It’s the law!

Study: Only 40 percent of new moms able to pump at work upon return

A woman on her laptop while pumping breast milk in a lactation room at work. (Stephanie Kuykendahl/The New York Times)

A new study from University of Minnesota School of Public Health found that while federal law requires employers’ accommodate new mothers returning to work, only 40 percent of new moms are given breaks or private space to pump breast milk. The results, which were published in Women’s Health Issues this week, found that low-income women, especially single mothers, were more greatly underserved. The study’s lead author, Katy Kozhimannil, called the current working conditions her team discovered “woefully inadequate,” as women are encouraged to breastfeed for the first six months of a child’s life. As of 2010, United States law has required employers with more than 50 employees to ensure that new mothers have reasonable accommodations and breaks to pump milk.

Dr. Joan Younger Meek of the U.S. Breastfeeding Committee said that many women and some employers are still unaware of the new rules, made possible through the Affordable Care Act (thanks, Obama!). Of the study’s findings, she said, “I wish I could say I was shocked.”

Read the full story at The Huffington Post.

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