This Black Breastfeeding Week, we were thrilled to sit down with Dr. Flora Ukoli, M.D., MPH., IBCLC. Dr. Ukoli is a Professor of Community Medicine at Meharry Medical College in Nashville, Tennessee, the first historically Black four-year medical school in the South. She is a World Health Organization Breastfeeding and Lactation Master Trainer, and has engaged in extensive Baby-Friendly breastfeeding promotion and advocacy in Nigeria and the United States.
We were thrilled to co-present a webinar hosted by the US Breastfeeding Committee on Monday to inform workers and students in the healthcare industry about their legal rights regarding breastfeeding. Elizabeth Gedmark, Director of the Southern Office and a Senior Staff Attorney, represented ABB in the webinar. Several of our wonderful partner organizations also presented, including the Center for WorkLife Law, the ACLU, and the US Breastfeeding Committee. The Academy of Breastfeeding Medicine, the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, the American Nurses Association, the National Association of Pediatric Nurse Practitioners, the National Medical Association, and the Nurse Alliance of SEIU Healthcare also sponsored the webinar. The webinar is the second in a series focusing on specific industries.
The webinar covered federal laws protecting breastfeeding workers, including the break time for nursing mothers law and the Pregnancy Discrimination Act. In addition, information was provided about protections for breastfeeding students under Title IX. Elizabeth presented an overview of state laws that protect breastfeeding workers and shared information about laws regarding time off for workers after childbirth. The webinar paid special attention to the unique challenges and opportunities for those in the healthcare sector.
Presenters shared important online resources available to help breastfeeding parents understand what legal tools they can use to acquire needed accommodations at work or school. These resources include ABB’s own Babygate website, which provides an overview of relevant laws by state, as well as our resources on how to talk to your boss about needs related to pregnancy and breastfeeding.
We were excited by the robust participation on the webinar. You can view the full video here. Stay tuned for information about the next webinar in our series.