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Coworker Asks Working Mom To Stop Breastfeeding During Zoom Meetings

The coronavirus pandemic has changed the way many of us live our everyday lives. While the spread of the virus continues, many of us are stuck in our homes self-isolating to protect ourselves and others.

Many companies and businesses have switched to working remotely.

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Fortunately, there are some industries that can support business and productivity while having employees work from their homes.

With technology being so innovative, having company and staff meetings is pretty easy.

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Thanks to websites like Zoom and Google Meet, having a full staff meeting is virtually flawless when everyone can log in online and join in the conversation.

However, with everyone stuck at home, things can get rather messy.

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Some people have had some slip-ups. There have been reports of people who stood up without pants on or even said inappropriate things without muting themselves on the call. It happens — right?

One guy, however, wrote into Reddit because he was "fed up" with his coworker showing up to Zoom meets and breastfeeding her child.

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Reddit user Carl2011 posted on the "Am I The A**hole" thread asking if he was wrong for, "asking someone to turn off video while breastfeeding their baby on a zoom call?"

In the post he explains that she keeps both her camera and mic on while breastfeeding.

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"For work we have morning conference calls. These don’t require video even if you’re talking. One of our coworkers has a baby and she breastfeeds her baby while we are on a video call. Obviously babies need to be fed but she doesn’t mute her mic or turn off video," the user explained.

He went on to say that he messaged his coworker.

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"We don’t see the full boob but she doesn’t cover up. I asked her in a private message to shut off her video during the zoom call and she was livid. I didn’t ask publicly I asked in private. She told me it’s rude to talk with no video on and she has the right to feed her baby," he said.

Many people sided with the Reddit user, saying that, in person, this would not fly.

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One person wrote:

"I don't expect to sit across the conference room table and watch someone breastfeed. Zoom calls are the same thing. There is a time and place."

Another said it's a "non-issue" if she just turns off the camera.

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"All she has to do is cut the video feed. It’s a non-issue for her to do that. My sister-in-law has a toddler who constantly requires her attention. That doesn’t mean her employer should be happy with it if her toddler is bouncing around her computer while she’s in a work conference."

One Reddit user even pointed out that she would be uncomfortable, too.

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The Reddit user claimed to be supportive of the "Free The Nipple" movement, but said this was taking it too far.

"I don't think this is a case of discrimination. I'd be uncomfortable if a male colleague was on a video call shirtless as well. Yes, she absolutely has a right to feed her baby, and if she were feeding or pumping in an office, where she had no choice but to risk y'all catching a glimpse, then she should go ahead anyways, because, well, there's no choice. But on video calls, you're right that it would have been easy for her to turn off her camera."

Many agreed that she could just turn off her camera to solve this issue.

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Many Reddit users said the mom has the right to feed her child when she wants, but turning off the camera while she is doing so doesn't hinder her ability to still partake in the Zoom meeting.

However, there were people who said the man was being "immature."

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"It's a boob and she's feeding her baby with it. I'm beyond my childbearing years but I do work in a white-collar job and to be honest, if you asked one of my colleagues to turn off the video while feeding I'd laugh at you," one user said.

Another said that breastfeeding needs to be more "normalized."

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One Reddit user responded saying, if people normalized it, it wouldn't be an issue.

"People need to stop being so weird about breastfeeding. The more you see it, the more used to it you will be. She should do it on the camera explicitly so that people who think breastfeeding is gross become more exposed to it."

One even said the post was "discrimination."

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Another user said it was "parental discrimination."

"This is about a woman with a child being allowed to engage with work in the same way as everyone else. She might not have childcare, a baby needs to feed when a baby needs to feed, it's not a choice and pumping isn't always practical and shouldn't be forced on people. She should be allowed to engage in the meeting in the same way as everyone else. She obviously believes having the webcam on has a practical advantage to engage with the meeting and therefore it's her choice to have it on or not - you're welcome to look away if you're offended."

Although the internet was divided, it seemed that the majority of users sided with the original poster.

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All in all, the majority of Reddit users who responded to the post said that the original poster was "not the a**hole." They agreed that a work meeting is not the place to be breastfeeding, and there is no problem with turning off the camera and listening to the meeting while it still goes on.

Turning off the camera does not interfere with the ability to stay in the meeting.

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In fact, some said it may make it easier for her to listen in on the meeting and not have to worry about what's showing and what's not on the camera.

Times are weird right now, and everyone is doing their best to accommodate work and family.

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With employees trying their best from home, we might just have to be more reasonable about what's expected from everyone.