The financial bind of no paid leave can become a physical nightmare for working women who have just given birth.
With full access to lactation spaces and resources on college campuses, Black mothers would not have to choose between their education and their breastfeeding goals. They could have both.
Hospitals that support breastfeeding—rather than hampering it from the very start, as so many do with practices and policies that impact breastfeeding negatively—are one way to put our money where our mouth is, as it were: one concrete way to get breastfeeding off to the best start.
For me, breastfeeding is not only an exercise of reproductive justice, it is a revolutionary and political act. I choose to breastfeed in public as a way to challenge the notion that Black women do not breastfeed. Not only do we breastfeed, we can do it unapologetically, in your face.
Title IX changed the course of history for many individuals when it comes to athletics and being able to partake in programs that discriminate against individuals based on sex. But when we talk about the landmark legislation, people still don’t seem to understand what it truly means—and doesn’t mean.
The Women’s Lobby of Colorado’s legislative scorecard shows that women and Democrats in the state legislature were more committed to “issues that are important to women” than Republicans and men, but, overall, little progress has been made on gender equity.
Lois Kolkhorst, a Republican state senator from Brenham, says she “has a fundamental respect for human life, from conception until natural death.” Yet just last week, she voted against a bill that would help teachers have break times and dedicated areas to pump breast milk to feed babies.
Efforts to promote breastfeeding as the best option for infants may have led some parents to believe formula is not a good option and to turn to the Internet to find someone else’s milk, a practice the FDA says is unsafe.
Many young parents may not know this, but many of the experiences and educational hardships they are facing are actually illegal. One major way teens can help empower themselves is by asserting their federal rights.
Conversations about the need for more comprehensive maternity leave policies seem to rarely include solutions to the issues facing pregnant and parenting students, despite the fact that they are less likely to finish high school than their peers and are more likely to stay in poverty as they struggle to support their family.