Can you “have your cake and eat it too”? Well, when it comes to breastfeeding, pumping and time to pump at work the answer is YES! The tide is shifting in this country toward protecting a mama’s rights to breastfeed her child. Amazingly there is only ONE place in the state of California where you are not permitted to breastfeed–where is this crazy place you ask? In someone’s private residence if they ask you not too. That’s it! It’s that simple! What does that mean for you? Well you can breastfeed at Target, The Cheesecake Factory (or any equally scrumptious restaurant), Disneyland, a public park, a courthouse, your favorite coffee joint, the grocery store or even the beach (but beware of sand)!
Recently there have been many headlines in the news about mama’s asked to put their jugs away in public and shroud themselves away in private to nurse their baby. Well all, those days are over! Last month at a Target store in Texas a women was asked by the employees to hide away after she began nursing at the store– this started a revolution and got milkn’ mama’s everywhere to unite. They staged what is affectionately known as the Target “Nurse-In“(read more about it by clicking on “Nurse-In”) where in over 250 stores nationwide mama’s flocked to their local Target, not for the usual toilet paper, candle or diapers, but to stand together and proudly nurse their babies. The headlines were incredible and helped to raise awareness in a much needed area.
Gini Baker, IBCLC and our incredible Lactation teacher at UCSD likes to say that our generation was “raised in captivity”– meaning that most of us have not seen a mother breastfeed her child. How is this possible? We NEED so desperately to have this knowledge so that every new mama has a sisterhood around her supporting her during what can be a very challenging journey.
In the US nursing mama’s are protected in the workplace through The Affordable Care Act (March 2010) which provides a federal mandate to provide a mama with breaks and an adequate place to pump. Most of these laws are signed but never really enforced– not this one! Check out this amazing article from The Huffington Post to learn more about it.
The bottom line is that however, whatever, wherever and whenever you choose to nourish your baby you are protected. Such an amazing thing.