Lone Star Customer Stiffs New Breastfeeding, Pumping Mom of Twins in North Carolina



Kelsey Vetter is a brand new breastfeeding mom to 13 week old twin girls in Mount Airy, North Carolina. While at work at Lone Star Steakhouse in Mount Airy, Kelsey takes a 20 minute break to pump milk for her hungry babies at home. Pumping for her little ones is something that is not only vital to their healthy beginning in life, but is also protected by law -- working mothers have the federally sanctioned right to take a break at work to pump milk. (See laws in detail below).

However, one Lone Star customer who was sat in Kelsey's section on June 24, 2015, did not seem to understand the many reasons a young woman may need to step away from her tables for a brief time. This customer would likely benefit from learning a little more about who their server was that night --a working mom striving to do the best for her small babies. Instead of inquiring, or having compassion for what the situation may be, this customer left a large "X" scribbled where a tip would otherwise be written onto their receipt, and left nothing for Kelsey's time in waiting their table that night. In addition, on the back was a scribbled note (above).

On her Facebook page, Kelsey responds:
To the girl who left this for me tonight, and didn't tip... I apologize for the tea being "nasty" (the tea that you asked for a to-go cup in order to take it with you). All you had to do is let me know, and I could have fixed the problem. But you didn't. Also, I DID thank my manager for watching my section, and as you said "waiting on you" for the 20 minutes I had to step away to pump because I am a new mother of two 13-week-old girls whom I breastfeed. No, I don't feel the need to explain myself or warn my table that they may have someone else bring their food, or check on their drinks. I would just like people to be more aware of what a situation might be. There are laws that give breastfeeding women the right to break from their job to pump. Not everyone knows this, but it is important. It's important to understand that it is the only way that some babies eat. So to the girl who left this, I hope that in the future you might consider the big picture instead of just being rude and ignorant. #HindsightIs20/20
We would like to encourage Kelsey -- not only for standing up on behalf of thousands of other mothers who are working and pumping to balance mothering and paying bills, but also for her devotion to nursing her twins (and pumping for them when she's away). Any mom of multiples knows this is no small task, and Kelsey should be supported, encouraged, empowered -- not belittled and denied the income she works for.



Photograph of Kelsey's twin baby girls from Heavenly Angels Photography.

Federal Workplace Pumping Law

Section 7(r) of the Fair Labor Standards Act – Break Time for Nursing Mothers Provision Effective March 23, 2010, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act amended the FLSA to require employers to provide a nursing mother reasonable break time to express breast milk after the birth of her child. The amendment also requires that employers provide a place for an employee to express breast milk. Section 7 of the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938 (29 U.S.C. 207) is amended by adding at the end the following:

(r)(1) An employer shall provide— a reasonable break time for an employee to express breast milk for her nursing child for 1 year after the child’s birth each time such employee has need to express the milk; and a place, other than a bathroom, that is shielded from view and free from intrusion from coworkers and the public, which may be used by an employee to express breast milk.

(2) An employer shall not be required to compensate an employee receiving reasonable break time under paragraph (1) for any work time spent for such purpose.

(3) An employer that employs less than 50 employees shall not be subject to the requirements of this subsection, if such requirements would impose an undue hardship by causing the employer significant difficulty or expense when considered in relation to the size, financial resources, nature, or structure of the employer’s business.

(4) Nothing in this subsection shall preempt a State law that provides greater protections to employees than the protections provided for under this subsection.

United States Department of Labor: Nursing and Pumping Laws for Working Mothers: http://www.dol.gov/whd/nursingmothers/faqBTNM.htm

Breastfeeding State Laws and Federal Health Reform and Nursing Mothers: http://www.ncsl.org/research/health/breastfeeding-state-laws.aspx


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Swimming, Suits & Mesh: Cut the Lining of Your Child's Suit to Decrease Irritation Potential

By Danelle Frisbie, PhD © 2010
Originally published in Tidewater Parent Magazine



Summer is here! And with the warm and sunny days come trips to the local swimming pool, beach and lake. Every year at this time something surprising happens to many little tykes sporting their new swimsuit -- it's something that no one talks about, and often leaves parents perplexed as to what is really going on. It is what I lightheartedly call the "mesh monster" in our child care classes. That is, the mesh lining in many swimsuits is simply not a good match for the developing genitals of babies and children, and the results are something we see each year, especially among boys.

For boys who are no longer intact (i.e. they were circumcised), the extra sensitive glans (head) of the penis is left exposed, as is the meatus and opening to the urinary tract. The friction of a mesh liner can quickly exacerbate irritation, inflammation, callusing, chaffing, soreness, and may even cause blistering. In addition, the mesh assists in holding sand, salt, algae, and the bacteria that comes with these water-elements close to the genitals - further increasing chance of irritation or infection - not a good thing when striving to avoid UTIs (urinary tract infection) and other discomforts that can occur, especially in early childhood.

For boys who remain intact, the glans and meatus are protected (one function the foreskin serves) but the mesh liner of many suits is just big enough to allow for a trapping of the prepuce (foreskin). Ouch! The same also occurs with many girls (and adult women) each year if their suit or underwear is not made of solid, 'closed' material - the labia, and even external parts of the clitoris, may become pinched in mesh of any kind. Most cases of skin entrapment go unreported, but in 2006, the journal of Pediatric Emergency Care reported on three such cases when children ended up in the ER with penile injuries due to their prepuce becoming pinched in the mesh lining of their swimsuits.

No matter a child's sex, keeping wetness, sand/salt/debris from the ocean or lake, or chemicals of a pool close to the genitals is not a good idea. It throws off the delicate balance of pH and healthy microflora, increases irritation, and is cause of countless "redness" reports each year (commonly diagnosed as 'balanitis' at a physician's office). For this reason, do not have your child swim in underwear or items that don't allow for quick drying and 'breathing.' Use real swimsuits (or cloth diapers without inserts) made of fabric that wicks away and dries quickly. And when prepping this year's suits, cut the mesh liner from the suit before use. This is quick and simple to do - grab a scissors and carefully cut along the stitched-in ridge at the top of the suit. Your child will thank you, and you'll have less redness, irritation, and potential skin entrapment to deal with.

If redness does occur: coconut oil and Calmoseptine are two quality items that will not increase risk of yeast overgrowth, or further throw off pH and microflora balance of the genitals. Coconut oil alone (with some air dry time and warm water only baths) will be enough to soothe inflammation in some cases. If not, Calmoseptine will take care of everything, quickly. You can purchase at tube upon request at your local pharmacy. Always be sure to rinse with clean, fresh water post-swimming.

To prevent redness that repeats itself: apply Calmoseptine ahead of time to 'at risk' areas of the body. This is typically especially the case where swimsuit material (or a diaper, underwear) rubs on or touches the body. The Calmoseptine will serve as a barrier cream and reduce the irritation during swimming summer days. Again, be sure to rinse briefly with clean water after swimming in a pool, lake or the ocean.

If skin entrapment in a liner that was left in place occurs: GENTLY, slowly, and carefully apply vaseline or another slippery ointment if you have some nearby; stretch or tear the mesh with a tweezers or your fingers, if you are able, and/or use a scissors to cut the mesh away from the body, using extreme caution not to cut the ultra sensitive tissues of the genitals. Sliding into luke-warm water will also allow for relaxation, and a change in blood flow - potentially loosening the mesh grip on tissues as well. Post-freeing, apply Calmoseptine and/or take a soak in warm water (with Epsom salt if desired) to reduce inflammation and support the body in healing itself.


Related reading at the Intact Care Resource Page

Graphic by Intact Indiana

Graphic by Intact Utah

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