Breastfeeding Moms Need a Break (literally!)
There are those moments in motherhood, you know the ones, that are permanently etched in memory. I can still vividly recall the trek from my sleek office to my car to pump breast milk. This walk, which felt both stressful and shameful, was necessary because my office space had no place for me to use my breast pump. So it was pumping in the car or nothing. Not ideal to say the least.
It shouldn’t have to be that way.
Women pumping breast milk do not need any additional obstacle put in our path. And doctors agree: Breastfeeding is best for babies and moms. In fact, because of breastfeeding’s significant health benefits for both babies and mothers, all major medical authorities recommend that mothers breastfeed exclusively for six months and continue breastfeeding for at least the first year. Many moms plan to nurse but hit seemingly insurmountable hurdles when they return to work—and three-quarters of moms are either the primary or co-breadwinner these days, so returning to work is a big deal. But sadly returning to work is too often a significant barrier to breastfeeding, putting moms at risk.
*We can change this! Help mothers meet their breastfeeding goals by asking our lawmakers to support working mothers!
By signing our open letter to Congress above, you’ll be urging Congress to pass the Support Working Mothers Act that would expand protections for all breastfeeding mothers who work outside of the home.
This law is needed to close giant gaps in the law. At this time, federal law only requires employers to provide nursing mothers who earn their wages hourly (“non-exempt” employees) reasonable amount of break time to express milk as frequently as needed and a private non-bathroom space. However, this is good, but it leaves millions of salaried workers without any protections at all.
This is a big gap in the law that must be closed! A fair and uniform policy must be put into place to cover all types of employees and the federal law should be extended to teachers, administrative professionals and professional employees that are currently left out.
In a rare but promising sign, this bill is already receiving bipartisan support! All we need now is to raise our voices and let our lawmakers know that they too should get behind this bill! When you sign on, we’ll deliver your signature to your members of Congress to let them know we’re counting on them. And the more signatures we have, the bigger the impact: So please post this action link on Facebook, Twitter, and even forward this email to a few friends. Together, we are a powerful force.
Sign now and let your U.S. Senators know that the Supporting Working Mothers Act (SWMA) must pass!
Together we can stand for all working mothers and help them give their kids the solid start they wish for them.