90% of women in Washington State choose to nurse their baby, and most plan to continue when they return to work. Your support will make that possible!
Providing worksite lactation support is good for business and for employees and their families. All major medical authorities, including the Surgeon General and the American Academy of Pediatrics, recommend that babies get no food or drink other than human milk for the first six months of life and continue to breastfeed for at least the first one to two years. Only 20% of mothers are currently meeting this recommendation and cite returning to work as one of the most common reasons for giving up breastfeeding. More than half of all mothers with infants go back to work just weeks or months after their babies are born.
What are the Requirements for Employers?
The requirements are simple: a clean private area to express milk and a short break every 2 to 3 hours.
Having a worksite lactation support policy in place is a great way to ensure both the health and productivity of your workforce. Here are three policy examples:
Supporting Nursing Employees Benefits Everyone!
Higher Productivity – providing breastfeeding support results in higher productivity, increased employee satisfaction, strong company loyalty and lower employee turn-over.
Less Missed Work – parents of formula-fed infants miss three times as much work as compared to parents of breastfed babies.
Good Investment – companies with lactation programs experience a positive return on investment.
Improved Status – supporting breastfeeding employees improves your business’ reputation in your community.
Complying with the Federal Breaktime for Nursing Mother’s Law can be as Simple as Providing:
- Flexible break time for employees to express milk or nurse their babies
- A private, non-bathroom place with a door that locks
- A written policy outlining your support
- Information on how to combine employment with breastfeeding
Helpful Resources and Toolkits:
Contact the Breastfeeding Coalition of Washington, 206-838-8655, to request local support for technical assistance in implementing worksite lactation accommodation.
Investing in Workplace Breastfeeding Programs and Policies (pdf) a free toolkit developed by the US Department of Health and Human services
Webinar: Steps for Creating a Breastfeeding Friendly Worksite: Learn more about simple steps you can take to meet new FLSA requirements regarding worksite lactation accommodation that effectively support your employees!
Supporting Nursing Moms at Work: Employer Solutions and Apoyo a la lactancia materna en el trabajo: soluciones para el empleador from the Office on Women’s Health, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.