Support for ALL Working Moms

Most of us are by now aware of Federal legislation protecting nursing moms at work. But many people don’t know that this law has some technicalities that actually leave many nursing, working mothers unprotected in the bathroom if they want to pump–millions of moms who work as teachers and nurses, for instance…and technically any mom who earns a salary vs an hourly pay rate.lawmakers writing notes

The United States Breastfeeding Coalition is reaching out to lawmakers to urge them to revisit this bill to make it inclusive for all  working moms. The Support Working Moms Act will ensure that all working moms can have access to break time to pump, non-bathroom space to safely express their milk for one year following their child’s birth.

It’s pretty simple for even lay people to help the USBC. They’ve made a form letter we can send to our state representatives (and even look up who this representative might be if you’re unsure!) and congressmen/women.

The form letter reminds lawmakers that, “The Supporting Working Moms Act of 2013, introduced by Senator Jeff Merkley and Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney, would ensure a fair and uniform national policy by extending the existing federal provision to cover approximately 12 million executive, administrative, and professional employees.”

It also explains that new construction or work environment changes aren’t mandatory–we can pump behind a screen or in a temporary space.

The bottom line is that this legislation makes sense for families and employers. According to the HHS Business Case for Breastfeeding, employers that provide lactation support experience an impressive return on investment (almost 3:1), including lower health care costs, absenteeism, and turnover, and improved morale, job satisfaction, and productivity. The retention rate for companies providing lactation support is 94%; the national average is 59%.

Pretty impressive statistics! Let’s help move the SWMA forward! If you haven’t already, please click to email your lawmakers. You can help make a difference for families around the country. When I did it this morning, the whole process took 3 minutes (and most of that was spent looking up my 9-digit zip code…)

Is your job protected by current breastfeeding legislation? Leave us a comment to share your experience getting pumping accommodations at work.

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