It can be difficult to work and continue to provide the best possible nutrition for your baby, but, fortunately, most states and the federal government protect the rights of nursing mothers to some degree. Here in Washington women are protected from indecent exposure laws whether pumping or feeding and are allowed to use their breaks during the work day to either nurse their child or express milk. Even better, the 2010’s Health Care Reform requires that employers provide a reasonable period of breaks and a private, non-bathroom place to nurse or express milk; it also allows for breast pumps and childbirth education classes to be reimbursed from your Flex Spending Account.
If you or another nursing mother is told that you are unable to pump or breastfeed for any reason, arm yourself with facts. Breastfed babies are healthier and their parents miss less work, which creates lower work and health costs as those children aren’t seeing the doctor (or getting prescriptions) as often and co-workers don’t need to cover for mums and dads staying home to care for a sick child. Nursing mothers heal more quickly after delivery and are less likely to become pregnant while continuing to nurse, spacing out maternity leaves. Everyone wins with breastfeeding. Everyone.