We celebrate Mother’s Day on May 8, and, within the Church, the entire month is dedicated to the mother of Jesus, Mary.
That makes May the right time to support House Bill 1100, a proposal before the Pennsylvania legislature that would provide workplace accommodations for nursing mothers.
The Pennsylvania Catholic Health Association supports House Bill 1100, the Workplace Accommodation for Nursing Mothers Act, which would ensure mothers are given paid and unpaid break time and a private room for expressing milk other than a bathroom.
The health benefits of breast milk for babies are well established. There are also emotional and health benefits to mom. Even the employer benefits from this policy, thanks to higher retention rates and employee satisfaction.
According to the Centers for Disease Control, breastfeeding rates in Pennsylvania lag behind the national average. While over 70% of moms try breastfeeding in the beginning, the number of nursing moms falls precipitously as women return to work. House Bill 1100 would offer many moms the support needed to continue the breastfeeding relationship should they choose.
Pope Francis recently shared his special prayer intention for May: “That in every country of the world, women may be honored and respected and that their essential contribution to society may be highly esteemed.”
In a video about his prayer for women, Pope Francis said, “We must remove the barriers….that prevent their full integration into social, political and economic life.”
By supporting House Bill 1100, Pennsylvania can remove barriers and supporting moms.