Interesting news for all of us working moms in America: the U.S. ranked last on the Save the Children Breastfeeding Policy Scorecard, so, in other words, we’re the only economically-advanced country where employers are not required to pay any maternity leave. The report states:
“In the industrialized world, the United States has the least favorable environment for mothers who want to breastfeed. Save the Children examined maternity leave laws, the right to nursing breaks at work, and several other indicators to create a ranking of 36 industrialized countries measuring which ones have the most – and the least – supportive policies for women who want to breastfeed.”
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Breastfeeding in the Workplace
So what this NY Times blog is really saying is that sometimes working moms have to choose between work and family. Having done it myself, I can say that trying to work and breastfeed your baby at the same time is very challenging. I returned to the office with two of my children, and even though I was lucky enough to have maternity leave, I still found it extremely difficult to get my job done while breastfeeding in the workplace. I found that timing was always off for me when I wanted to nurse in the office. Just when I would get settled down in the office to nurse, an impromptu meeting would come up, or I would somehow get interrupted. And then there was always the problem of getting the bottles down the hall to the kitchenette…Have any other moms had this problem?
This eye-opening report makes me respect working mothers even more, especially those who work without a maternity leave. I know I couldn’t have done it without my leave, so I can’t imagine how tough it was for those who had to jump right back into the grind of working every day. To hear more about my challenges with breastfeeding in the workplace and work and family, please check out my video!
To all my working parents and stay-at-home parents, what do you think of this report? How have you dealt with the issue of working while breastfeeding, and how did it affect your household?