Break Time For Nursing Mothers

Let’s face it, a whole lot of the nation’s business owners are men, and a whole lot of the nation’s employees are women. So when it comes to feminine concerns such the nearly taboo topic of breastfeeding, women often feel embarrassed to ask their boss for the time they need to care for themselves.

And because men don’t usually understand the ins and outs of female matters, women may even have trouble gaining sympathy for the maintenance of their important, life-giving systems. Times they are a-changing for women in the workplace, however, and business owners should be aware of the new laws in place to help them support the needs of child bearing women.

The New Law Regarding Breastfeeding Mothers
One of the provisions of President Obama’s Health Care Reform amends the Fair Labor Standards Act to legally entitle nursing mothers to break time at work for the expression of breast milk. The amended act does not state how many breaks are to be given but specifies any “reasonable break time.” The breaks need not be paid by the employer but, by law, must be available and provided in a clean, private room without a toilet.

For a look at the new law as laid down by the Department of Labor please visit:
http://www.dol.gov/whd/nursingmothers/Sec7rFLSA_btnm.htm

Why It Matters
The new law may sound, to some, like just another feminist victory, especially to business owners with limited office space and a small workforce, but its importance cannot be undervalued. Allow me to highlight some key points about this precious gift, shared with the rest of the mammalian kingdom so that business owner’s can better empathize with the needs of their female employees.

  • Did you ever notice that only human females leave their nursing babies for any significant  stretch of time? Leaving baby is a new and rare phenomenon among female mammals and as such their bodies aren’t equipped to put the breaks on milk production.
    • Fact: Milk production continues all day long, with or without the baby, and can become very uncomfortable and even painful for the woman if it sits for too long.
  • Most baby mammals nurse just about whenever they feel the need which is pretty often. Once the baby stops this routine the female gradually stops producing milk for them.
    • Fact: If milk is not released at somewhat regular intervals throughout each and every day then in a matter of weeks a woman will lose her ability to breastfeed. In other words if she doesn’t use it, she’ll lose it!
  • As most mammals don’t qualify for medical coverage under Obama’s healthcare reform they must be sure to breastfeed as long as possible so that their babies become exceptionally strong and healthy.
    • Fact: The breastfed baby’s immune system is more robust than a bottle fed baby’s as they inherit their mother’s immune system from the milk. This helps them fight colds and other common bugs so they generally require fewer doctor visits, meaning fewer sick days for mom!
  • Humans have surpassed the entire animal kingdom with our superior brain function. Breastfeeding plays a big role in that.
    • Fact: Breastfed babies have been shown to have higher IQs than non-breastfed babies, and that means a better workforce for the future!
  • Passing the mother’s immune system and big brain nutrients over to baby takes many months, not weeks. Even after the mother goes back to work she still needs to take care of her milk.
  • Laughter is also unique to humans. Babies who are breastfed are typically happier and, consequently, so are their mothers!
  • Breastfed mothers don’t always get enough sleep and so a midday break may be just the energy boost she needs to do her best at work.

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