Workplace Support

National Employee Lactation Accommodations Database

Every Mother, Inc. and Altarum Institute are working with the HHS Office on Women's Health to develop (or create) an on-line searchable resource to showcase creative solutions for supporting employees who are nursing their babies, with a special emphasis on employers of hourly overtime eligible employees and those working in more challenging work environments. The resource will be available in Fall 2012.

To help populate the web-based platform, success stories from businesses of all industry types are being solicited over the next few weeks. Every Mother and Altarum hope to identify workplaces willing to share their solutions for both the time and space requirements of the Federal nursing breaks law [which amends Section 7 of the Fair Labor Standards Act], and have created an online submission site to make it easy. On this site, employers willing to share their ideas can enter information about their accommodations. A member of the project team may follow up to learn more. All information will be kept strictly confidential and no identifying information will be made public without permission from the employer.

For more information about the project, contact:

Every Mother, Inc. Altarum Institute
Cathy Carothers, Co-Director Doris McGuire
States East of the Mississippi River States West of the Mississippi River

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:

Resources for Employers

CDC Healthier Worksite Initiative Lactation Support Program Toolkit

Business Case for Breastfeeding

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.
Last Updated: June 2018