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Old 03-17-2012, 12:25 AM   #1
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I work part time for a drug and alcohol treatment agency for women that are pregnant or who have children. We currently have a client that is nursing a 2 year old, and last week during a meeting a counselor brought up this particular client and made the comment "...well, I find it disgusting; and she's only doing it for her benefit", etc. I was not in this meeting but it was passed on to me during shift change (when we relay the information about the clients throughout the day).

I felt that the issue should be addressed, so I sent an email to the other staff members that was very simple and to the point. It was basically some reputable breastfeeding information including the topic of breastfeeding beyond infancy and the benefits of nursing in and of itself. I cited all my resources and used quotes from the AAP, WHO, and AAFP. My goal was purely to inform, I did not put any opinions or claims that did not have factual basis behind them.

Needless to say, it was not well-received. Apparently some people were very ticked off, and others were just indifferent. When I sent it, I knew that there would probably be discussion and some people would be defensive about their own infant feeding choices or comments they had made about this particular client, but I told myself that it was "for the greater good" and that I would take the heat if it meant that some day in the future someone that was uneducated about EBF came upon a toddler nursing they wouldn't be "put off" or "disgusted".

So now...I don't know what to do. I'm not sure whether to just let it blow over and not go any further with it? Should I apologize for sending it? The problem is that I only work 2 days a week and they are 3rd shift hours, so I don't really "see" a lot of people so I myself am not getting a ton of static about it but I know there is talk. And to be clear, I don't feel I need to apologize for the content of the message, but more to the fact that I didn't mean to offend anyone? If that makes sense? At the same time, I hate that this client was talked about like she was doing something really wrong for her child, when in fact it was just the opposite; and the counselor that is supposed to be helping her through addiction and getting back on her feet cannot recognize the good parenting choices that she is making.

Anyway, I just really needed some words of encouragement and someone to tell me that I didn't make a huge mistake opening up this can of worms...

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Old 03-17-2012, 01:53 AM   #2
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Re: Help me feel better...

I would just let it blow over. I wouldn't apologize because you didn't do anything wrong. As long as you kept your opinion out of it and just passed along information then it shouldn't be a big deal. The person should feel bad for discussing a client in such a way.
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Old 03-17-2012, 09:48 AM   #3
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Re: Help me feel better...

I think you should be proud of what you did. There is nothing to apologize for--even for making waves. If your colleagues were talking that way about some other, more socially acceptable behavior, I'm sure there would be an uproar about how inappropriate that is in a professional environment where you're supposed to be helping and supporting clients.
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Old 03-17-2012, 10:16 AM   #4
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Unless your boss if upset I'd let it blow over.
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Old 03-17-2012, 12:53 PM   #5
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Re: Help me feel better...

I agree with PP's. This counselor needs to know that it's ok. Especially if he's counseling these people. What if that's the best nutrition this child is getting and he convinces her to wean? Or makes her feel like a bad person for nursing? I think counselors should be more open-minded....
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Old 03-17-2012, 01:16 PM   #6
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Re: Help me feel better...

Quote:
Originally Posted by mibarra View Post
I agree with PP's. This counselor needs to know that it's ok. Especially if he's counseling these people. What if that's the best nutrition this child is getting and he convinces her to wean? Or makes her feel like a bad person for nursing? I think counselors should be more open-minded....
Well said....I think you did the right thing and I would not oppologize...
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Old 03-17-2012, 02:48 PM   #7
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Re: Help me feel better...

agree with others. I think what you did was inform and did nothing wrong
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Old 03-17-2012, 06:12 PM   #8
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Thanks everyone. You've certainly reassured me that what I did was okay.

So many of the children of our clients have major attachment and behavioral issues because their mothers have not been a consistent sober presence in their lives (and the majority used during pregnancy) so to see someone having a healthy relationship with her child and it called out as inappropriate really bothers me.
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Old 03-17-2012, 06:19 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mibarra
I agree with PP's. This counselor needs to know that it's ok. Especially if he's counseling these people. What if that's the best nutrition this child is getting and he convinces her to wean? Or makes her feel like a bad person for nursing? I think counselors should be more open-minded....
The counselor is a woman, which irritates me even more. The very few men we have working there have made no mention of it (they probably haven't even noticed, lol). And yes, as a counselor she should be more open-minded,
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Old 03-17-2012, 06:22 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by VeganCupcake
I think you should be proud of what you did. There is nothing to apologize for--even for making waves. If your colleagues were talking that way about some other, more socially acceptable behavior, I'm sure there would be an uproar about how inappropriate that is in a professional environment where you're supposed to be helping and supporting clients.
Excellent point.
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