Sunday, January 31, 2016

ACTION ALERT! #PaidFamilyLeave Helps Bond with New Baby

I took advantage of California Paid Family Leave(PFL) after my baby was born. During that 6 weeks, I bonded with my baby by breastfeeding him as often and as long as possible; I also built a very good milk supply. By the time I went back to work when my little one turned 6 weeks old, I had one gallon of breast milk stored in my freezer.

The working environment I returned to was, unfortunately, very unfriendly to breastfeeding mothers.

I went through a long, exhausting process of fighting just for a reasonable pumping space and a harassment-free office, which caused me to be stressed out with my milk drying up.

Luckily, I was able to continue exclusively breastfeeding my little one with my stored milk supply. When I was about to use up that storage, I left my job and became a freelancer. I was relieved and my milk supply came back. My little one was exclusively breastfed for six months and continued breastfed to 2.5 years of age.

Experts agree that breastfeeding is baby’s best start. I wouldn’t be able to give my little one that best start without PFL. That is how important PFL is to breastfeeding mothers and babies. I am lucky. I live in California, the first state in the country to pass PFL in 2002. Now Assembly Bill (AB) 908 (Gomez) would provide greater economic security and equity in California's PFL and State Disability Insurance (SDI) programs by raising the current wage replacement rates for both programs, extending PFL from six to eight weeks, and eliminating the current waiting period when applying for PFL benefits, which I believe that all the working mothers in this state deserve.

If you agree, I invite you to join me TODAY and submit a letter of support as a PDF to Assm. Gomez's office care of Annabel Snider:

Please click here to download a template letter of support. Don't forget to put the sample support letter on your organization's letterhead, with current date, your signature, and add AB 908 Support in the subject line!

This is an original post for San Diego County Breastfeeding Coalition by To-wen Tseng. Photo courtesy Mu-huan Chiang.

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