Wednesday, February 09, 2005

Nursing mothers exempt from jury duty under bill ( Online)
By CHRISTINA NUCKOLS, The Virginian-Pilot
© February 10, 2005 | Last updated 9:28 PM Feb. 9
"RICHMOND — Pam Greene raised her hand when the judge asked members of the jury pool if they couldn’t serve. She asked if she could approach the bench to explain, and five attorneys – all men – followed her. Embarrassed, the Falls Church woman told the judge that she was breast-feeding her 4-month-old child. “The judge said, 'Well, we provide plenty of breaks,’” Greene recalled. “At that point, I’m feeling really intimidated so I said, 'Well, OK.’ ” Greene was surprised by her experience last year, especially since the judge was a woman. She decided to ask her state delegate to change Virginia law to automatically exempt breast-feeding mothers from jury duty. “I made it work because I had to make it work,” she said in a telephone interview. “But the whole thing was just a pain....”

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So far, most state lawmakers have been sympathetic. The House of Delegates approved the bill two weeks ago, and a Senate panel endorsed it Wednesday. The full Senate is expected to vote on the measure next week.

Virginia law already exempts from jury duty any parent with children up to age 16 who require continuous care. While that covers many breast-feeding mothers, some women return to work before their children have been weaned from breast milk." - Health - HealthWatch: Banking On Breast Milk, UPDATED: 11:03 am CST February 9, 2005
"CHICAGO -- It's a drink so beneficial that its claims include protection against infections and allergies, and even the possibility of making you smarter. In a special HealthWatch report Tuesday night, Nesita Kwan reported that women all over the world make this drink for their babies every day. It's breast milk. Now, Kwan said, some women who can't produce breast milk are choosing to buy it. The benefits of breast milk are so numerous that a new kind of bank is springing up in this country; the breast milk bank. The concept may seem a little odd to those who aren't accustomed to the idea, but Kwan said a growing number of women say mother's milk is so good that it's worth it at almost any price. The image of a baby cuddled at the breast completes the romantic ideal of motherhood, but the science behind this intimate act increasingly shows that mother's milk is the perfect first food. 'Nothing can substitute,' said human milk scientist Paula Meier, with Rush University Medical Center. Kwan said that Meier and other scientists lead world class programs to encourage breast feeding. But nursing isn't always an option, such as in the case of Bahia Reneau, a Naperville mother who adopted her son, Landon. She tried formula milk, but it caused cramps and constipation. So, believing that breast milk is best, she and her husband are choosing to buy it from someone else. 'Within a day, he actually had a huge bowel movement. He goes every day now,' Reneau said. 'He's definitely ... just very happy and calm and real easy....'"