Breastfeeding on a zoom call. Yay or nay? Was awkward in the call today. With webcam on. No one said anything but can tell from the faces the bewilderment. 5 people call. 3 women and 2 men. Kept up to point and wrapped the call quickly. I am one of the males btw.

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JC can we please just give this woman the benefit of the doubt? We’re in an unprecedented time where we have no choice but to work from our homes without the benefit of childcare. Even if her decision isn’t the one YOU personally would have made can we agree that as working moms are almost always doing some complicated calculus on how to best juggle personal/professional obligations without being judged or penalized by co-workers?

If you can concede that point, it’s not a huge leap to imaging she probably made a judgment call that went something like this “baby starts hunger crying. Quickly latching baby discretely below screen < disruptive and more productive than leaving call, getting/prepping bottle or continuing to calm baby through other means”

Sure it may have been slightly distracting for the moment the group recognized it was happening but unless she continued to fidget with/coo at baby/blatantly flashed her nip at everyone throughout the call it’s just as unprofessional for others on the call to not be able bring their own focus back to the topic
at hand. Momentary disruptions happen in meetings all the time and people get over them.

Also please quit with the ‘you wouldn’t do this in an office!’. We don’t have offices to go to which means babies are now present in the 9-5. I’m pretty sure we’ve all seen someone with a pet sitting in their lap on a call and I haven’t seen that trigger a 400 comment controversial thread. So anyone saying ‘this isn’t about breastfeeding stigma it’s about distractions’ isnt being honest with themselves

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I am hearing a lot of excuses justifying the public display of this personal act...WFH is a challenge but for goodness sake, just turn the damn camera off when you are “multitasking”.

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I am a breastfeeding mom who will return from maternity leave next week. I can count how many zoom calls I had prior to mat leave so this will be pretty new for me. I am shocked how many zoom calls with cameras on are already on my schedule for the next few weeks. I am adding my 2 cents because I feel like people might not realize how much of my day is spent nursing. My baby eats every 2.5-3 hours and each feeding takes about 30 minutes (he had a tongue tie as a newborn and is still a slow eater. Additionally bottle feeding sets us back as it makes it harder on him to switch back to boob and I am a just enougher so pumping instead of feeding negatively impacts my supply and my son has a strong preference to breastmilk over formula).

So let’s say I have 6 hours of zoom calls one day (which is a very real scenario on my current calendar), I likely need to nurse one hour of that time frame. I would cover or move the camera so it’s just the top of my face showing. My preference would of course be camera off but there seems to be a lot of pressure on having the camera on.

For people who ask what would you do if we were back in the office, Sure I would probably be pumping and supplementing with formula but I wouldn’t be worried about a global pandemic and the antibodies breastmilk can provide.

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I often (OFTEN) turn my camera off just because I dont feel like having ppl stare at my face, or because I haven't washed my hair or any million stupid reasons. Ppl just need to get over it. So far no pushback and if someone is silently judging me well that's on them

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Female here, but that’s a big no. Would a woman seriously sit in the middle of an in-person meeting in a conference room and breastfeed their baby? It’s unprofessional. Just turn the camera off

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Exactly just turn the camera off. If anyone asks she could tell them she was breast feeding.

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Woman (and mom) here and think it is acceptable given the disruptions of daily life present in calls all the time now. Maybe “unprofessional” but so is your kid running around in the background interrupting you and I don’t think people would be so quick to say turn the camera off. I’ve done a few calls on video with my toddler sitting in my lap and would do the same if I were breastfeeding right now.

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As a woman, I think it’s unprofessional with the camera on—just as I would find it unprofessional if a colleague were eating on camera during a call. If you need to feed your child or eat during a call, turn the damn camera off.

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Turn camera off, why show?

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Right? Seems like a no-brainer

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Definitely nay, and I'm very pro-bf. Very, very awkward situation.

I'd apologize and turn the camera off. The kid needs to eat, but it's not exactly appropriate in a professional setting.

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Agreed; very pro BF, but not something to do on camera. Simply excuse yourself and then off the camera and continue the call.

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Easy solution to that: turn the camera off. Unless your company is one of those awful companies that demand that people have their cameras on. In which case, I’d say fuck you all, you get to feel awkward!

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Personally, I would turn the camera off. Save everyone the potential for an accidental nip slip or spit up. 

