We are CYEN, otherwise known as, Carolina V., Yoselin R., Elie T., and Nayeli E. We are a group of students from the Ann Richards School who are working with an organization know as, Texas Mother Friendly Worksites. As a team, we decided to use the initials of our first names, which sounds similar to 100 in Spanish. We decided to do this to express our devotion to this project. Having said this, as a team we are fully committed to finding a solution to worksites not giving mothers the adequate spaces that are needed. As students, we have gained the knowledge of the process of pregnancy as well as post-pregnancy. Which has sparked a desire of informing others of our own knowledge, which is what we hope to do with this project and blog posts.
The Texas Mother-Friendly Organization’s mission statement is,
“The MFWP encourages organizational policy and practice changes to develop worksite cultures that support employees who choose to breastfeed after returning to work. It bestows official recognition upon worksites that adhere to the program’s criteria for being “mother-friendly,” including having a written and communicated policy that provides space in the worksite for breastmilk expression, flexible work schedules for breastfeeding mothers, and access to hygienic breastmilk storage options (refrigerator or personal cooler).”
Additional recognition is given for worksites with more comprehensive worksite lactation support programs. Additional recognition is given for worksites with more comprehensive worksite lactation support programs. The organization helps mothers have a space where they are allowed breastfeed in private. The mothers benefit from the texas health and safety code 165 which affirms a woman’s rights to breastfeed in any location in which she is “authorized to.”
Worksites in Austin, TX such as the schools in the Austin Independent School District say they are providing a mother-friendly environment for their staff despite the fact that there isn’t proof or awareness that there should be a space for mothers to breastfeed. Based on our observations not only in our school but in schools near us that we have visited and attended, there is so sign that they have this space. By space, this does not mean a one-person restroom or an enclosed room, it’s a particularly sanitized space where mothers can breastfeed safely. When we have a solution we will be impacting mothers and the way they feel knowing they can go to work while keeping up with the things that they need to as a new mother as well as informing them of their rights.
We are interested in solving this problem because we believe that mothers should have the right to passionately work and have a place to breastfeed, mothers shouldn’t have to decide between working and breastfeeding. Don’t you think that women should have the right to breastfeed when she needs to even if she is at work? Mothers can’t hold their breast milk in for 8 hours or more each day. They must express milk in order to maintain milk production and if they miss even one needed pumping session it can lead to decreased milk production, which can lead to the mother not reaching her goal of breastfeeding their child. Breastfeeding according to doctors, is the best way for their child to receive the nutrients that they need, just imagine a mother wanting to give what’s best for her child and not having the adequate place and time they need to do so.
We interviewed a new mother in our school about this subject since she too needs to pump her milk and notices that there is no place in the school built solely for it and makes it really hard to be sanitary. The newly mother says that since she’s become a new mother she’s had to face many problems, it sometimes even comes to the point of pumping in a car because there is no space, not even a singular restroom.
All mothers have the right of having a space to breastfeed and many women don’t know this, what other rights have been kept a secret from you and many others around the country?
We hope that our blog post has given you useful information and a desire to speak up for what working mothers deserve.