July 03, 2018

Tammy Duckworth's Maternity Leave Might Be Over, But She's Bringing Her Breastfed Newborn To The Office

Source: Romper


Let's get real for a moment: exclusively breastfeeding a young infant is hard work. As nursing moms know all too well, this around-the-clock responsibility is basically a full-time job in itself. So when maternity leave ends and a new mom is expected to leave her baby for a good chunk of the day, there are more than a few logistical hurdles to address. What if the baby refuses to take a bottle? Will the mother even have a clean, private place to pump if she can't nurse throughout the day? How can a working mom fulfill her career obligations while also ensuring her baby has enough breastmilk? Politician-moms are no exception to these issues. And while Tammy Duckworth's maternity leave might be over, she's planning on bringing her breastfed newborn to the office.

It's worth noting that while the mom of two was out on maternity leave, she wasn't ever completely detached from her work responsibilities. Her staff sent her a briefing book on a weekly basis, according to the Chicago Sun-Times, on top of Duckworth making appearances to vote/carry out other duties with her infant in tow. “I came in not every week but I came in frequently to vote and do things," she told the publication. “It was both a blessing because I have a job that I could take the time and spend as much time as I wanted with her. But it was really scary and depressing as I watched Justice Kennedy (retire) and I watched families being separated.”

There's no doubt in my mind that Tammy Duckworth is a bad*ss mom and Senator. But when it comes down to it, she's just doing what needs to be done to get the job done. It's awesome that she was able to take 12 weeks of maternity leave while still fulfilling her duties. It's equally awesome that she is bringing her baby girl to work with her, and that her office is so accommodating. So let me ask you this: What if all working mothers were afforded these same rights? Because I have a feeling more of us could be equally as amazing if workplaces adopted more family-friendly policies. For now though, Sen. Duckworth is leading by example and showing fellow women the sky is the limit — if we're only given equal opportunity to "do it all."

By:  Michelle Stein