Breastfeeding

good for you, good for baby

Breastfeeding is nature’s way for you to nourish your baby.  Think of a child who is close to walking, his body has been preparing; his fine motor and large motor skills have been developing. He has been watching others around him and you can almost see his thoughts when he first attempts to walk. For most babes they are not successful walking on the first attempt, it must be repeated multiple times to learn how to walk, however this is a natural process. Now apply this to a mother’s breastfeeding experience. Once we become pregnant, our bodies start preparing to make milk. Most mothers will report breast tenderness at the beginning of pregnancy, along with breast growth, darkening of the areola and veins, and leaking of clear fluids.  In the second trimester mother’s breasts start producing colostrum, called by many as “Liquid Gold”, the first milk substance baby receives. Colostrum is calorie and antibody rich, also it is Mother Nature’s laxative for baby to pass the first bowel movements called meconium (black tarry stool).

Mom and baby learn as a team to breastfeed. Yes it is natural, just like walking, but some of us may need a little more time and practice to figure it all out. TriCounty Health/WIC along with both our local medical centers have CLC’s available to help you with this brand new learning process. TriCounty/WIC offers in hospital, at home, in office and over the phone assistance. WIC also has a Peer counseling program, WIC moms trained to help other WIC moms with breastfeeding. Another great resource available in our community is Katie Kissell, she is a licensed IBCLC (Internationally Board Certified Lactation Consultant).  Building their support network is very beneficial and has great outcomes for moms who want to breastfeed.

Did you know that there are risks to not Breastfeeding? Babies who aren’t breastfed are at higher risk for many illnesses including: ear infections, diabetes, food allergies, eczema, and SIDS.  Babies who drink artificial baby milk are also at a higher risk for lower cognitive development and childhood obesity. Moms who don’t breastfeed also have higher risks for osteoporosis, breast cancer, ovarian cancer, postpartum depression and heart disease. 

August is Breastfeeding Awareness month! WICs theme this year is Empowering Parents, Enabling Breastfeeding By 3 methods. Protect, Promote, and support. How can we do this for our local moms…

Protect: We can provide moms and caregivers with information regarding Utah’s Workplace breastfeeding policies. WIC advocates for breastfeeding friendly policies on the national, state, and local levels.

Promote: We can educate moms and caregivers about breastfeeding. It is the optimal feeding choice for moms and babies. WIC promotes breastfeeding through education to moms and caregivers and through referrals. 

Support: We must build a web of support for our moms. It is very beneficial for Mom to start this web during pregnancy before the baby arrives. Starting in her home with spouse, family, friends, and then reaching out into the community with Pediatricians, Obstetricians, Hospital departments, Nurses, Lactation support staff, Dentists, WIC, and any/all other community support systems. 

WIC also supports breastfeeding with Peer counselors, Educational materials, Breastfeeding supplies, classes, and professional lactation support staff. 

We encourage Businesses’ in our community to support our breastfeeding moms by proudly displaying Breastfeeding Welcome Here or Breastfeeding Friendly signs in their establishments. 

Utah’s Breastfeeding laws:

17-15-25. Right to breastfeed.

The county legislative body may not prohibit a woman’s breast feeding in any location where she otherwise may rightfully be, irrespective of whether the breast is uncovered during or incidental to the breastfeeding.

76-10-1229.5. Breastfeeding is not a violation of this part.

A woman’s breast feeding, including breastfeeding in any location where the woman otherwise may rightfully be, does not under any circumstance constitute a violation of this part, irrespective of whether or not the breast is covered during or incidental to feeding.

34-49-202 Reasonable breaks and private room required

(1)

(a) A public employer shall:

(i) provide for at least one year after the birth of a public employee’s child reasonable breaks for each time the public employee needs to breastfeed or express milk; and

(ii) consult with the public employee to determine the frequency and duration of the breaks.

(b) A break required under Subsection (1)(a) shall, to the extent possible, run concurrent with any other break period otherwise provided to the public employee.

(2)

(a) A public employer shall provide for a public employee a room or other location in close proximity to the public employee’s work area.

(b) The room described in Subsection (2)(a):

(i) may not be a bathroom or toilet stall; and

(ii) shall:

(A) be maintained in a clean and sanitary condition;

(B) provide privacy shielded from the view of and intrusion from coworkers or the public;

(C) be available at the times and for a duration required by the public employee as determined in consultation with the public employee under Subsection (1)(a)(ii); and

(D) have an electrical outlet.

(c)

(i) Notwithstanding Subsection (2)(a), an employer is not required to comply with the requirements of Subsections (2)(a) and (b) if compliance would create an undue hardship on the operations of the employer.

(ii) For purposes of Subsection (2)(c)(i), an undue hardship is a requirement that would cause the employer significant difficulty or expense when considered in relation to the size, financial resources, nature, or structure of the employer’s operations.

(3)

(a) A public employer shall provide access to a clean and well-maintained refrigerator or freezer for the temporary storage of the public employee’s breast milk.

(b) Notwithstanding Subsection (3)(a), a public employer with a public employee not working in an office building may, in the alternative, provide a nonelectric insulated container for storage of the public employee’s breast milk.

 34-49-203. Policies.

A public employer shall adopt written policies that:

(1) support breastfeeding; and

(2) identify the means by which the public employer will comply with Section 34-49-202.

 34-49-204. Discrimination prohibited.

A public employer may not refuse to hire, promote, discharge, demote, or terminate a person, or may not retaliate against, harass, or discriminate in matters of compensation or in terms, privileges, and conditions of employment against a person otherwise qualified because the person breastfeeds or expressed milk in the workplace.

Sources:

http://www.utahbreastfeeding.org/helps_AboutBreastfeeding.php

https://americanpregnancy.org/pregnancy-health/breast-changes-during-pregnancy/

https://breastfeedinglaws.uslegal.com/state-laws/utah-breast-feeding-laws/