Breastfeeding is a difficult task that is easily made more difficult by the unsolicited advice and comments from others, in addition to how breastfeeding mothers are treated in public and the workplace. Fortunately, in a progressive age, much more attention and advocacy have been given to breastfeeding and the right to breastfeed your child when you need to. For as many supportive people you encounter, you are sure to encounter the same number of disgusted snarls. In today’s blog, we are going to review some of your rights to help you be a better advocate for you and your child.
Pumping at Work is a Right, Not a Privilege.
If you are fortunate enough to have an employer that treats you like the human being and mother that you are, you may have access to a pump room and the accommodations to pump at work to express breastmilk for children. However, take comfort in the fact that if you have an employer that scoffs at the idea of you spending more than your federally mandated paid breaks and mealtime away from your workstation, you are protected by federal law. That’s right, federal law
provides breastfeeding mothers the right to have a private space, that is NOT a bathroom, to express milk on paid breaks, meal times, and reasonable unpaid breaks. In fact, since 2010, all employers are required to allow lactating mothers to pump at work for up to one year after delivery and any employer who has more than 50 employees must provide a private room, free from interruption, for the mother to pump in. To reiterate, this room can NOT be a bathroom.
You Can Feed Wherever You Are.
We will never understand why it took until 2018 for all 50 states to legalize the act of breastfeeding a child, but it did, and the future is much brighter for our babies. No longer are breastfeeding moms relegated to public restrooms or their cars to breastfeed while they are out running errands or living their lives. It is legal to breastfeed wherever you and your baby have the legal right to be. And, whether or not you cover yourself is completely up to you. This has caused much controversy, mostly in the crowds who attempt to sexualize the act or engage in victim-blame mentality. But, just know, that the law is on the side of lactation. These laws exempt breastfeeding mothers from indecent exposure and obscenity violations. Find your state breastfeeding laws here
No One Can Dictate How Long You Can Breastfeed.
One area where there is no law is how long you can breastfeed for. While we are not advocating you breastfeed your school-aged child, there is no federal cut off age. The Department of Women, Infants, and Child (WIC) and the American Pregnancy Association (APA) recommend breastfeeding your child for the first year while the World Health Organization (WHO) recommends breastfeeding for the first two years of a child’s life. Most state laws explicitly state that breastfeeding does not constitute sexual contact or sexual conduct so long as both the mother and the child have a mutual desire to nurse. It is not uncommon for children ages three or four to nurse a few times a day, and this is legally okay. It should be noted, however, that most laws regarding workplace breastfeeding and pumping, and state child custody provisions only make special accommodations for the first 12 months of a breastfeeding journey.
Lil’ Labels is Here For You and Your Little One
Lil’ Labels is proud to be a company started by a mom to support other moms in their baby-feeding journey. Whatever your journey looks like for you and your LO, we make labels to keep it all stored safely. View our milk storage labels
, baby bottle labels
, and date labels
that are the perfect companion on your milk-making journey. All of our labels are self-laminating and safe for use in the dishwasher, freezer, sanitizer, and warmer. Browse our entire product line online today.