“When I became pregnant I was very clear that I wanted three months off to be with my newborn. As an African American woman I know the breast-feeding rate is lower for us than other women. I also know of the tremendous health benefits to breast feeding and I wanted them for my child.
While, my husband is not a low wageworker, he only works a certain number of months a year, so his salary has to stretch to the entire year. I work as a cashier at a locally owned grocery store and have been working there for the last four years. I was a full time student when I became pregnant. I had no access to paid family and medical leave to take the three months I know my baby needed. As it turned out my baby had major breast-feeding challenges. He was born with tongue-tie, which, made breast-feeding very difficult. He also had a frenectomy and required craniosacral therapy to improve his latch. I worked closely with a lactation specialist for almost twelve weeks. The lack of paid family and medical leave has left my family in financial debt. If was I able to have my baby and take the time to care for myself and meet our bonding and his medical needs, our family would be in a more secure place right now.”