Nursing And Diaper Changes For All

A mom, who is also a racing jockey, was recently defended big time by the California Horse Racing Board chairman, which hopefully sets a precedent for working moms in the racing industry.

Racing horse

Score one for moms -- Kayla Stra, a race horse jockey, was recently defended by an official with the California Racing Board when she felt she was being discriminated against because she was changing her baby’s diapers and breastfeeding him in the jock locker room.

Mom duties on the job

Kayla, a jockey from Australia who has been riding in the Southern California colony for around two years, believed that the stewards at the facility had banned her from breastfeeding her infant son in the locker room. In a phone call to a radio show, she became emotional when she described how the stewards told her agent that she needed to choose between being a mom and being a jockey.

Hollywood Park then provided her with a special room for her mommy duties, but this was quickly put to an end by California Horse Racing Board chairman David Israel, who issued a no-nonsense statement to Hollywood Park’s stewards.

No special rooms

“The CHRB will not tolerate discrimination in any form against anyone for any reason. No special rooms. No one goes to the back of the damn bus. Period. In order for a new mother to do her job, certain accommodations need to be made. Not only can a jockey also be a mother, I'd like to encourage women to consider the possibility and the profession. Reach out to Stra right now, call her in, straighten this out, restore full rights in the jock's room, and then put her on the phone with me so I can apologize to her on behalf of the CHRB. Thank you.”

"Not only can a jockey also be a mother, I'd like to encourage women to consider the possibility and the profession"

Kayla, who has seen other riders with their babies in the common area, was told she couldn’t take her baby there, but that is no longer the case. And now her nanny can be with them in the locker room and she can also sit with the baby while his mom is riding, whenever they wish.

My take

This is a wonderful statement on workplace equality for moms. I love the bold words David Israel used -- that she should be treated the same, she has full rights and that he’d like to encourage women to consider the profession because jockeys can absolutely be mothers too. Bravo!

More on breastfeeding moms

The hidden benefits of breastfeeding
How dads can bond with a breastfeeding baby
Judged for breastfeeding -- or not

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