Did you know that August 1st kicks off National Breastfeeding Month and World Breastfeeding Week (WBW)? Breastfeeding is an important health imperative year round, but in August we highlight it so we can draw attention to just how crucial it is for the health of mothers and babies everywhere. Personally, I celebrated WBW at a local Big Latch On event hosted by our Hillsborough County Breastfeeding Task Force. We had 113 babies latched at the same time! I can’t wait to find out the numbers worldwide.
The theme for 2015’s WBW is supporting breastfeeding women in the workplace. The goal is to empower working women all over the world as they combine motherhood and employment. The World Alliance for Breastfeeding Action or WABA outlines their 5 objectives to support breastfeeding and working moms in the infographic below.
Here in the U.S. with the new Affordable Care Act more moms than ever have access to breast pumps at little to no charge through their insurance and many companies have now come to see the worth of their female employees and have made adjustments to accommodate and keep their breastfeeding employees on staff (pumping rooms, adequate break time, and even on-call lactation consultants). We all know, however that there is more work to be done. There is room to expand the breastfeeding rights of women in the workplace on a global level. In order to rise to the call to action on this year's theme WABA highlights the need for three elements of support: time, space and support.
Whether you are a working mom advocating for your breastfeeding rights or you are advocating on behalf of working moms everywhere, take a moment to read through the infographics and make your voice heard. The International Labour Organisation Director General said that "despite some progress, globally more than 800 million women workers, or 41%, still don’t have adequate maternity protection, and take-up rates among men of parental leave are low." We can change that. The discussion starts here. The change starts here. How can you make your voice heard today?