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The Right Motivation

By Paulette D. Bulger
Cold Lake, Alberta Canada
From: NEW BEGINNINGS, Vol. 17, No. 3, May-June 2000 p. 88

I knew my husband, Ron, was supportive of breastfeeding, but it wasn't until he came home from work and shared this story that I knew how much he valued breastfeeding.

At that time, Ron was the supervisor of a workshop full of radio technicians in the Canadian military. One woman, Pauline, had never been the hardest worker; she was the first one to take a break and the last one to get back to her work. Her skills were adequate, but she had little motivation.

On Pauline's first day back from her maternity leave, Ron found out that she was breastfeeding her baby. She had arranged child care close by and was planning to rush to the babysitter's at lunchtime to nurse him. Breaks, at 15 minutes each, were too short for pumping or nursing her son. Pauline was a single mother, so she did not have a partner who could bring the baby to her or help her out in other ways that many of us take for granted.

Ron called Pauline into his office, and after the congratulations and small talk, he told her that breastfeeding was a very important thing, perhaps the most important thing she could do for her baby. He reminded her that for breastfeeding to work best, she would need to go to her baby at regular intervals. Then he told her that she would be free to go to her baby whenever she needed to, and that she could take her time and not feel rushed.

For Pauline, that was all the motivation she needed. A couple of weeks later, Ron reported that her productivity level had increased dramatically! All it took was a new baby, a supervisor who believed in her, and the support of her co-workers. She was happy at work for the first time.

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