Working hard to support nursing moms-NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth

2021-11-13 09:09:52 By : Mr. Jimmy Zhang

A new bill is being passed by Congress that will help millions of breastfeeding mothers across the country.

One of Garland’s mothers also has her mission to improve North Texas’s difficulty in accessing comfortable spaces that can accommodate breastfeeding women.

Kelli Mumphrey said that she saw such a huge difference, so she started her own pop-up store business called MilkSpace.

"I founded MilkSpace in 2018 to provide service solutions for outdoor areas frequented by my mother to ensure she has a space to meet her breastfeeding needs," she said.

MilkSpace set up a walk-in canopy tent with privacy, seats, power for mother to plug in the pump, and even a refrigerator to keep the milk cold on site.

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Mumphrey's goal is to bring more people into contact with local businesses, events and non-profit organizations in the area.

"We definitely can't get these services to satisfy women's preferences because it has to do with breastfeeding in open spaces. For mothers who have no concerns about breastfeeding or sucking in public, this is great. But for For a woman who wants a designated private clean and peaceful place, it's hard to find," she said.

She is not alone in her mission to help other mothers. There is a potential new law to support more women in the workplace.

The US House of Representatives recently passed the PUMP Act, which represents the Emergency Maternity Protection Act for Nursing Mothers. It will extend workplace protection for breastfeeding mothers to millions of workers.

The bill has the support of the White House and major business groups.

Currently, the next step is to clear the Senate. If passed, it will require employers with 25 or more employees to provide time and private space for breastfeeding mothers.

But Mumphrey said that support for breastfeeding women should extend beyond the office.

"I know there is legislation for breastfeeding in the workplace, but mothers are not just at work. They are everywhere," she said.

Mumphrey is a Navy veteran who said she has been trying to find a quiet and private space to breastfeed in public, especially during her military service and when raising children in DFW. She said that she likes to go to the park with her family, but it is difficult to find a comfortable place to breastfeed when she is out.

This is why she hopes that her pop-up window and speaking out loud can start a conversation to make more changes at the local level.

"We have to start discussing what can be done... as a collaborative approach for the community-starting at the national level and penetrating down to the state and local levels," she said. "Because while there is legislation to address breastfeeding in the workplace, the legislation-House Bill No. 541 [passed in 2019]-stipulates that women have the right to breastfeed and/or express milk wherever they are authorized to appear. But this is just a matter of paper. If we do not take this approach as a community collective to ensure that mothers have the power needed to exercise our breastfeeding rights, it will be a kind of harm."

Mumphrey's action to serve other mothers stems from her family's entrepreneurial spirit. Her grandfather owned the first gas station owned by blacks in her hometown of Portsmouth, Virginia, followed by her father, mother, and aunt, each of whom made a difference in their own business.

Her own business has carried out many activities in northern Texas, but Mumphrey said she hopes to bring her pop-up and educational opportunities to non-profit organizations, especially those that support women of color.

"The data shows that there are differences between different races, mainly black women," she said.

According to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there are ethnic differences among breastfeeding mothers.

The latest data from the CDC shows that 75% of white women have breastfed, compared with 58.9% of black women. According to the Black Mother Breastfeeding Association, this data gap is a catalyst for raising awareness, not only for black breastfeeding women but also for the additional importance of black mother care.

You can read more about the data in the CDC's annual breastfeeding report card here.

Health experts attribute breastfeeding to lowering the incidence of allergies, diseases, and cancer as babies grow older — Mummphrey says these health issues have disproportionately affected black and Hispanic women.

"I really want to focus on underserved communities that may not have access to the resources women might have in other areas," Mumphrey said.

MilkSpace provides more information on its website.

For more resources, you can also visit the website of the non-profit Texas Breastfeeding Alliance, which has a program to help companies support more breastfeeding mothers.