|August is National Breastfeeding Month and August 1st – 7th marks World Breastfeeding Week. Breastfeeding is recommended by every major health care organization, including the World Alliance for Breastfeeding Action (WABA), the World Health Organization (WHO) and the United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF).
There are significant and widely recognized health benefits for both breastfeeding mother and child. For the baby, the benefits of breastfeeding extend well beyond basic nutrition. In addition to containing all the vitamins and nutrients the baby needs in the first six months of life, breast milk contains disease-fighting substances that protect the baby from illness. For mothers, studies show that women who breastfeed experience reduced rates of breast and ovarian cancer later in life.
It is important for mothers to get necessary support and education about breastfeeding, as many women feel pressured to not breastfeed. Also, many schools and workplaces do not adequately accommodate students and employees. A school receiving public funding is in violation of Title IX if it fails to provide reasonable breastfeeding accommodations.
In October 2015, the ACLU of Southern California, BreastfeedLA (The Breastfeeding Task Force of Greater Los Angeles) and CWLC released a report card on the state of lactation accommodations for students and employees in Los Angeles County schools. The report found that 68 of the county’s 81 school districts received a grade of “C” or worse, and 21 received an “F” or “F-minus.” If you have questions related to your school district’s Title IX obligations regarding breastfeeding, please do not hesitate to contact us.
CWLC is proud to celebrate National Breastfeeding Month and is committed to the fight for women’s health and rights.