Workplace Support

Healthcare Reform Law

On March 23, 2010, President Barack Obama signed into federal law the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (also known as the Healthcare Reform Law). This law includes a provision at requires space and break time for nursing mothers under the Fair Labor Standards Act. Click here for a fact sheet that provides general information on this requirement.

Becoming a Breastfeeding-Friendly Employer

Employers who increase the support they provide for breastfeeding mothers have found that there are company and family benefits including:

  • Reduced staff turnover and increased retention of skilled workers after the birth of their child
  • Reduced leave time for parents of breastfed infants who are more resistant to illness
  • Lower and fewer health care costs associated with healthier breastfed infants
  • Higher job productivity, employee satisfaction, and morale
  • Enhanced loyalty among employees
  • Added recruitment incentives for women
  • Improved positive image in the community

Three essential requirements to ensure that employees can successfully combine work and breastfeeding include:

Time: Sufficient break time to pump, or flexible work hours.

Space: Provide a clean, comfortable, and private space for breastmilk expression. Access to a sink for hand and pump washing is necessary. The bathroom is not an acceptable option! Nearby, or on-site childcare would facilitate employees breastfeeding while on break or during lunch.

Support: Develop “mother-friendly” workplace policies; improve attitudes towards breastfeeding by educating workers and management about the benefits of breastfeeding. Survey your employees to assess the need to establish a place to pump on your work site. To become a breastfeeding-friendly employer see:

DC/Maryland Regional Breastfeeding Friendly Workplace Awards

Recognizes DC and Maryland businesses

Resources for Employers

CDC Healthier Worksite Initiative Lactation Support Program Toolkit

Business Case for Breastfeeding

Last Updated: Nov 2020

P.O. Box 29214, Washington, DC 20017 • Tel 202-470-2732 • email

Medical Disclaimer: The information presented here is not intended to diagnose health problems, breastfeeding problems, or to take the place of professional medical care. If you have persistent breastfeeding problems, or if you have further questions, please consult your health care provider. The DC Breastfeeding Coalition does not share partnership with, or have any vested interest in, any of the businesses that may appear on this site, or sites that may be accessible by links herein contained.