Nursing mothers will now get additional support, thanks to page 1239 of the health care bill that President Obama recently signed into law. It requires employers to provide “a place, other than a bathroom, that is shielded from view and free from intrusion from co-workers and the public, which may be used by an employee to express breast milk.” Only companies with less than 50 employees can claim it’s an undue hardship. [Source]
Personally, I think this is a good thing. Any measure to help mothers raise healthier children is a positive, in my opinion. Although breastfeeding is not an option for all mothers it is indeed healthier than the alternatives, i.e. formula and cow’s milk. You can read the numerous studies done on the matter but here is a short condensed list of benefits [Source]:
Breastfeeding is linked to a lower risk of these health problems in children:
- Ear infections
- Stomach viruses
- Respiratory infections
- Atopic dermatitis
- Type 1 and type 2 diabetes
- Childhood leukemia
- Sudden infant death syndrome or SIDS
- Necrotizing enterocolitis, a disease that affects the gastrointestinal tract in pre-term infants
Breastfeeding is linked to a lower risk of these health problems in mothers:
- Type 2 diabetes
- Breast cancer
- Ovarian cancer
- Postpartum depression (PPD)
Despite all the positives, I have always found it odd some people’s negative reaction to what should be a very natural part of life. Some people show utter disdain for mothers breastfeeding in public.
With her 5-week-old daughter crying in a bathroom at Nordstrom, and not knowing how to get the baby to latch on to her breast, Garima Nahar found herself surrounded by other women. Some offered tips, but one woman told the new mother to cover up or turn the other way. [Source]
Prudes? Or just assholes?
I did witness, first-hand, a 3-year-old patting her mother’s chest and she pulled out her breast and let the child feed. This was at a birthday party for an adult. Now….THAT was BIZARRE! LOL
Where do you stand on the issue? What is your reaction to mothers breastfeeding in public? And what is the cut-off age? Should a 5-year old be tugging on mom’s teat at the local Wal-Mart or Starbucks?