Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

How accommodating is our society to women who choose to breastfeed their babies?

19.05.2006


Although the act of breastfeeding is not “illegal,” women in various parts of the U.S. can be arrested for “public indecency” when breastfeeding their baby in public. As of November 2005, 12 states and Washington, DC had not enacted at least some kind of law regarding breastfeeding.



The U.S. Healthy People 2010 target is to increase the proportion of mothers who choose to breastfeed their babies for at least six months to 50%; the World Health Organization recommends that babies be breastfed exclusively for the first six months. However, these goals may be difficult to meet since some mothers in the U.S. face challenges to breastfeeding. Many women view their return to work as a cause for ending their breastfeeding regime early. Even women who use a breast pump require 30 minutes of privacy each workday to expel breast milk. In the May issue of The Journal of Pediatrics, a commentary by Dr. Tonse Raju from the National Institutes of Health reflects on the continued barriers for breastfeeding mothers.

Most industrialized nations guarantee maternity leave for up to 16 weeks at 75-100% of pay. Norway exceeds that by providing up to 42 weeks of maternity leave with full pay or 52 weeks with 80% pay. The U.S., however, allows a woman 12 weeks of unpaid leave, without the risk of losing her job, during any 12-month period. Allowing new mothers more time off work may encourage the continuation of breastfeeding, potentially minimizing societal limitations. Although it might be difficult to enact a policy similar to that of Norway, the U.S. should consider what is needed to support women who choose to breastfeed.


Barriers to breastfeeding in the workplace include a perception of a disruption in job performance, lack of privacy for the mother, problems with insurance regulations, difficulty finding a daycare facility close to the mother’s workplace, and the devaluation of the cumulative benefits from high rates of breastfeeding exceeding the potential inconvenience of accommodating breastfeeding in the workplace. It should be noted, however, that there are also potential benefits to employers, such as an increase in employee retention and a reduction in health insurance costs and absenteeism; this can contribute to a boost in both morale and productivity of all employees.

Dr. Raju reminds us that “Much can be achieved by educating employers and the public about the health and economic benefits from high rates of breastfeeding.” Employers and mothers should discuss options that maintain an effective workplace environment while focusing on common sense, respect, flexibility, and accommodation for mothers’ feeding choices. Dr. Raju believes that “our society ought to support breastfeeding as a natural, inherently humane, biological act, as basic and essential as breathing.”

This commentary is reported in “Continued barriers for breastfeeding in public and at workplaces” by Tonse NK Raju, MD, DCH. The article appears in The Journal of Pediatrics, Volume 148, Number 5 (May 2006), published by Elsevier.

Monica Helton | alfa
Further information:
http://www.elsevier.com

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht Biofilm discovery suggests new way to prevent dangerous infections
23.05.2017 | University of Texas at Austin

nachricht Another reason to exercise: Burning bone fat -- a key to better bone health
19.05.2017 | University of North Carolina Health Care

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Can the immune system be boosted against Staphylococcus aureus by delivery of messenger RNA?

Staphylococcus aureus is a feared pathogen (MRSA, multi-resistant S. aureus) due to frequent resistances against many antibiotics, especially in hospital infections. Researchers at the Paul-Ehrlich-Institut have identified immunological processes that prevent a successful immune response directed against the pathogenic agent. The delivery of bacterial proteins with RNA adjuvant or messenger RNA (mRNA) into immune cells allows the re-direction of the immune response towards an active defense against S. aureus. This could be of significant importance for the development of an effective vaccine. PLOS Pathogens has published these research results online on 25 May 2017.

Staphylococcus aureus (S. aureus) is a bacterium that colonizes by far more than half of the skin and the mucosa of adults, usually without causing infections....

Im Focus: A quantum walk of photons

Physicists from the University of Würzburg are capable of generating identical looking single light particles at the push of a button. Two new studies now demonstrate the potential this method holds.

The quantum computer has fuelled the imagination of scientists for decades: It is based on fundamentally different phenomena than a conventional computer....

Im Focus: Turmoil in sluggish electrons’ existence

An international team of physicists has monitored the scattering behaviour of electrons in a non-conducting material in real-time. Their insights could be beneficial for radiotherapy.

We can refer to electrons in non-conducting materials as ‘sluggish’. Typically, they remain fixed in a location, deep inside an atomic composite. It is hence...

Im Focus: Wafer-thin Magnetic Materials Developed for Future Quantum Technologies

Two-dimensional magnetic structures are regarded as a promising material for new types of data storage, since the magnetic properties of individual molecular building blocks can be investigated and modified. For the first time, researchers have now produced a wafer-thin ferrimagnet, in which molecules with different magnetic centers arrange themselves on a gold surface to form a checkerboard pattern. Scientists at the Swiss Nanoscience Institute at the University of Basel and the Paul Scherrer Institute published their findings in the journal Nature Communications.

Ferrimagnets are composed of two centers which are magnetized at different strengths and point in opposing directions. Two-dimensional, quasi-flat ferrimagnets...

Im Focus: World's thinnest hologram paves path to new 3-D world

Nano-hologram paves way for integration of 3-D holography into everyday electronics

An Australian-Chinese research team has created the world's thinnest hologram, paving the way towards the integration of 3D holography into everyday...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Marine Conservation: IASS Contributes to UN Ocean Conference in New York on 5-9 June

24.05.2017 | Event News

AWK Aachen Machine Tool Colloquium 2017: Internet of Production for Agile Enterprises

23.05.2017 | Event News

Dortmund MST Conference presents Individualized Healthcare Solutions with micro and nanotechnology

22.05.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

How herpesviruses win the footrace against the immune system

26.05.2017 | Life Sciences

Water forms 'spine of hydration' around DNA, group finds

26.05.2017 | Life Sciences

First Juno science results supported by University of Leicester's Jupiter 'forecast'

26.05.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>