The United States Breastfeeding Committee (USBC) applauds the passage of the health care reform package, in particular, the workplace breastfeeding support provision in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. The provision states that employers shall provide reasonable, unpaid break time and a private, non-bathroom place for an employee to express breast milk for her nursing child for one year after the child's birth. Employers with less than 50 employees are not subject to the requirement if it would cause "undue hardship."This was the primary reason that I did not return to my last job: after discussing what would happen when I returned before I went on maternity leave, my workplace told me, two weeks before my scheduled return, that my "private place" would be the bathroom on my floor. They were aware what issues I had had with breastfeeding my first and how dedicated I was to being able to breastfeed my second.
So I did not return to work and we started looking for a way to live on one income while being a two income family.
When we think about when or whether we will return to the USA, one of the most important factors has been health care. I was laid off after 9/11 and luckily COBRA covered me until I found a new job, as the German and I were not yet married. I never want to be in a place again where the loss of a job could leave me or my family without healthcare. Our lives are too important to take that risk.
Thank heavens it looks like this will not be an issue in the future.