A new survey suggests that many nursing mothers consider leaving their jobs in an effort to find employment in places with more breastfeeding-friendly environments.
It’s a sad fact that it wasn’t until just this year that it was legal to breastfeed in all 50 states of America. And, more and more areas specifically dedicated to helping make a woman’s breastfeeding experience better are popping up. Still, a survey from Aeroflow Healthcare found that nearly half of pregnant women consider quitting their jobs because they know their current work environment is not a breastfeeding-friendly one.
The survey asked 774 pregnant women in the United States about pumping in their work environments. Of the women surveyed, 47% said they were thinking of quitting their jobs for ones with better breastfeeding policies when they returned to work after the baby was born. Sadly, while 76% of the women said they wanted to continue breastfeeding when they returned to work, many worried about the work environment. A third of the respondents said there was no lactation room in their workplace, and an additional 13% said they did have a designated area, but it was a poor option for pumping.
In 2010, an amendment to the Fair Labor Standards Act was passed and required employers to give nursing mothers time to pump and a space other than a bathroom in which they could. The act did NOT require those employers to pay mothers during the time they pumped, and many mothers say the ‘lactation rooms’ are no more than glorified storage closets or barren rooms in the basement.
The survey also found that almost half of the expectant mothers believed that pumping and nursing in the office could make an adverse difference in the growth of their careers, and 63% said that they feel there is still a stigma around moms breastfeeding at work.
Jennifer Jordan is the director of Mom & Baby at Aeroflow Healthcare and said that the survey shows there is a lot of work left to do when it comes to supporting breastfeeding mothers. Jordan says that the negative connotations that still clearly exist about pumping and nursing in the workplace are unacceptable.
We agree. That a woman would even think about quitting a job because it was not nursing mama friendly shows how archaic many workplace environments still are today.
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