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November 13, 2014
Are hospitals failing to support breastfeeding? This is a bold question but one that has yet again surfaced after a mom in Lubbock, TX was thrown out of her OB’s office at the University Medical Center for breastfeeding her 4-month-old infant.
Breastfeeding is no doubt a controversial topic and one that is making headlines more frequently thanks celebrity breastfeeding selfies, nursing moms getting either thrown out or banned for breastfeeding, and even working breastfeeding moms not being treated fairly according to the Affordable Care Act.
One would think that of all places, nursing moms would be protected and even applauded in a hospital’s OB office. In fact, back in 1991 WHO (World Health Organization) and UNICEF partnered to create the Baby-friendly Hospital Initiative (BFHI). The initiative is a global effort to implement practices that protect, promote and support breastfeeding. Currently, only 215 hospitals and birthing centers in 45 U.S. States and the District of Columbia hold the Baby Friendly designation.
Back to the nursing mom in Lubbock, TX; not only was she completely in her rights to nurse her infant according to state law, her rights were violated and subsequently denied her infant of necessary medical treatment. At the University Medical Center for her baby’s vaccine appointment, this new mommy was told she was not allowed to breastfeed in the lobby and was asked to breastfeed in the bathroom!
We will spare you all of the back and forth between new mommy and University Medical Center but suffice to say cancelling the infant’s vaccine appointment and throwing the mom out of the establishment was beyond inappropriate.
It is quite ironic, actually. Breastfeeding is promoted due to the health benefits for mom and baby, but when it comes to actually breastfeeding, moms find themselves in a sticky situation. Urged to breastfeed and then shamed for breastfeeding. Where is the logic?
Unfortunately, this is not the only incident where a nursing mom has been shamed and even banished for acting within her legal rights to feed her infant. The news is crawling with these troubling stories which is why it is so important for nursing moms to know their rights and to take action if they experience such issues.
Just like you have a voice in your breastpump, you have a voice when you are breastfeeding! Part of knowing your rights is knowing that the Affordable Care Act requires most health insurance companies to provide breastfeeding support, services, and equipment for pregnant and nursing women. So go ahead – qualify for your free breastpump, know your rights, and be proud you are choosing to give your child the best possible start at life. For immediate assistance feel free to call us at 844-867-9890. We look forward to hearing from you!