Breastfeeding bill would provide education and protect mothers' - - Jackson, MS

Breastfeeding bill would provide education and protect mothers' rights

Source: WLBT Source: WLBT
JACKSON, MS (Mississippi News Now) -

Mississippi is among the states with the lowest rates of breastfeeding. But one lawmaker wants to educate the public on the benefits.

"Without support, it's really hard to maintain a breast feeding relationship when you are a working mom," described mom and breastfeeding advocate Laura Graham.

Graham doesn't think women should have to choose between work or breastfeeding. She's been fortunate and been allowed to do both with her two kids. Others have been forced to choose.

"I know moms that have decided to quit their jobs instead of quitting breastfeeding," noted Graham. "I mean, I've had people come to me in tears because they were making that choice."

Senator Hillman Frazier filed a bill that would require employers to allow "reasonable break time" and a private location for moms to pump or breastfeed while at work.

"This is not a female issue alone," explained Frazier. "It's going to benefit the entire state. That's why we're working towards educating the public about the benefits of breastfeeding. It's going to help the mother and the baby and the state."

Frazier noted that there are potential health cost savings for the state. Graham agreed.

"When you know there is a correlation between breastfeeding and the reduction of chronic health conditions, it makes sense," Graham said. "It makes sense that you would want to support moms to give the best they can for their babies."

It wasn't until 2006 that Mississippi laws were changed to make a distinction between indecent exposure and breastfeeding in public.

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