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Breastfeeding 9 to 5

Going back to work doesn't mean giving up breastfeeding. Here's what to do.

A Breastfeeding Mom's Legal Rights

To help pave the way for your success, Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-N.Y.) introduced the Breastfeeding Promotion Actin May 2005. This federal legislation would amend the Civil Rights Act of 1964 to protect breastfeeding by new mothers; provide tax incentives for businesses that establish private lactation areas in the workplace; provide for a performance standard for breast pumps; and provide families with a tax deduction for breastfeeding equipment.

But you don't have to wait for that federal law to pass before asserting your rights. Many states have laws in place to ensure the rights of breastfeeding moms. While the regulations differ slightly in each state, Haynes says they all require an employer to set up a space for a woman to pump her milk and allow her time out of the day to do it.

To check if your state has such a law, visit the La Leche League web site at http://www.lalecheleague.org/LawBills.html or call (800) WOMAN.

"You should not be afraid to speak up and claim your rights as a breastfeeding mom. You should be able to take the time you need -- about 15 minutes every few hours -- to pump your milk, and be given a clean and private place to do so," says Haynes.

 While you may hope that your employer will cooperate with your desire to breastfeed your baby, there are times and situations where this may not be easy. Sometimes the nature of your job, or your location or situation, is such that you cannot pump your milk more than twice a day.

If so, experts say you shouldn't worry. You can still maintain some milk production.

Says Hanna: "Even if it's just one pumping session a day and you must supplement the rest of the feedings with formula, you're still doing something important for your baby."

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