Professor Who Breastfed Her Sick Baby in Class Needs Support, Not Hate

Rant 72

breastfeeding professorAdrienne Pine is an American University professor under fire for bringing her sick baby to class with her and nursing the baby while also teaching. Naturally, people are furious and up in arms over her "inappropriate" behavior. But I say: you go mom. She had little choice and she did what she had to do.

In general, we need to be more supportive of these situations as a culture. 

Having a baby is a 24/7 kind of job. Even those of us who have full-time jobs outside of our families are also full-time moms. Having two such rigorous "jobs" can often conflict. Sometimes we moms have to multitask.

The irony, of course, is that it was during a Sex, Gender, and Culture class. Here is our culture right now. Moms have basically no leeway.

As a working mom, sometimes you feel damned if you do and damned if you don't. If you take a sick day (especially on the first day of school as a professor), you are seen as not dedicated to your work. If you don't take a sick day and stay home, you are a bad mom. Then add in the bit about her being a single mom? Her choices were limited.

I am not saying it's the ideal to bring a sick baby to class and let him or her crawl around and spread germs. But I am saying working moms sometimes have to do what they have to do. It's all a balancing act, and I wish we lived in a society where we could cut each other some slack.

I have no idea what the tenure process is like at AU or even if Professor Pine was on that track. But I do know that when a mom takes off work for a sick kid, people automatically grumble. She is a slacker. She doesn't take her work seriously. Childless people are forced to "pick up her slack." It's the oldest load of crap.

It's hard out there for working parent, but particularly for a single nursing mother.

What she did wasn't ideal. It wasn't even probably the best move. But it was understandable. Until sick days are respected and no one secretly (or overtly) makes bad comments about a woman's "dedication" should she use them, then I say she did what she had to do. I support her.

Do you think what Professor Pine did was wrong?


Image via Cherice/Flickr



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LSeab... LSeabolt1982

Yea Nicole Marie Not the same thing at all.

coral... coralstrr

Wht do we hate Moms and motherhood so much in this country? You see women all over the world wearing their babies and working but is the USA we must hide our children away and pay other people to raise our kids. We have to hurry back to work after we have our kids, there is no support or benefits for maternity leave. I guess only the rich should have children. Children aren't welcome at parties and weddings and restaraunts and movie theaters, where the hell are we supposed to go with our children. We have to stay confined in our house and our own yard and forget it if you rent because if your baby cries your neightbors will bitch about that too. Children our the future lets welcome them into our lives and lets support working mothers in any way we can.

jpfsmom jpfsmom

Coralstrr--there are plenty of places to take your children including some of the places you just mentioned..don't be a moron but please note sometimes there are circumstances it's not advisable to bring children and as you implied especially if your child is a crier (so bad that your neighbors complain) then perhaps you need to stay home and deal with your issues instead of inflicting that on others looking to have a pleasant night or an educational experience in class.

nonmember avatar Mel

Given what the class was (Sex, Gender, and Culture), her breastfeeding her child could have led to a fascinating discussion on how our culture views breastfeeding in particular and parenting in general. Unfortunately, I doubt that was the case.
I think my biggest issue with this is that she put her child and her students at risk by bring her sick baby to class. People in general, and babies in particular, really should stay in warm and safe when they're sick so they have an easier time getting well.

Veggi... VeggieGrl

Yes bf is natural. But as a teacher and a mom it was inappropriate to bring a sick baby to class. First of all students are there after paying hundreds of dollars to watch my teacher feed her kid. So selfish of her to drag a sick baby out. Esp when there were other options available to her. Remembering how iwas as an 18 year old kid I would not be happy. Keep your kid home.

lucky... luckygirlyo

I am in school and we have lactation facilities. But you don't breastfeed andcteach. This is so odd to me-why do people even remotely think this is ok?

Jessica Gawthorp

who cares where she was breastfeeding it makes me so mad that she is getting  crap for this her child was sick and everyones know these days if you take the day off for your sick kid you get fired or wrote up so whats the difference between being able to breast feed in a resturant or in a classroom it is her right to breastfeed  where ever and when ever she wants grow up people stop bashing her for being an awsome mom

nonmember avatar jess

Totally all about breastfeeding....but as a college student AND be kind of upset. I mean how would people like me bringing my 6 mo old daughter in to class and breastfeeding? There's really no difference. Id understand if her baby was sick on the first day of class and she had to stay home. It happens.

Valerie J

She could have excused herself from the class and did what she had to do...anyway why would you bring a baby to class anyway if the baby was sick she should have stated home.

nonmember avatar Chrissy

What I think is inappropriate here is that she brought her sick child to work. Your baby is sick...I get it. Stay home and take care of him if you can't get other care for him. Her right to breastfeed anywere in public is law...but to bring her baby to the classroom just because she did not want to take the day off with him is not only inappropriate, but also incredibly unprofessional.

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