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Disclaimer: The information in this post is for educational purposes only. I am not a doctor. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice. None of the opinions are meant to diagnose or treat any disease or illness. You should always consult your healthcare provider.

Workplace Breastfeeding Laws

Six weeks after my daughter was born, I went back to work at the hospital PRN (two shifts every 28 days). Doing this was one of the hardest things I have done.

My daughter was still a newborn, but because of finances it had to be done. When I went back to work, I was thankful for the Affordable Care Act (ACA) because it improved breastfeeding laws for me and women all across the country. One of the most important sections of the law required the hospital I worked at to provide a break time and a room for employees to pump their breast milk.

What are the workplace breastfeeding laws and how do they affect you?

Workplace Breastfeeding Laws

The ACA was passed by Congress on March 21, 2010. On March 23, President Obama signed the ACA into law. As a result of the law, employers are now required to provide a:

  1. Reasonable break time for nursing mothers for 1 year after the birth of a child. Employers need to realize that the frequency of pumping breaks can vary from woman to woman. For example, women with younger babies will most likely need to take breaks more frequently than those with older babies.
  2. Place (cannot be a bathroom) for a nursing mother to express her milk. The place does not have to be a room that is permanently set aside for the sole use of mothers expressing their milk, but the place must be shielded from view and free from intrusion of co-workers. It must also be available for use whenever a nursing mother needs it. Partitions or curtains may be used in the room so that other nursing mothers can express breast milk too.

You should be aware that if you take a break to express your breast milk, your employer is not required to pay you for the time you are on break, unless your employer already compensates you during your other break times. In this case your employer must also compensate you when you go on break to express milk.

If compliance with either of the two provisions causes an undue hardship” to employers with less than 50 employees, the employers are not subject to the requirements of the ACA. However, in some states they may be obligated to provide breaks and/or a place to pump breast milk.

If a state law provides greater protection to breastfeeding mothers than the breastfeeding laws of the ACA, then you are fully protected by the state law.

Source here and here.

Sarah is a Christian, wife, and mother of two. She is a nurse by training but has stayed at home with her daughter for almost 4 years. During Sarah’s free time, you can find her knitting, sewing, and blogging over at her personal blog over: Wife, Mummy, Nurse.


  1. MrsDewees says

    Do you know if there are any laws that protect moms that still need to pump after baby turns one?

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