Kenyan Parliament has approved that breastfeeding areas be set side in offices to allow nursing mothers the necessity of breastfeeding their babies. Report says that “the breastfeeding stations would include breast pumps for expressing milk and fridges” too. Nursing mothers must also be given time to feed their babies.
Prior to this development, the idea of creating or attaching creches to establishments was a somewhat trend. This really is a welcome development for working nursing mothers. The permission to have secluded areas where they can attend to their babies’ needs is definitely thoughtful and beneficial to the children most especially.
It is not that anything was wrong doing that before now, but the sight of a breastfeeding mother in a work environment is not exactly corporate-friendly. But with this breastfeeding station attached to the law, nursing mothers can afford to have some privacy to feed their children.
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This might help in reducing the helpless option of leaving babies with domestic workers, some of whom have given Africa incredible dramas. Most of all it will utterly improve the health of the growing babies. Did we forget to mention that breastfeeding is cost-effective? The good part for employers is that the frequency of breastfeeding reduces as the child grows older. So they will have to patiently accept this temporal arrangement.
So how many establishments can afford an extra space for breastfeeding? Will this be a potential basis for marginalization of married and nursing mothers during recruitment exercises? On the reverse, it could also be a form of incentive to assure the workers that their welfare outside the office really matters. This is a great way to motivate and boost the productivity of workers.
Whatever challenge this law poses for corporate establishments, it is worthy to know that it is for the larger good of the society. The biggest asset any nation has is the people; and when these people are not given the best, it rubs off on posterity. Health experts advise that it is recommended that babies are breastfed as frequently as possible to ensure a good wholesome formation.
Breastfeeding benefits both mother and baby. According to Wikipedia, it decreases the risk of respiratory tract infections, lower risks of asthma, food allergies, type 1 diabetes, leukemia and diarrhea in children. And for the mother, it helps in retaining fertility, reduces anemic (blood loss) cases, decreased risk of breast cancer, cardiovascular disease and rheumatoid arthritis.
Kenya has joined countries like South Africa and Uganda in making healthy provisions for working nursing mothers.