A bill has been introduced into the Ohio House of Representatives that would exempt breastfeeding mothers from jury duty in Ohio. House Bill 34, sponsored by Rep. Roy Klopfenstein and Rep. Angie King, seeks to add an exemption to ORC Section 2313.14 for mothers breastfeeding a child one year of age or younger. This exemption would help alleviate conflicts between courtroom schedules and facilities, and the need for accommodations for lactation, and help prevent a new mother from needing to respond to jury duty summons in the early weeks and months of breastfeeding. If you would like to support this legislation, please contact your Ohio House Representative and ask them to support House Bill 34. OBA testified on behalf of HB 34 on February 28, 2023.
Want to know more about the state of breastfeeding in Ohio? You can find the USBC State Breastfeeding report for Ohio at this link, showing rates, initiatives, partners, programs, and policy affecting breastfeeding success for Ohio families.
USBC has shared these state breastfeeding reports with members of Congress as part of an initiative to focus on improving support and funding for breastfeeding policy and programs on the federal level. You can help USBC support attention for breastfeeding from Congress by amplifying their voice with yours. Contact your congressional representative and let them know that you expect them to attend to the USBC information, including the state breastfeeding report, and to support initiatives that improve and support breastfeeding.
The PUMP Act has passed and is now in effect for US workers and employers, (with a delay in enforcement provisions until April 28, 2023,) and if you have questions about the new law, you can visit the USBC explainer on their website to get all your questions answered. The US Department of Labor also has a press release and an updated webpage and resources related to the PUMP Act.
Another important piece of legislation that has become law this year is the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act, which provides for accommodations for pregnant workers on the job to help to protect their pregnancy. You can find out more about this new law here.
OBA is seeking nominations for Regional Representatives in Region 4 and Region 6. Region 4 includes Franklin, Delaware, Morrow, Marion, Wyandot, Union Madison, Fayette, Pickaway, Ross, Fairfield, Licking, Knox, and Coschocton counties. Region 6 includes Crawford, Richland, Ashland, Medina, Wayne, Homes, Tuscararwas, Carroll, Stark, Summit, Portage, Trumbull, Mahoning, and Columbiana counties. If you live or work in one of these regions, please consider nominating yourself for our Leadership Board, and helping to shape the future of breastfeeding/bodyfeeding support in Ohio. You can submit your name at https://forms.gle/sFH5CxgTgxuCW28X9. If you would like to learn more or have questions about serving OBA, please feel free to email us at email@example.com, or contact your current regional representative.
The Ohio Workplace Plus program provides information and support for workplace lactation programs through a toolkit with components for both employers and employees, as well as breastfeeding advocates. OBA is also available to offer support and information for your support of breastfeeding and lactation facilities in your workplace; contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Academy of Breastfeeding Medicine released this statement on the COVID-19 vaccine for lactating persons: https://www.bfmed.org/abm-statement-considerations-for-covid-19-vaccination-in-lactation. A chief statement is that receiving the COVID-19 vaccine is not contraindicated for breastfeeding individuals, nor should breastfeeding be discontinued if the vaccine is received. “Although there is currently no clinical data on use of COVID-19 mRNA vaccines in lactation, the United States Food and Drug Administration EUA left open the possibility of administering the vaccine to both pregnant and lactating individuals.”
Working families trying to balance breastfeeding and employment may find this new information resource, titled “Rights of the Breastfeeding Worker in the Context of COVID-19,” useful to be informed about your rights as an employee during the pandemic.
If you are interested in representing your region or state-wide breastfeeding organization on our Leadership Board, or in serving on an OBA working committee, please contact us at email@example.com.
Check our Facebook page for breastfeeding news and OBA updates!
OBA has partnered with Ohio Department of Health and Ohio Child Care Resource and Referral Association to launch a program that recognizes child care centers and businesses that are breastfeeding friendly in their practices and policies. Child care businesses can earn a tiered rating that shows their knowledge of and support for breastfeeding in their care setting. The ODH Breastfeeding/Child Care webpage is the place to find more information about the recognition program.
OBA has produced a resource kit and two short videos supporting education about breastfeeding in public in Ohio. We encourage you to watch the videos and share the toolkit with others who may be interested in them.
The Ohio Early Childhood Health Network, through their partners, Ohio Department of Health and Ohio Hospital Association, is continuing support of a program to encourage hospitals to support breastfeeding. Ohio First Steps rewards hospitals for progress on guidelines created to support breastfeeding by the Baby Friendly Hospital Initiative. You can get more information and contact the program directors through this website. OBA is looking forward to supporting hospitals interested in pursuing this initiative.
Is your healthcare facility interested in promoting and protecting breastfeeding? Here’s an important first step: Support the WHO Code for Marketing of Breastmilk Substitutes by removing advertising and marketing about infant formula from your healthcare setting. Visit BanTheBags.org for detailed information about why and how removing free formula samples and advertising supports breastfeeding. You can also visit our Resources page for Healthcare Providers to find more links to great information on supporting breastfeeding in your clinical setting.