Cate Colburn-Smith , co-author of the book The Milk Memos and expert on breastfeeding in corporate America, presents Freedom of Expression – Supporting Breastfeeding Moms in the Workplace, an informative, inspiring session for employers and breastfeeding mothers who choose to express milk while working outside the home.
New mothers who return to work face two realities that are diametrically opposed:
1. Human breastmilk is vastly superior to formula (and all other substitutes) for infant feeding.
Babies who are exclusively breastfed for the first six months of life have superior immune systems, lower rates of a myriad of infant illnesses and infections, and reduced risks of chronic health problems including asthma, allergies, obesity and more. Breastfeeding mothers benefit too, through reduced risk of breast, ovarian, uterine and cervical cancers, and osteoporosis. Despite advertising from formula manufacturers that tries to convince women otherwise, nothing else compares to the advantages of human breastmilk for the human species.
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2. Employers are often unsupportive of mothers expressing breastmilk at work.
Too often, moms returning to work have no clean, private place to express breastmilk, no ability to take pumping “breaks” during the workday, and insufficient support from supervisors or co-workers. Is it any wonder that more than 30% of new mothers give up breastfeeding less than seven weeks after returning to work? While major employers are slowly ramping up support (23% offered lactation programs in 2006, up from 16% in 1999), and 12 states have enacted legislation related to breastfeeding in the workplace, the odds are stacked overwhelmingly against working, breastfeeding mothers and their babies.
What is a working mom to do when her baby’s health, her own well-being, and her need for income are pitted against a structured workplace that is insensitive or perplexed about her plight? What is an employer to do when its workers challenge the establishment, demanding new levels of support and flexibility that may be perceived as inconvenient, biased and costly? Cate’s presentation will define specific, practical steps employers can take to support breastfeeding moms, and offer powerful advice for moms to get the space, time and support they need to pump breastmilk at work. This presentation is compelling, thorough and evenhanded, and will enable workplace lactation programs that benefit mothers and employers – in our generation, and the next!
This presentation is 90 minutes in length.
Certificate of Completion: $7.50 (completion of post-session questionnaire required).
Continuing Education Units are available for some professional groups. To view a listing of CEU opportunities, click here.