Example Policies

  • HR1848/2490(1999)  allows breastfeeding on federal property.
  • Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act  (2010) amended Section 7 of the Fair Labor Standards Act (1938), requiring employers to provide a reasonable amount of break time and space to express milk as frequently as needed by the nursing mother, for up to one year following the birth of the employee’s child.  The space provided must not be a bathroom, and it must be shielded from view and free from intrusion by coworkers or the public.   Employers with fewer than 50 employees are not subject to the break time provision if the employer can show that the requirements impose undue hardship.
Many state laws expand upon the federal requirements, addressing workplace breastfeeding, milk storage facilities,  the right to nurse at public and private locations, jury duty exemptions, and other related issues.  A summary of State statutes is available on the National Conference of State Legislatures website.

Local/Workplace wellness policies

While federal and state laws mandate a baseline of accommodation measures for breastfeeding in government worksites, local breastfeeding policies can enhance accommodations so that mothers are more supported to pump their milk at work.  For example, The Cities of Baldwin Park and Rancho Cucamonga adopted policies that include educating managers about lactation accommodation and informing employees about the city’s lactation accommodation policies before and after maternity leave.


Policy recommendations
  • Hospital and birthing center policies can have a great impact on breastfeeding success.   A hospital breastfeeding policy whereby a mother will receive lactation counseling and support from trained health care staff will increase the likelihood that that she will initiate and continue breastfeeding for 6 months to one year.  

    The Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative website contains guidelines and evaluation criteria for Hospitals that wish to promote breastfeeding and pursue the “Baby-Friendly” designation.

1.       The Business Case for Breastfeeding Promotion
2.       Workplace Breastfeeding Options
3.       Breastfeeding Promotion Program Components