic. Both for shining this light and for creating such feminist pieces in an art world that's still very often a boys' club.

And -- this is what I hope everyone seeing these pictures takes away from the experience: 

We all have a duty to "wear" our motherhood at work.

Perhaps not in the form of sterile zippy bags, but in more quotidien ways:
- By being un-shy about needing to schedule in pumping.
- By welcoming questions about motherhood from colleagues (especially more junior ones) who are curious.
- By being open about your new-working-mom challenges (the exhaustion, the unhealed scars, the daycare that charges you extra for every minute you're late)...and then also being open about your successes big and small. The stuff you got accomplished simply by showing up. That's what moves the needle on workplace culture for all of us. One ounce and one parent at a time.

How do you wear your motherhood?
 

Got (extra) milk?

Back at holiday time, stringing up lights in my son's school lobby, I found myself entangled, literally, with a mom I'd never met before, Dr. Katie Kelter. Turns out, we had lots to talk about: A pediatrician and lactation consultant, she's one of the founders of the just-launched New York Milk Bank, a nonprofit that collects and pasteurizes donor breastmilk for premature or critically ill babies. I got all kinds of great advice from her for my book, T5T and when I followed up with her recently, she told me how easy it is to donate—money, obviously (the program helps underserved communities), but also surplus milk. "If any of your readers are lucky enough to have a freezer bursting at the seams with extra milk, they can go to the Human Milk Banking Association of North America (HMBANA.org)  to find out if they're eligible to become a donor," says Dr. Kelter. All it takes is a medical screening and a blood test. Then you drop the milk off at a local depot or mail it (for free) via Fed-Ex. "Your milk is pasteurized and given to premature infants whose own mothers' milk is unavailable," says Dr. K. "You can actually save lives."