Workplace Still not Friendly to New Lactating Moms
In 2000, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention set a national goal to increase the proportion of mothers who continue to breast feed their babies through the early months to 75 percent by the year 2010.
Professional, retail, and manufacturing sector women decide against breast feeding or stop nursing after returning to work, fearing it will interfere or cost them their jobs.
Additionally, mothers say that their reasons to stop breast feeding or breast pumping is due to a combination of factors. The first factor moms say causes them to stop breastmilk production is the shear amount of energy needed to breast pump or feed in the workplace.
Breast feeding becomes a huge barrier and moms are typically not up to the challenge of educating their superiors or finding ways to get to their baby or get their baby to them.
Breast pumpers have similar problems, but add to it, the complications of carrying a breast pump and storage for the breastmilk, then finding a place to pump in the workplace, and getting the boss to allow the breaks to do pumping. Remember, this is a new mom, who just added a huge workload to her life. She has her family, home and now job, plus the pumping and milk storage. To all this, this woman is still recovering from nine months of pregnancy, birth and maybe even a Cesarean Section.
Presently, 71 % of mothers now work and only 22 states have laws relating to lactating mothers in the workplace. The national goal of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is to increase the proportion of mothers who continue to provide breastmilk for their babies from birth to 6 months. The 2008 statistics from CDC is that 34% of mothers offer breast milk to their babies for 6 months. Their 2010 goal is 75 % is unrealistic in the present workplace environment.
The fact that 34% of women are still producing breast milk at 6 months is a wonderful testament to women’s resilience.