On the 5th of June 2014, I had the chance to attend the Lactation Management Workshop at the 23rd Congress of Obstetrics & Gynaecology Society of Malaysia.
The Theme was: Mother's Rights to Work, Worker's Rights to Motherhood
I sincerely would love to share this information with women out there for you to know your rights as a breastfeeding mother.
The information which I am going to disclose here was presented at the congress and is adapted from the following file. Do read it if you have the time to do so :-)
Maternity protection at the workplace is a legal and social recognition of the contribution that women make by having babies. The International Labour Organization (ILO) first recognised the importance of maternity protection in 1919 in its third convention (C3). In 1952, a second ILO maternity protection convention was adopted (C103), and in 2000 a third.
During the 20th Century, most countries of the world have enacted maternity protection legislation at national level.
Seven Key Elements of Maternity Protection are:
-Covers all employed women including those in atypical forms of dependent work (meaning those in part time, temporary work who have an employer).
-Length of leave increase from 12 weeks to 14 weeks. (compulsory 6 weeks postnatal leave).
-Cash benefits of no less than 2/3 of salary.
-Prenatal, childbirth and post-natal care and hospitalization
4. Health Protection
- protection for women and their babies from hazards in the workplace
5. Job Protection
- Job protection and non-discrimination: holding a woman’s job or a job at the same level to which she can return after leave; forbidding discrimination on the grounds of maternity
6. Breastfeeding Breaks
- A woman has the right to one or more daily paid breaks for breastfeeding or a daily reduction of working hours.
7. Breastfeeding Facilities
- a place where a worker can feed her baby or express her milk
The ultimate goal is to have these elements implemented as a minimum standard in national legislation on maternity protection.
Do correct me if I am wrong, but currently in Malaysia, maternity protections has not reached the level of "LEGISLATION" yet. This is what we as Breastfeeding Advocates are currently aiming for and working towards it step by step.
Below are the comparisons of Maternity Leaves and practice of Breastfeeding Breaks in various countries:
So what are the ILO Recommendations for future Maternity Protection? (R191)
Below are some things Medical Proffessionals can help to assist in helping a working mother achieve successful breastfeeding: