Express Yourself! Breastfeeding in the Workplace
Submitted by Cheryl Stewart, Mommie's Home!
Expressing breastmilk with a pump is an easy way to continue breastfeeding after returning to work, although many employers deny women this opportunity. Some women have been fired for requesting to express milk during lunch and other regular breaks. Some women have had their pay withheld, removed from a shift or even harassed for sharing their decision to express milk during the work day. Even though laws have changed to accommodate breastfeeding women, not all employers have. These are 6 keys to breastfeeding in the workplace in acronym format. The abbreviated version is as follows:
B --- Breastfeed. First of all, your employer has to know the need of breastfeeding women and if you don't breastfeed, how will they remain aware of your rights?
R --- Read. Stay in formed. Know your rights. Information is a click or a book away.
E --- Explain. Sit down with your employer and work to a solution. You may start with, "Every breastfeeding women needs 3 basic things...", and go from there.
A --- Act. If your employer is insensitive, then take your complaint to another level. Document everything for your future reference.
S --- Support and be supported. Form a support circle that include friends and family. In addition, La Leche League International and other organizations provide local support.
T --- Teach. For many Americans, anything that involves breasts says, "SEX!" You may be the forerunner for this issue in your workplace, so you may need to educate some.