RN Kathy English checks out supplies in one of the private pumping rooms at Avera McKennan.
There's a new law on the books nationwide that gives new moms more privacy in the work place to pump. Action News Anchor Nancy Naeve Brown asked a lactation consultant at Avera McKennan about health care reform in the workplace.
Kathy English, RN and Lactation Consultant at Avera McKennan says, "This is huge for working moms. The new Healthcare Reform Act also known as the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act was signed into law by President Obama in March. It gives every woman her legal right to have a pump room provided by her employer. Now she can return to work and not worry about where she is going to pump or if someone is going to walk in or even worse have to use the bathroom. This law specifically states you can't be sent to the bathroom. This is huge for moms, especially in South Dakota.
Q: This state has so many working moms and you have always been a breast milk advocate so why are you so excited about this new law?
A: Now they (moms) have clout when they go to their employer. We have 10,000 babies in the state of South Dakota that will be impacted by this law. We have a very good initiation rate, meaning moms initiate breastfeeding while they are in the hospital at a rate of 76% but that falls off dramatically after 3 months to 15% and that's because moms need to go back to work. We have the largest number of working women across the country so this is wonderful for moms and their children."