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©2012 KS Breastfeeding Coalition


The Business Case for Breastfeeding is a national initiative of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Health Resources and Services Administration’s Maternal and Child Health Bureau, and the HHS Office on Women’s Health. Kansas Breastfeeding Coalition is a partner in this national initiative

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For Employees

Breastfeeding WORKS for Working Women!
Here’s How...

Congratulations for making the healthy choice to breastfeed your baby! Mothers everywhere have found that they can continue to give their babies the important health benefits of breastfeeding even after they return to work. Let us help you transition back to your working life.


Know of a Supportive Employer?  
Invite them to apply for an award...

Download letter inviting employer to apply for the "Breastfeeding Employee Support Award"
Download award application

Need help working with your employer?  
Use this form to request additional help...

Download Referral Form

Need to file a complaint with the U.S. Department of Labor, Wage & Hour Division?  
Call (913) 551-5721



Online Guide from the United States Breastfeeding Committee: 
What You Need to Know About the "Break Time for Nursing Mothers" Law

This guide compiles the above resources in an easy to understand format to ensure all moms have the information they need to make working and breastfeeding a success. It was designed to help employees understand their rights as a breastfeeding mom in the workplace and serve as a break time resource for families and employers with questions about the law. Click the topics below to learn more:

  1. Are the breaks paid or unpaid?
  2. Who is covered by the law?
  3. What if your state already has a law?
  4. Who is in charge of enforcing the law?
  5. What are the benefits to employers?
  6. How should you prepare to go back to work?
  7. How should you talk to your employer about nursing breaks?
  8. What does the undue hardship exemption mean for employees?
  9. What are the space requirements?
  10. How much time is "reasonable"?
  11. How often can you pump during the workday?
  12. How long do you have the right to pump at work?
  13. How should you store your breast milk?
  14. What equipment and supplies do you need?
  15. What are creative solutions for break time and space?
  16. What do you do if your employer refuses to comply?
  17. Where should you go for help?
  18. How else does the Affordable Care Act impact breastfeeding families?
  19. What other resources are available?
  20. What about helpful breastfeeding tips?
Creation of this content was funded in part by a contract with the United States Department of Health and Human Services, Office on Women's Health.

Nursing Mothers Card Click here to download wallet card from the Department of Labor outlining your rights under the federal law.
 

Where to find breastfeeding help and support

Resources for choosing a breast pump


Approaching your Supervisor

Most employers are happy to provide the support you need, as long as they know what your needs are and how important it is for you to have their support. If your company does not have a nursing employee support program, it could be that nobody has asked for one!

  • Nursing is the healthiest choice for your baby, resulting in fewer illnesses, infections, and certain types of skin irritations (dermatitis). It also helps you recover from pregnancy, and may reduce your risk of breast cancer. Be sure to discuss these important reasons to nurse with your supervisor.
  • Your supervisor may not know what you need to continue nursing. Simply explain your basic needs for privacy and flexible breaks to express milk. (Dowload a sample letter you can use.)
  • Show how meeting your nursing needs will benefit the company.
  • Employees are less likely to miss work to take care of a sick baby because the baby is healthier. (This is true for moms and dads.)
  • Health care costs are lower since both baby and mother are healthier.
  • Employees who receive support for nursing are happier and more productive.
  • Explain that you are committed to keeping the milk expression area clean when you are through, storing your milk properly, and not taking longer than necessary for milk expression breaks.
  • Be prepared! Consider possible concerns your supervisor might have. (See below.)
  • Be a team member. Be sensitive to the issues that are important to your company, and show how supporting your efforts to nurse can help both of you accomplish your goals.
  • Be sure to show your appreciation for efforts made by your supervisor to support your nursing.

What you may hear and how you can respond

“We have no space for a pumping area.”

  • Look around and find a space that you are willing to use
  • Remind supervisor how small a space is needed (even a 4’ x 5’ space can work!)

“The other employees might complain if you take time to do this.”

  • Encourage coworkers to learn about the benefits of nursing to your and your baby’s health
  • Remind them that this is a temporary need for you and your baby, and that you will use your approved breaks

“If we do this for one person, we might have to do this for others, too.”

  • Remind supervisor that supporting this for others, too.” nursing benefits the company
  • Remind supervisor of other company approved breaks, such as smoking or exercise, if offered.

Dealing with Coworkers

Seek to understand coworker concerns and work together to find solutions.

  • Let coworkers know that nursing is not only the healthiest
    choice for you and your baby, it also helps lower the company’s
    health care costs.
  • If other workers do not understand the breaks you are taking to express milk, remind them you are using allowed breaks and making up any additional time you miss.

Find Other Nursing Mothers

  • Seek out other nursing mothers at work and share experiences and tips through e-mail or even a monthly lunchtime mothers’ support meeting. If there are no other nursing women at work, ask your local hospital for information about local mothers’ groups.

For more helpful information download the HHS resource, 
Employees’ Guide to Breastfeeding and Working

 

 

NEW Webinars for employers:

Worksite Lactation Support, a overview 30-minute webinar
Implementing Worksite Lactation Law,, a 50-minute webinar covering federal laws on this issue as well as financial benefits to businesses.