World Breastfeeding Week, Aug. 1-7, 2021

Published in Member Communities on August 04, 2021

Breastfeeding COVID-19August 1 – 7 is World Breastfeeding Week. This year’s theme is Protect Breastfeeding: A Shared Responsibility. Breastfeeding has many benefits for infants, mothers, and children.  The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that infants are exclusively breastfed for the first six months while introducing complementary foods for at least one year.

Protecting breastfeeding means protecting the time working women need to give birth, recover, and breastfeed their children. Moms also require job security and assurances that their jobs are not jeopardized due to pregnancy or maternity leave. States, including Pennsylvania and Wisconsin are beginning to implement laws that help solidify

Being a new mom is hard, but being a new mom during the COVID-19 pandemic raises new questions. Is it safe to breastfeed? What if I have COVID or have been exposed to COVID? Should I breastfeed then? According to the CDC and WHO, mothers are still encouraged to remain together with their infants, practice skin-to-skin contact and/or kangaroo care whether or not they or their infants have been suspected, probable, or confirmed COVID-19 virus infection. Women with COVID-19 can breastfeed if they choose to do so.

Several states have passed or introduced legislation to help protect breastfeeding, including:

  • PA HB 1739, An Act providing for workplace accommodations for nursing mothers
  • WI AB 476, An act to require an employer to provide reasonable break time and accommodation for an employee who is breast-feeding
  • KY BR 257, An act relating to Medicaid coverage for lactation support services and breastfeeding equipment

H.R. 3110, PUMP for Nursing Mothers Act, has been introduced on the federal level in the House of Representatives and currently has 8 co-sponsors as of August 4, 2021. 

VGM and Essentially Women are proud to partner with Ardo and Motif, who both offer breast pumps, breastfeeding accessories and more. For more information on each of these vendor partners, visit the vendor pages on the VGM member portal or the myEW member portal.

For more information on breastfeeding and World Breastfeeding Week, visit https://www.paho.org/en/campaigns/world-breastfeeding-week-campaign-2021#materials.

Resources:
World Breastfeeding Week Campaign 2021. (2021). Retrieved from: https://www.paho.org/en/campaigns/world-breastfeeding-week-campaign-2021
Breastfeeding Report Card United States, 2020.  (2020). Retrieved from: https://www.cdc.gov/breastfeeding/pdf/2020-Breastfeeding-Report-Card-H.pdf

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