In a joint statement issued during the 2023 Breastfeeding Week, the FDA and GHS have urged the enactment of national legislation aimed at safeguarding the breastfeeding rights of working parents.
The proposed legislation is expected to include provisions for full leave, flexible work arrangements, and dedicated breastfeeding leave to facilitate optimal care for infants.
Expressing concern over the challenges faced by working parents in adhering to exclusive breastfeeding for the recommended six months, the FDA and GHS highlighted the importance of breastfeeding as a fundamental right crucial for a child's survival and development.
Despite the recognized health benefits of breastfeeding, many working parents encounter obstacles such as long working hours, limited maternity leave, inadequate breastfeeding leave, and workplace stigma.
The statement called on employers to create breastfeeding-friendly workplaces equipped with safe spaces, hygienic facilities, and appropriate storage for breast milk.
It emphasized the need for collaborative efforts among governments, employers, civil society, and community organizations to address barriers and establish a conducive environment for breastfeeding working parents.
The 2023 World Breastfeeding Week, themed “Enabling Breastfeeding: Making a Difference for Working Parents,” aims to raise awareness about the significance of supportive environments that enable working parents to continue breastfeeding without compromising their professional responsibilities.