Support for Breastfeeding and Lactation at Work
Federal legislation supports breastfeeding!
Last year, Congress passed new federal health reform, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, into law.
This law went into effect when the Act was signed on March 23,2010.
Section 4207 of the law requires all employers to provide:
Reasonable break time for an employee to express breast milk for her nursing child for one year after the child's birth each time such employee has need to express milk, and
A place, other than a bathroom, for the employee to express breast milk.
However, if an employer has less than 50 employees, he can claim that implementing these two supports would be undue hardship because of the size, financial resources, nature or structure of the business.
Undue hardship is not available for employers that employ less than 50 employees in one location.
Why is workplace support needed?
Nearly 60% of all women are employed in the work force in the United States
Women actually comprise almost half (~47%) of the whole U.S. labor force
Women with children are the fastest growing segment of the work force & almost 60% of women with children under the age of 3 work full-time
Most women go back to work 6-12 weeks after they give birth, but it's recommended that babies are breastfed or given breastmilk for at least 6 months
- Therefore, workplace lactation support programs are essential to help mothers continue to breastfeed/provide breastmilk for their babies after they return to work.
Supporting lactation is good for business:
Employers who provide a supportive environment to help women continue breastfeeding after childbirth enjoy many proven benefits that directly affect the bottom line.
Lower health care costs
Lower employee turnover rates among breastfeeding parents
Lower absenteeism rates among breastfeeding parents
Higher employee productivity and morale
Positive public relations in the community as "Mother-Friendly"
What does lactation support consist of?
*For information for employers, click here.* *For information for employees, click here.*