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Wednesday, April 04, 2007California is already pretty far ahead of the game in terms of breastfeeding legislation, but they're working on some more.
The current laws in California already provide:
1.) Exclusion from jury duty during the first year that a mother breast feeds
2.) Governs processing of milk by milk banks
3.) Encourages businesses to provide accommodations for mothers that need to express milk
4.) Protects a mother's right to nurse in public (and many private) locations
5.) Proclaims breastfeeding awareness week
6.) Promotes breastfeeding as a public service and requires hospitals to supply LCs
7.) Require businesses to provide a break and location for pumping
Even with all of that already in place, the California Senate Health Committee passed a new measure this week. The bill now moves to the Senate Appropriations in April.
Senate Bill 22, which was introduced by Senator Carole Migden, is designed to promote breastfeeding among low-income women and to provide training to hospitals that currently have low breastfeeding rates.
"Though breastfeeding is a proven disease and obesity prevention strategy, only 40 percent of new mothers leave the hospital breastfeeding exclusively," said Migden.
According to a press release from Sen Migden's office, the bill:
* It expands the number of WIC sites in our state so that more peer counselors are available to provide culturally appropriate education and support services to needy mothers.
* It streamlines reimbursement and access to breast pump rentals and other assistance under Medi-Cal.
* It provides training to hospitals with low breastfeeding rates so that more women of all incomes are breastfeeding the first 48 hours after birth.
California readers are encouraged to contact their senators to encourage a positive vote on this measure.