New Philly Law Mandates More Employer Support for Breastfeeding Moms

A new law in Philadelphia helps create more supportive workplace environments for mothers who choose to breastfed.

On September 3rd, Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter passed a city council bill, amending Philadelphia’s Fair Practices Ordinance and making it illegal “for any employer to fail to reasonably accommodate an individual’s need to express breast milk.” The bill became effective immediately. 

Under City Council Bill 130992, the amendment, covers all employers with employees in the City of Philadelphia. 

The Mayor’s announcement follows other recent efforts to improve breastfeeding support and therefore infant health outcomes in the Philadelphia area. For example, The First Food, Good Food Project by Common Market in Philadelphia, set out to better understand the influences of decision making for infant feeding options and personal eating habits. The pilot project, based in the Strawberry Mansion used on-the-ground community surveying and focus groups to better understand community influences and sentiment toward infant feeding and adult feeding options. Watch this video about the First Food/Good Food Project.  

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Breastfeeding Helps Obese Women Lose More Post Pregnancy

Losing weight can be challenging for most women, especially after giving birth. But, new research shows that obese mothers tend to lose more weight post-pregnancy when they breastfeed

In the new study, led by Andrea Sharma from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, found that obese women who breastfed for at least 4 months were more likely to lose the pregnancy weight than women who didn’t at all when they followed the American Academy of Pediatrics’ (AAP) breastfeeding recommendations of six months of exclusive breastfeeding. The participants weighed 18 pounds less then obese mothers who did not nurse.

According to Medical Daily, the study involved data from 726 women, taken between 2007 and 2007. Researchers compared data from their last trimester until six years after giving birth. The AAP recommends that women exclusively breastfeed for six months and continue breastfeeding for up to 12 months while feeding other baby food.

Out of all the participants, only 29 percent breastfed for the four months, and eighteen percent didn’t at all. While 20 percent breastfed up to a year.

Researchers wrote “This study suggest that improving adherence to breastfeeding may help reduce long-term weight retention among obese mothers. “

Minding the Gap: Discovering the Barriers to Breastfeeding

While community initiatives are being implemented to improve access to healthier food in low-income urban and rural households, a more innovative focus on understanding the key influencers for shifting behaviors can help eliminate “first food deserts,” (communities with limited resources to support breastfeeding) and help lower the infant mortality rates among African-American infants.

The First Food, Good Food Project by Common Market in Philadelphia set out to better understand the influences of decision making for infant feeding options and personal eating habits.

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