Tuesday, July 19, 2016
Mothers often fail at breastfeeding not by fault of their own, but because they have no no paid maternity leave. Without a safe bubble of relaxed time together, it can be difficult to overcome breastfeeding issues, to develop a stable milk supply and to begin that beautiful deep bonding experience. Back at work, pumping can be quite challenging and sometimes not doable.
In July, 2016, journalist Jennifer Grayson writes in an Op-Ed for the Los Angeles Times, "the fundamental ability to nourish their young with free, life-sustaining mother's milk has been turned into a luxury for the elite, or a hard-fought prize for the intrepid."
Grayson blames US law, which does not provide paid maternity leave.
Many mothers do not know that the US is the only first-world country that does not provide mothers with extended paid leave.
For instance, in Switzerland where I lived many years mothers are guaranteed six months paid maternity leave and an option for another six months non-paid leave with the guaranty that your job will be held for you during that full year.
It is understood in other first-world countries that you simply cannot talk the talk without walking the walk when it comes to family law.
The talk is this: breastfeeding is best.
The talk is this: bonding is essential.
The walk is this: mothers and babies need undisturbed, relaxed time together for at least six months after childbirth.
As it is today, we talk the talk -- we tell moms they should/must/absolutely have to breastfeed, but we do not walk the walk. Mothers are not provided with stress-free, extended time together. This actually sets mothers up for failure, and for the devastating emotions that accompany that failure (which I talk about in my book, Healing Breastfeeding Grief.)
As a society, we have to get over our hypocrisy and walk our talk.
It is not fair when we urge and push moms to exclusively breastfeed rather than urging and pushing our congress and senate for better family laws.
For more information: http://www.usbreastfeeding.org/p/cm/ld/fid=105#usbcresources