Lactation Accommodation for Agricultural Workers in Monterey County
Agricultural companies with Woman, Infants & Children (WIC)-eligible employees can seek free breastfeeding consultation from Monterey County WIC. WIC can provide information and guidance to help companies support lactation in the workplace for both field and plant employees.
Many mothers who work in agriculture in Monterey County are able to continue breastfeeding when they return to work with the support of employers that offer them their legal right to express their milk in the workplace. Pumped breast milk can be stored for up to 24 hours in insulated lunch bags with ice packs.
WIC can provide breastfeeding aids to participants, including battery-powered pumps and windshield visors, so that mothers are able to pump safely and privately at their workplace. While breastfeeding farm workers pump their breast milk in private vehicles, some companies provide their employees use of a supervisor's pick-up or a pop-up tent. Plant workers report pumping in the first aid station, private offices or personal vehicles.
WIC also provides help to breastfeeding mothers in the form of peer support. WIC peer counselors have breastfed at least one child themselves and are either former agricultural employees or have family members that work in the agricultural industry. They understand the challenges of pumping in the ag workplace and can provide the informational and material support for successful pumping
For more information on the state and federal laws protecting lactation accommodation in the workplace, please visit the Lactation in the Workplace Laws webpage.
Breastfeeding Mothers Find Creative Places to Express their Milk in the Workplace:
Remedios pumps her milk in her supervisor's pick-up truck using a re-chargeable pump during breaks at her job as a strawberry worker.
Read More About Remedios:"Field Workers Who Breastfeed Find Support" http://www.healthycal.org/archives/10489#comments
Ideally a clean, private location should be available for women who request their legal right to pump breast milk at work. Many employers have diffrent options within the workplace to offer their employees.
For more information on lactation accommodation for agricultural workers please contact the WIC and County Breastfeeding Coordinator, Janet C. Vaughan at 831-796-2866, email firstname.lastname@example.org
Video: A Day in the Life of a Field Worker- Un Dia en la Vida de Una Campesina
The following video documents the life of a breastfeeding WIC mother participant. The video portrays her everyday lifestyle as a mother and agricultural worker. The purpose of this video is to educate and encourage our agricultural working mothers to continue breastfeeding their infants when they return to work and to show the importance of employer support.