National Breastfeeding Month: Breaking down the stigma – Week 4

August 22, 2019

In this final installment during National Breastfeeding Month, everyone can get involved to make breastfeeding work for the new mom. The United States Breastfeeding Committee and the World Health Organization suggest these tips for employers, co-workers, lawmakers and unions to support mom and baby:

What employers can do:

• Respect national laws on paid and maternity leave
• Provide a place and time to express (pump) milk
• Provide options for mothers such as onsite child care
• Offer flexible work schedules
• Offer part-time work

What co-workers can do:

• Let mothers bring their babies to work
• Be supportive of the mother who needs time and flexibility to breastfeed
• Encourage new mothers with a positive, accepting attitude
• Recognize the months after having a baby are special

What lawmakers can do:

• Require employers to provide places and protected time for mothers to express (pump) milk at work
• Prevent discrimination against women and mothers in the workplace
• Provide an ample amount of maternity leave for new parents

What unions can do:

• Inform women about their rights
• Ensure breastfeeding women’s voices are heard through consultations and negotiations
• Advocate for maternity provisions through collective agreements

Beloved, the bottom line is breastfeeding is still arousing feelings of scorn and disgust and women breastfeeding in public continue to be the brunt of slutty jokes. This disdain has caused distress for mothers and some do not start breastfeeding or some end breastfeeding early. Notwithstanding, there are many protests around the world that are advocating for a woman’s right to breastfeed in public. Breastfeeding is important for both mom and baby. Let’s not sexualize something that is better for mom and baby and is as natural as breathing.

Source: United States Breastfeeding Committee: Support Changes Everything @ http://www.usbreastfeeding.org/p/cm/ld/fid=839#week4

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