KUNM

Advocates Say New Moms Need Workplace Support To Breastfeed

Aug 4, 2015

It’s World Breastfeeding Week, and proponents are looking at how New Mexico treats new mothers.

Cindy Chavez is the state coordinator for the nonprofit New Mexico Breastfeeding Task Force. "We recognize that not everyone in our state has access and equal access to the support and resources that they need," she said.

Breastfeeding rates are rising around the country for newborn infants, but the numbers drop as the babies age. The Centers for Disease Control’s annual breastfeeding report card showed that in 2014, almost 80 percent of moms in this state had breastfed their kids, but fewer and fewer women are able to continue at three months, six months, a year.

Workplace support might be the key. Chavez said one of the barriers for moms in the state is they have to go back to work sooner than they would like. "They’re not supported in the workplace," she said. "They’re not supported to be able to maintain their milk and pump while they’re separated from their infants."

State law mandates that employers provide a clean, private space that’s not a bathroom for employees to pump, and flexible break time. 

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Find a list of events in New Mexico for World Breastfeeding Week.