When I returned to work as a reporter at NBC Connecticut after the birth of my second daughter in 2019, I was told I couldn’t return to the station’s designated mothers’ room during the day to pump breast milk like I had after my first child. “Find a Target or a hospital,” they said. It was humiliating.
I was accused of being unable to do my job— one I did well for a long time. I was “sent home” after stopping back at the station to pump one day. I was forced to email and call managers every day, every time I pumped, where I was (sometimes that was a firehouse, police station or first selectman’s office) and how long it would take. It was degrading.
They set mandated pump times. Faced with constant deadlines, I had no choice but to skip pumping sometimes. I was scrutinized and was told I was a poor performer and that a manager would need to shadow me for several days to observe my work and “my pumping.” It was difficult.
Then, they didn’t allow me to return to work from a short medical leave because they hadn’t decided if they could accommodate my pumping.
That’s how my TV career ended.
It’s taken me more than a year to write this post, and I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t afraid. This video is from about a month after I went back.
Connecticut state laws protect a mother’s right to breastfeed her child. NBC’s policies offer generous parental leave.
Laws and policies are not enough. The people who did this to me were women.