Good News for Working Moms Who Breastfeed

Cynthia Dermody
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Seems like I'm learning something new about the Senate's health care overhaul bill every day. Today I learned that breastfeeding has a part in the plan ... and I think a lot of working and nursing baby mamas will like what it has to say.

Here's how Kaiser Health News reports it:

In the proposal, employers would be required to provide an unpaid "reasonable break time for nursing mothers" in the first year after giving birth. Women would be provided a private place, other than a bathroom, to use a breast pump. (The provision exempts companies with fewer than 50 workers if the requirement would impose "an undue hardship," a determination left to the employer to make."

This provision was inserted by Sen. Jeff Merkley, D-Ore., who in June introduced the Breastfeeding Promotion Act. Merkley is promoting breast feeding partly as a way to cut health costs. He cites studies showing breast-fed children have a lower rate of disease and illness in their lifetime. 

But employers see yet another expense. "Every additional mandated rule further burdens employers who are struggling to keep jobs afloat," says Neil Trautwein, vice president of the National Retail Federation.

Twenty-four states already have protections for nursing mothers in the workplace, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

Do you think working moms are discouraged from pumping in the workplace?

 

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