Here at the It’s Working Project, we created the Portrait Project as a means of taking a comprehensive first-look at the picture back-to-work with baby in America. Here, mothers and fathers alike can candidly and honestly share their experiences. As the number of stories grows, the picture becomes clearer- It’s Not Working for new parents in this country, notably when it comes to pumping at work.
A recent University of Minnesota study revealed that most working moms don’t have adequate workplace support when it comes to breastfeeding.
Emily Peck writes in a piece for the Huffington Post:
“Only 40 percent of new mothers who return to work after giving birth have access to the private space and breaks they need to pump breast milk at work, despite federal regulations requiring employers to accommodate them, according to research published Tuesday in the journal Women’s Health Issues. Without support at work, women are much more likely to stop breastfeeding their children.”
As we’ve seen on the Portrait Project, many women are forced to pump in bathrooms or under other unpleasant conditions. For example, Lauren, a teacher from Virginia, was forced to pump milk in an electrical closet- always struggling to find the time throughout her busy day.
When it comes to It’s Working, support makes all the difference. A woman’s choice to breastfeed should never be determined by her employer – It’s time for companies to step up.