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Advocates Say New Moms Need Workplace Support To Breastfeed

Daneil Pienado via CC

It’s World Breastfeeding Week, and proponents are looking at how New Mexico treats new mothers.

Cindy Chavez is the state coordinator for the nonprofit New Mexico Breastfeeding Task Force. "We recognize that not everyone in our state has access and equal access to the support and resources that they need," she said.

Breastfeeding rates are rising around the country for newborn infants, but the numbers drop as the babies age. The Centers for Disease Control’s annual breastfeeding report card showed that in 2014, almost 80 percent of moms in this state had breastfed their kids, but fewer and fewer women are able to continue at three months, six months, a year.

Workplace support might be the key. Chavez said one of the barriers for moms in the state is they have to go back to work sooner than they would like. "They’re not supported in the workplace," she said. "They’re not supported to be able to maintain their milk and pump while they’re separated from their infants."

State law mandates that employers provide a clean, private space that’s not a bathroom for employees to pump, and flexible break time. 


Find a list of events in New Mexico for World Breastfeeding Week.

Marisa Demarco began a career in radio at KUNM News in late 2013 and covered public health for much of her time at the station. During the pandemic, she is also the executive producer for Your NM Government and No More Normal, shows focused on the varied impacts of COVID-19 and community response, as well as racial and social justice. She joined Source New Mexico as editor-in-chief in 2021.
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