AUSTIN (KXAN) – Tuesday a lot of new Texas laws kick in, one of them is meant to make life easier for new moms who want to breastfeed. Its called the Right to Express Milk in the Workplace Act and it’s aimed to improve the health of children and make it less stressful on mothers.
Michelle Wallis is a new mother. She breastfeeds her daughter Pearl.
“You know if you can do it, you know a lot of women have trouble breast feeding, I was lucky enough to be able to do it. If you can do it, it is the preferred food for your baby. For at least the first year of life,” said Wallis.
All over the country, Doctors tout the benefits of breastfeeding and this year, lawmakers got the message. On September 1st, all public employers will have to provide a private space and time for women to breastfeed at work. It could be as simple as a single stall bathroom. But it will includes schools, state departments… and will also give women protection from being fired having to use unpaid time off for pumping.
“Anything that can help bring awareness to that is fantastic and certainly this law is part of that,” said Wallis.
Michelle says this is just another layer of support in the early – ever stressful – beginning stages of parenthood.
“I did have a lot of support at home and at work, to continue to make it happen,” said Wallis.
Bastrop County already has their policy ready to go. Moms will be able to take *four paid 30-minute breaks at work to express milk in a closed door room. However, It’s only during the first year after maternity leave.