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August 11, 2014
There is a laundry list of breastfeeding benefits for both mom and baby. This beautiful phenomenon not only promotes bonding between mom and baby, but breast milk provides perfect infant nutrition, contains immunities to diseases and aids in the development of baby’s immune system. We’ve all read about, heard about or witnessed the benefits of breastfeeding but what is often not discussed are the hardships that many women face when they head back to work. Working breastfeeding moms often face obstacles when they need to pump at work, including but not limited to lost wages, lack of privacy and even dirty bathrooms.
Let’s begin with a bold statement: the hardships that working breastfeeding moms face is due to a lack of education by their constituents. What many employers and managers do not understand is that a woman’s right to pump her breast milk at work is protected under federal law as a provision of the Affordable Care Act, a.k.a Obama Care. Women are entitled to reasonable break times throughout the day to express milk for up to one year post partum and a clean and private location that is not a bathroom. The issue here is that even if working breastfeeding moms are allowed time to use their breastpump at work, they are often banished to the bathroom. Bathrooms are considered incredibly unsanitary for this act because moms are producing and handling what is food for an infant. If an employer/manager thinks it is acceptable for a mother to pump in the bathroom they should be asked if they would like their food prepared in one as well.
Many women have filed complaints with the Labor Department and are not only claiming a lack of privacy and being forced to pump in bathrooms, but also claiming a loss in wages. Working breastfeeding moms are being forced to clock out of work and go to a different location to express their milk which is a gross violation of the laws put in place to protect nursing moms. Women are encouraged to breastfeed yet they are not granted the accommodations and flexibility when they return to work. The biggest issue working breastfeeding moms face is the lack of awareness of the law by both parties. Working breastfeeding moms are often not aware of their federal rights and employers/managers are not aware of their responsibilities to nursing moms.
Aeroflow understands that many nursing women face hardships when they return to work and it is up to all of us to keep raising awareness so each working breastfeeding mom is granted the same respect and rights. The Affordable Care Act not only federally protects nursing moms in the workplace but it also requires insurance providers to extend support to breastfeeding moms. This provision includes breastpumps and Aeroflow is dedicated to helping women just like you get yours free through insurance! Give us a call today at 844-867-9890 or fill out the Qualify Through Insurance form and let us help you navigate your breastpump options!
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