March 22, 2010

Breastfeeding Mothers WIN in Health Care Reform!

Returning to work and continuing to breastfeeding just got easier! No matter what side of the political fence you are on, it is clear that the recently passed health care legislation is a HUGE win for breastfeeding mothers and their babies!!!

Section 4207, entitled Reasonable Break Time for Nursing Mothers, allows a breastfeeding mother to take a break to pump. It requires business with more than 50 employees to provide a private space to pump, that is not a bathroom.

Previously, while 44 states, Puerto Rico and the District of Columbia, protect women's rights to breastfeed in public, less than half of the states have laws on the books relating to breastfeeding in the workplace.

The health care reform legislation has changed that! Text from the legislation is as follows:
Section 7 of the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938 (29 U.S.C. 207) is amended by adding at the end the following:
(r)(1) An employer shall provide—
(A) a reasonable break time for an employee to express breast milk for her nursing child for 1 year after the child’s birth each time such employee has need to express the milk; and
(B) a place, other than a bathroom, that is shielded from view and free from intrusion from co-workers and the public, which may be used by an employee to express breast milk.
(2) An employer shall not be required to compensate
an employee receiving reasonable break time under paragraph (1) for any work time spent for such purpose.
(3) An employer that employs less than 50 employees
shall not be subject to the requirements of this subsection,
if such requirements would impose an undue hardship by
causing the employer significant difficulty or expense when
considered in relation to the size, financial resources, nature, or structure of the employer’s business.
(4) Nothing in this subsection shall preempt a State
law that provides greater protections to employees than the
protections provided for under this subsection.’’
This is a giant leap forward for mother's who want to continue to breastfeed their babies once they return to work. If you are mom preparing to return to work and are looking for additional resources on pumping check out La Leche League, and Ameda.

1 comment:

  1. I am so excited to learn of all the relevance to mothers and all the legislation helps. I just learned yesterday of the provision for doulas and now this! Hooray for mommies everywhere! BTW, lovely blog, so nice to meet you!