Breastfeeding works at work

By: Amanda Brown Email
By: Amanda Brown Email

ARDMORE, OK--According to the Oklahoma state department of health around 75 % of Oklahoma mothers breastfeed immediately after giving birth but only 34.9 of babies are still breastfeeding at 6 months old.

Brandy Dixon said she has breastfed all of her kids and said the controversy surrounding the issue is immature.

"People look down on you or are uncomfortable with the situation but I think that if you cover yourself or you do it right or there is a designated area then it works out very well" said Dixon.

"Even though it's the most normal, natural, way to feed our babies, for society it's still considered taboo" said Nutrition therapist Nessa Harrington.

Nutrition therapist Nessa Harrington said there are laws in Oklahoma that support breastfeeding employees. In 2006 the Oklahoma State Legislature passed House Bill 2358 which states "Breastfeeding mothers may use unpaid break and meal times to breastfeed or express breast milk at work".

"They are allowed unpaid breaks to pump and it is encouraged for it to not be a bathroom stall" said Harrington.

Harrington said working moms should talk with their employers about their desire to breastfeed at work. And said employers should be more open and supportive of their breastfeeding employees because it not only benefits the mother and baby but also the employer.

"Because she won't be absent as much because her baby will be healthier and just you know she'll be a more satisfied happy employee, less absenteeism" said Harrington.

Paige Ferris said employers should take the time to become breastfeeding friendly. She works at health back home health in Ardmore and said her employer is supportive and that her coworker is currently breastfeeding at work.

"She pumps at work and she takes about a 15 minute break, I don't know how often I just know she has a sign that she puts on her office door saying don't disturb and they're really cool about it they let her do it because they know it's a necessity for her baby said Ferris.

For more information on breastfeeding or becoming a breastfeeding friendly environment visit:

http://www.ok.gov/health/Child_and_Family_Health/Breastfeeding/Oklahoma_Breastfeeding_Laws/index.html

http;//www.breastfeedingworks.org

Or you can call:
Oklahoma Breasting hotline 1-877-271-MILK (6455)


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