Category Archives: advocacy

USA health care reform act: breastfeeding support in the workplace

The United States Breastfeeding Committee has posted FAQ’s about the provisions in the new health care reform legislation for workplace support of breastfeeding mothers. They summarize the provision:

  • Section 4207 of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (also known as Health Care Reform), states that employers shall provide breastfeeding employees with “reasonable break time” and a private, non-bathroom place to express breast milk during the workday, up until the child’s first birthday.
  • Employers are not required to pay for time spent expressing milk, and employers of less than 50 employees shall not be required to provide the breaks if doing so would cause “undue hardship” to their business.
  • Here’s the link. It includes answers to questions including what the law does (and doesn’t do), when it takes effect, why the law is necessary, and what employers will gain from providing breastfeeding support for their employees.


    Nursing IS Normal – in the courtroom

    Kudos to the mother, the lawyers, and the judge that treated nursing as something normal:

    WAUKESHA – A mom from Milwaukee was pleading guilty to a crime in a Waukesha County courtroom when her baby became fussy and hungry, so she proceeded to give her baby a breast-fed meal while giving her guilty plea.

    Read the rest of the story by Jay Sorgi at this website.

    Go Madison!

    Madison made the national news in a New York Times article about infant mortality. Apparently Madison has had a dramatic decline in infant mortality among African American babies — to the point where their mortality rate is comparable to white babies.

    “This kind of dramatic elimination of the black-white gap in a short period has never been seen,” Dr. Philip M. Farrell, professor of pediatrics and former dean of the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health, said of the progress in Dane County.

    The article says this is unusual and credits community cohesiveness, our public health department, Access Community Health, and ABC for Health.

    Dr. Schlenker, the county health director, credits heightened outreach to young women by health workers and private groups. “I think it’s a community effect,” he said. “Pregnant women need to feel safe, cared for and valued. I believe that when they don’t, that contributes to premature birth and fetal loss in the sixth or seventh month.”

    I know many of the health care providers that take care of mothers and babies in public health and at Access and they are impressive people. I’m so glad that they’re getting some of the recognition that they deserve!

    New Documentary Film

    I think this is a first. There have been several books that explore the politics of formula feeding versus breastfeeding but I think this is the first film that looks at this topic. I think many people don’t even realize that not all the challenges to breastfeeding are personal issues for individual mothers. There are large-scale cultural challenges as well.  Hopefully this film can screen in Madison and make breastfeeding challenges more visible to our whole community. For more information you can check out their website,

    Nursing is Normal Slide Show

    This is so cool. Sometimes mothers are worried about breastfeeding their babies in public. Kathy O’Brien set out to change that with her Nursing “IS” Normal project.  As part of the Madison Nursing Is Normal project, Lea Wolf took photos of Madison-area mothers nursing their babies out and about in Madison. If you’re like me and missed the gallery opening last Friday, it’s not too late. We can check it out on YouTube:

    Nursing in public — the statue

    Check out this World Breastfeeding Week story

    NEW YORK, Aug. 4 /PRNewswire/ — For World Breastfeeding Week, Phantom-Financial announces the unveiling of a life-size park bench sculpture of Angelina Jolie nude with her twin babies by New York artist Daniel Edwards just minutes from Brad Pitt’s own birthplace in the Oklahoma City Metro area in September before its Fall exhibition in London.

    “Landmark for Breastfeeding,” inspired by last year’s cover of W magazine featuring Angelina Jolie suckling her baby, depicts a seated nude Jolie double-breastfeeding twins. The tranquil bronze statue demonstrates the “football-hold,” an accepted technique for breastfeeding two babies simultaneously…

    Celebuzz has got the pictures.

    My thoughts? I sure hope this helps people feel more comfortable with breastfeeding rather than providing shock value. I have the feeling it will probably go both ways, depending on the viewer. Also it doesn’t look like a very comfortable nursing position to stay in for very long (but it is a statue after all…).