Today: Feb 26, 2024

OpEd: Allowing breastfeeding in the workplace

Chardonee Wright, Staff Writer-

Women are the epitome of multitaskers. We see it on a daily basis as women around the world juggle raising a family, going to work, and tending to household duties.
But is there a fine line that comes in between women taking care of their nurturing needs and the workplace? Some may argue yes, that family business should stay at home.
I argue no! A woman is a mother when she steps into her workplace, just as much as when she steps foot into her home.
Therefore, all 50 states should have laws implemented to give mothers breastfeeding accommodations and a set time to lactate while at work.
Currently, only 24 states have these laws.

First off, there are many great and healthy benefits of breastfeeding both for the mother and the baby.

According to Womenshealth.gov, mothers who breastfeed have lower risks of developing illnesses such as type 2 diabetes and cancer. Also, disease-fighting antibodies in breast milk can help protect the infant from developing illnesses.
Some of these diseases include allergies, obesity, sudden infant death syndrome, celiac disease, diabetes, and osteoporosis.
Since infants’ bodies are not fully developed, it is easier for them to become susceptible to these diseases and illnesses.
The first milk that a woman’s body produces is called colostrum, which contains large amounts of secretory immunoglobulin A in it. This substance forms a protective layer which guards against germs.
The layer is found in the infant’s mucous membranes in its intestines, nose, and throat.
The milk from a mother contains enough antiviral and antibacterial properties that protect a baby’s immune system.
In addition to health benefits for infants, mothers benefit greatly from breastfeeding as well.
Not only does it provide great and continuous bonding between mom and baby, but mothers who nurse for more than one year are less likely to develop high cholesterol, high blood pressure, diabetes and heart conditions.

The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that mothers breastfeed for the first six months; therefore, it is essential for breastfeeding facilities to be provided in the workplace.

No matter where you work, a time and place should be provided for nursing mothers.  That is the bottom line!
Mothers are looking out for the health benefits of nurturing their child and keeping themselves healthy. The workplace should not restrict this option from mothers.
The Natural Resources Defense Council states that breastfeeding has its economic benefits as well.
It is cheaper than buying formula and can reduce future medical bills because of the many health benefits it provides for the infant.
Additionally, a family can save an average of $200 per child in medical costs if the mother breastfeeds instead of buying formula.
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, President Barack Obama signed the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, and the Reconciliation Act in March 2010.
A section of the new law amends the Fair Labor Act of 1938.
Under this law, employers are to provide a reasonable break time and facility other than a bathroom for women to breastfeed.
The employer has the right not to compensate an employee at this time.
Currently, 40 states have laws that allow women to breastfeed in private or public locations.
Connecticut is one of the states.

There are so many great benefits for women to breastfeed. It is very important that women are not limited to benefiting their children when they come back to work.

It is great that some states have implemented and are supporting breastfeeding mothers.  For the other states that have not adapted these laws, what are you waiting for?
These are multitasking, nurturing women, and every mother should have the same freedom.
Put breastfeeding facilities in the workplace!

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