Q. I'm due to go back to work shortly, but I feel so guilty. My baby is three weeks old, breast-fed and so content.If I stay home we can't possibly meet the mortgage, but if I go back to my job I'll have to put her on the bottle. I've been reading a lot about breast-feeding and really feel it is the best way to keep her healthy and safe from allergies.
Do you think I could ask my boss to let me bring her to work so I can nurse her there? I'm a receptionist in a small printing plant and I'm sure she wouldn't be in the way. She's such a doll.
A. There are very few things you can't ask your boss, but that doesn't mean he is going to agree.Any boss who has been a parent knows how hard it would be to reach for the phone on the first ring when the baby is cooing and clutching your finger. Since he is paying you to work for him, he is almost sure to feel he will be shortchanged, and whether it happens or not, the seeds of resentment are shown.
We would like to suggest a third opinion: a bottle during the day, but always mother's milk.
This is what Marjorie Margolies, WRS'S bright and beautiful newscaster, gave her son Marc Margolies Mezvinsky, for his first eight months, even though she went back to work when he was six weeks old.
Her solution: a styrofoam carton from the liquor store -- and in it three dishwasher-clean baby bottles; two foam-freezing units and a Loyd B. pump invented in Laurel, Md.
Margolies would nurse the baby in the morning, when she got home, then at bedtime and sometimes late at night, but during the day he was fed with the milk she had collected the day before with the breast pump.
Like you, she felt it would give Marc the best antibodies, and so did the doctors.
"I wasn't a banana about it. I just figured, if it worked, it worked. It took a lot of organization and I took a lot of ribbing. They called me the 'Dairy Queen,'" Margolies said.
The carton, kept cold by the foam units that were refrozen every night, went with her on every assignment, from Senate hearings to the dedication of Metro. Several times a day she would slip into a ladies' room -- and once in the back of a reverse ambulance -- to collect the milk, which took about 10 to 15 minutes each time.
"It was really possible," she said, "because of this incredibly efficient pump."
Pat Llyod, former chairman of the board and president of the Childbirth Education Association, invented the pump after his wife Peggy, a La Leche leader, was hoptilized with a nursing baby left at home.
Today the Loyd B. is used by the World Health Organization and in hospitals around the country, including most in Washington, and is sold internationally -- 40 percent to working
The Mt. Vernon Surgical Supply, 1515 Mt. Vernon Ave., Alexandria, stocks it and so does Parent and Child, 4905 Del Ray Ave., Bethesda. The pump also can be ordered through the Lloyd's own cottage industry, Lopuco, Ltd., at 1615 Old Annapolis Rd., Woodbine, Md. 21797, for $35, plus shipping and tax. Advice on breast-feeding, with or without the pump, is free. As Pat Lloyd says, "People like to know they can call."