Rep. Maloney Joins with Moms and Advocates to Support Mothers’ Rights to Breastfeed
To view a video of today’s press conference click here
NEW YORK—Today, Congresswoman Carolyn B. Maloney (NY-12) joined with the NYC Breastfeeding Leadership Council, the New York State Breastfeeding Coalition, the New York Lactation Consultant Association, Medela, Yummy Mummy, and other breastfeeding rights advocates to raise awareness for mothers’ rights to breastfeed, especially in the workplace.
Rep. Maloney discussed her bill, the Supporting Working Moms Act, to be reintroduced next week, which will expand protections for break time and accommodations to pump breast milk to all working mothers.
"Breastfeeding plays an important role in the health and development of children. It is the right choice for millions of women and children, and it is a human right that should be protected for both women and infants," said Rep. Maloney. "Too many breastfeeding mothers face discrimination or penalties in the workplace. Passing my Supporting Working Moms Act is the best way to guarantee that more women have the necessary accommodations to pump at work and breastfeed their children if and for as long as they choose."
“Breastfeeding is not a lifestyle choice; it is a public health imperative,” said Theresa Landau, Chairperson, NYC Breastfeeding Leadership Council, Inc. “According to recent research, it is estimated that if 90% of women breastfed exclusively for 6 months, the U.S. would prevent over 900 infant deaths and save $13 billion each year in the United States! We have laws protecting a women’s right to breastfeed in public, but we need to change the societal culture to accept and embrace these rights. We need to work together to make breastfeeding the norm.”
Congresswoman Maloney began working on this issue in 1997, and shortly thereafter, she introduced a comprehensive bill promoting breastfeeding and protecting women who choose to breastfeed. One of the provisions of that bill, which allowed states to spend more money on breastfeeding promotion and support through the Women, Infant, and Children (WIC) nutrition program, became law in 1998. In 1999, her Right to Breastfeed on Federal Property Act was passed as part of the FY2000 appropriations measures, ensuring a woman's right to breastfeed her child on any portion of Federal property where the woman and her child are otherwise authorized to be.
Working mothers’ opportunities to breastfeed were further expanded on March 23, 2010, when President Obama signed parts of Congresswoman Maloney’s Breastfeeding Promotion bill into law as part of the Affordable Care Act. These provisions ensure that employers provide nursing mothers in traditional hourly labor jobs with adequate space and time to pump breast milk during the workday.