Breastfeeding law passed but in amended form - MSNewsNow.com - Jackson, MS

Breastfeeding law passed but in amended form

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

Most new state laws took effect July 1. We're following up on a breastfeeding bill that's now law. Mississippi is among the states with the lowest rate of breastfeeding. Now, the question is whether a new law will help change that statistic.

"Workplace accommodations is a big barrier to moms being able to continue a breastfeeding relationship or meet their own breastfeeding goals," explained mom and attorney Jacqueline Hammack.

Hammack had hoped to see those protections passed this legislative session. As an advocate and attorney, she gets calls from moms who have trouble getting employers to provide reasonable break time and space for them to pump. But the part of the bill that would have added provisions for that was stripped.

"The version that was made law was a big disappointment to myself and some other advocates," said Hammack.

There are some federal protections for moms wanting to pump during work hours, but Hammack said it doesn't cover everyone.

"It applies primarily to hourly workers," noted Hammack. "So if you're a salaried employee, then you are just left to negotiate on your own with your employer."

Dr. Cris Glick with Mississippi Lactation Services says the new law is a good start.

"I think education about breastfeeding is a key positive component about this legislation," explained Glick. "I'm very pleased about that. There's a lot of misinformation about breastfeeding and any public education that's accomplished is very positive."

The new law suggests hospitals implement infant feeding practices that support and promote breastfeeding. It also recommends that health care providers prominently display a breastfeeding bill of rights, telling women what their rights are here in Mississippi.

"It's very encouraging that there's a breastfeeding bill that passed into law period," added Glick. "And I look forward to more progressive legislation in the future."

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