San Angelo’s WIC office is trying to inspire other businesses to make it easier on working mothers who are breastfeeding. The Department of State Health Services designated the WIC office at Goodfellow Air Force Base as a Texas mother-friendly worksite. Now the organization wants to motivate others.
“This is a big boost to have them included in this designation,” says Gillian MacKenzie, the WIC Manager.
The WIC office in downtown is also designated. Letty Gamez works there. She takes advantage of it.. She is breastfeeding her 11-month-old daughter.
“Just being able to have the time to be able to pump and continue feeding your child and continue giving her the nutrition that she needs. It feels great. It’s hard to find a job that is friendly with breastfeeding,” says Letty Gamez, a nurse at WIC who is also breastfeeding. Something she was not able to do with her older kids.
“You feel secluded you know. I had to breastfeed in the car but also breastfeed in the car. You just wish that employers were more supportive,” says Gamez.
She thinks there should be a breastfeeding area at any public place.
“Just like there’s a restroom somewhere. There should be a designated spot to feed your kid. There’s tables everybody to eat,” says Gamez.
For now, the WIC office is hoping local businesses start participating. To get a worksite designated mother friendly, you need; a private area and clean running water. “So they can wash their hands and all that they have to,” says MacKenzie.
Also a place to store milk is required. “A place just to store he milk. We supply that here. We also have the same facility at the base,” says MacKenzie
Also required is employers to give breaks or enough time for mothers to pump or breastfeed. The area at the WIC office is not just for employees. Anyone who needs to store milk or needs to pump can use it.
“If there’s anyone who is a working mother, they have a place, they can go to safely. You can breastfeed anywhere. It’s the law but they have an area where they can get some privacy if that’s what they wish,” says MacKenzie.
For a list of designated employers in the area or if you have a business and are interested in being designated a mother friendly worksite, there’s a easy form online at http://texasmotherfriendly.org/getting-designated