This mom’s choice: Nurse her baby or quit the Postal Service

November 18, 2016

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.

Gray was 20, a career mail carrier for the U.S. Postal Service who drove a truck or van in Seattle’s Wallingford neighborhood. The drought happened, she said, because she wasn’t given time or space she found acceptable to pump breast milk.

So Gray was faced with a choice: Quit working and nurse little Daveah, or keep working and switch to formula.

Pumping – which moms do to express breast milk, often on the job – became one of many rights for women under the Affordable Care Act of 2010, or Obamacare. Employers with 50 or more workers must give moms space and time to pump. It’s unclear whether President-elect Donald Trump would eliminate this right if he gets rid of Obamacare, as he has promised to do.

Gray assumed her work would provide a place where she could pump. But on her first day back from maternity leave, she said her supervisors didn’t answer her about where she should pump.

“The first day, they give me this long route; I didn’t pump all day,” she said. “That’s just the most painful thing you can ever feel having to walk around for eight hours a day with milk swollen.”

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9 Comments on "This mom’s choice: Nurse her baby or quit the Postal Service"

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Amy Nunez

That is sad

Laura Mark

She doesn’t need to quit, I did it for a year as an rca. Where there’s a will, there’s a way.

Judith Drudge

They make pumps that use the cigarette lighter plugs. I used to pump on my 30 minute lunch break.

Lisa Ann Cogan

Our LLVs don’t have the lighters anymore. I haven’t seen those in 10+ yrs

Judith Drudge

Wow. We have a couple that don’t have them, but most of ours do. I just got an LLV, had a chevy uplander for the last 5 years but the supervisor told me he needed the van to deliver express! Best thing to happen to my route!

Peggy Burggraf

Most don’t work, I did both, nursed at night and my husband did formula during the day. Not a problem. 5 very healthy kids.

Jenna-Nichole Olson

My routes evaluations are AWFUL and I just can’t take time to sit and eat lol so I invested my money in freemie cups and pumped while I delivered. If you want something bad enough you’ll make it work.

Vanessa Flores

My LLv Lighter works…..I’ve heard they have Been taking the fuses Out so People cant use em for whatever reason

Judith Drudge

Yes, we were missing fuses. One guy went to the auto parts store and bought more!

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