When I was coming up, one of my favorite managers frequently pumped while on client calls. For those that don’t know, pumps until a few years ago, we’re fairly not easy and obvious what was happening.

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SA4, do you change out the containers mid pump? I too am an overproducer, 5oz containers would not be large enough.

When I was a junior strategist (mid 20s) I had to run some in home Qual Groups that we filmed. One lady breastfed her child and I was quite awkward and bewildered by the situation. When I got back to the office I told the editor that Wednesday evening’s footage was going to be a bit confronting and he was mortified having to edit it. Fast forward 10 years, I’m thankful for that woman. As a working mum who has had to breastfeed while balancing work, I look back to her normalised attitude to breastfeeding as something I needed to be exposed to for this point in my life. All of which to say, the Mom who went ahead and did that deserves a pat on the back. Destigmatising breastfeeding needs to happen as it’s one of the most normal things in the world that’s been made to feel awkward and like it should be a hidden activity. You get a weird combination of judgement (women) and leering (men) in public and it needs to end.

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Cap1, SM6: you’re missing the point. Yeah, the guy’s a creep but I still have to deal with being leered at. It may be “his issue,” but I experience the consequence.

Breastfeeding- Ok
Camera on - Unnecessary

Why didn’t y’all turn your cameras off in case she forgot?

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Yay if covered with a blanket. A baby has to feed

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Neither of my babies ever stayed under a blanket or cover, they always hit it off and screamed if they couldn't see my face

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Why wouldn’t they just turn the camera off?

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Australian Senator breastfeeding whilst making a motion, pretty sure we can breastfeed whilst in our home on a zoom call.

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Lol, can’t compare a politician to normal work. Politicians do things for political capital and should never be a barometer of social norms.

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Isn’t this what maternity leave is supposed to be for?

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Wow

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Doesn’t bother me. If it was me I’d probably put video off, but baby doesn’t care about your meeting schedule and it’s a definite improvement over screaming through the whole call.

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She was feeding her child. It’s honestly time to stop being weirded out by breastfeeding.

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Breats may not be sexual organs, but I wouldn’t say they’re on the same level as an arm or shoulder. I’d to go jail if I walked up and tapped a woman on the breast.

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If you wouldn’t do it in a meeting IRL just turn the cam off

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No - s/he’s not in middle school, but s/he’s definitely a low staff level and will “cute comment” themselves out of a Big 4 quickly.

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Men might not know that you're not always in complete control of when you breastfeed. I'd rather have a baby under my shirt than be leaking through my shirt in pain (on zoom).

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Whatever!

I don’t think it’s professional and I would never think of doing it. I also wouldn’t sit my kid in a high chair on camera and feed him with a spoon on a work conference call. I also see no need to risk making coworkers uncomfortable during work tIme. The only way I would ever do that is if I just called in and didn’t use the camera. But really I try to keep work and private life separate.

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A2 why do you have to make this about me being against breastfeeding specifically when I fully said I would turn off my camera even to feed myself? Again, I just think common courtesy is to remove distractions where possible (i.e. take the half millisecond to turn off the camera when feeding a baby). No one said anything to your husband but were they distracted from the meeting? To each their own and I’ve stated my piece regarding professional conduct, regardless of whether it’s breastfeeding or self-feeding. If you and your husband don’t believe that it’s rude or disruptive, and your coworkers didn’t vocalize their opposition, great! You live your life the way you want. But I’m just here telling you that there are folks in this world that would see something like that as unnecessarily distracting when the only effort required to avoid it was to turn off a camera. If you’re ok with that, and believe that just because no one said anything that means that no one cared, all the power to you.

I understand that you’re a strong proponent of normalizing breastfeeding in public but making an enemy out of someone who has clearly already stated that they’re on the same page as you but takes a different stance in one nuanced situation, makes you come off as radicalized and detracts from your message. My belief is that if you want to see change in the world, it’s always easier by making friends rather than by making enemies. To try and prove a point by demonizing someone already on your side is not the way to go, imo.

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I’m pro-breast feeding and desexualizing breasts but is nothing private anymore? Multi-tasking is awesome but just turn the camera off.

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KPMG 9 they think they can define what it means to human as if it is in their power to do so... I sometimes think these people could be aliens from a different galaxy who know nothing about human nature...

That’s bizarre and seems like an unnecessary attention grab

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Yeah that’s why women breastfeed

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