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breastfeeding

This is why I nursed my baby on the Seattle bus

Jun 10, 2017
The author with her son at their home in Seattle's Greenwood neighborhood.
Krista Welch for KUOW

At the back of the Metro bus, we did something unusual: We talked to one another. Among us was a woman who had her toddler son with her — we smiled and waved at him as he asked his mom 20 questions about the world. Then, unexpectedly, he moved close to her, pulled on the collar of her shirt and pulled her boob out for a quick snack.

Sharayah Lane and baby Ian nursing moms of color
Krista Welch for KUOW

They were riding the D Line bus in Seattle when baby got hungry. Mom pulled out her boob.

Lactation consultant Camie Goldhammer helps 5-week-old Darius latch onto his mother, Carole Gibson-Smith. Goldhammer, a social worker by training, focuses on breastfeeding in communities of color, particularly in Native communities.
KUOW Photo/Ann Dornfeld

The birth of Camie Goldhammer's first daughter did not go as planned. The labor had gone long, and Goldhammer, a social worker, ended up having an emergency C-section. 

And she was still in shock when a nurse gently helped her open the top of her gown to put the tiny child to her breast.  

Original Photo courtesy of Jefferson County Sheriff's Department

On April 20, 1999, Dylan Klebold and Eric Harris walk into Columbine High School and begin shooting classmates and teachers. They murder 13 and injure nearly two dozen more before committing suicide.

On the same day, Kathleen Tyson, who is HIV positive, walks into a courtroom to fight for the right to breastfeed her infant son, which the state of Oregon claims will kill him.

Breast-feeding has many known health benefits, but there's still debate about how it may influence kids' behavior and intelligence.

Now, a new study published in Pediatrics finds that children who are breast-fed for at least six months as babies have less hyperactive behavior by age 3 compared with kids who weren't breast-fed.

But the study also finds that breast-feeding doesn't necessarily lead to a cognitive boost.

Iesha Gray, 20, resigned from her job at the U.S. Postal Service because she felt she wasn't given time or space she found acceptable to pump.
KUOW Photo/Isolde Raftery

Iesha Gray called it the drought.

One month back from maternity leave, her breasts were empty. No more milk. Her baby girl at home was drinking her way through the freezer stash.

Jamie Steeb, a former nursing assistant at Overlake Hospital, filed a complaint with the Department of Labor about the 2010 nursing mothers law.
Courtesy of Jamie Steeb

Jamie Steeb’s breasts hurt.

Steeb was a nursing assistant at Overlake Hospital in Bellevue. She had returned from maternity leave and needed time to pump breast milk; when she didn’t get breaks, her breasts throbbed with pain. After a while, she said she developed an infection.

A Seattle hospital employee works too far from the official lactation rooms, so she must find private spaces to pump. Often, that means she ends up sitting on the floor of a bathroom.
Courtesy of Anonymous

The lactation room wasn’t a room at all.

It was a corner of the lunch room in an old King County building in Seattle's Columbia City neighborhood.

A shoji screen was set up for privacy, although cracks allowed people to see through. A vent blew in cold air.

Breastfeeding In Schools

May 15, 2015

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

KUOW Photo/Bond Huberman

When I returned from maternity leave earlier this month, my boss Jenna showed me to the lactation room.