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Women who choose to nurse their infants can continue, even after they return to work, with support from their employers! When women express their milk by hand or with a breast pump every 2-3 hours or so, they can maintain their milk production and provide their life-saving milk for caregivers to provide their baby.
Every Mother works with Federal agencies at the national and state levels to assist business organizations, labor unions, government entities, and State breastfeeding coalitions with training, resources, and information on how to support women who nurse their babies after they return to work.
National Worksite Lactation Support Initiatives
Showcase: Employers of Hourly Workers
The HHS Office on Women’s Health is establishing an online searchable database in Fall 2012 to showcase businesses of all types that have found creative solutions for providing nursing women with time and space to express their milk at work. Every Mother is partnering with Altarum Institute to identify employers of hourly workers, and we invite you to share your successes! If your business (or a business in your community) provides reasonable break time and a private space that is not a bathroom for women to express milk at work, visit the
Workplace Submission Site to tell us how you did it. Your business could be a model for other businesses just like yours.
Business Case for Breastfeeding SUMMIT
National business organizations and labor unions gathered at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C. on September 15, 2011 to meet with the U.S. Surgeon General, Senator Jeff Merkley (Oregon), Rep. Carolyn Maloney (New York), and representatives from government agencies and breastfeeding resource organizations for an historic meeting, The Business Case for Breastfeeding SUMMIT. The Summit provided an opportunity to address issues and solutions for implementing the Federal nursing breaks law in the Affordable Care Act. Every Mother convened the Summit, and continues to work with national business groups and labor unions to provide resources and assistance.
See Summit Photos Below! Just click one to view a larger version.
|Left to right: Amelia Psmythe (Breastfeeding Coalition of Oregon and project consultant); Kendall Cox (Every Mother); Isadora Hare (Maternal and Child Health Bureau); Dr. Regina Benjamin (U.S. Surgeon General); Cathy Carothers (Every Mother); Suzanne Haynes (Office on Women’s Health); and Ursuline Singleton (Office on Women’s Health).
|Cathy Carothers from Every Mother, Inc. with Dr. Regina Benjamin, U.S. Surgeon General.
|Sen. Jeff Merkley explains the importance of the Federal nursing breaks law.
||Dr. Regina Benjamin, U.S. Surgeon General, describes the importance of worksite support outlined in her Call to Action to Support Breastfeeding
|Rep. Carolyn Maloney discusses the Breastfeeding Promotion Act of 2011 and the need for worksite support for breastfeeding moms.
||Sara Rodriguez from the U.S. Customs and Border Protection tells about their model lactation support services, available in all 600 locations across the world.
Business Case for Breastfeeding
The HHS Maternal and Child Health Bureau (MCHB) has published a comprehensive toolkit for employers, The Business Case for Breastfeeding.
Every Mother developed The Business Case for Breastfeeding for MCHB and spearheaded state-based training events in 36 U.S. states to teach community workers and business organizations how to establish and sustain lactation support services. More than 3,000 have now been trained and are equipped to assist businesses with establishing lactation support services.
Every Mother, Inc. Training Events - click here for Training Programs Page
- The Time is Right
- Implementing the Federal Nursing Breaks Law
- Implementing the Federal Nursing Breaks Law in:
- Colleges and Universities
- K-12 Schools
- Hospitals and Health Care Institutions
- Hourly Jobs
- Retail Stores
- Other settings upon request
- Easy Steps to Employee Lactation Services
- The Business Case for Breastfeeding
- Making it Work: Supporting Employed Women with Breastfeeding
- Making it Work: Supporting Low Wage and Hourly Workers with Breastfeeding
Every Mother also provides webinars for business organizations and labor unions on various topics related to lactation support in the workplace.
Benefits of Lactation Support for Employers
Lactation programs have been found to produce a 3 to 1 Return on Investment! Lactation programs are proven to:
- Lower health care costs
Mutual of Omaha found that their newborn health care costs are three times less when employees participate in the lactation program. They save $2,146 per employee!
- Reduced rate of absenteeism due to infant illness (among both mothers and fathers)
CIGNA found a 77% reduction in lost work time due to infant illness when infants receive their mother’s milk. They save more than $60,000 per year in lower absenteeism rates.
- Lower turnover rates
A 9-company study found that the average return to work rate when a lactation program is provided is 94%.
- .Improved employee productivity and loyalty
Many companies report that their employees are more productive and loyal when they provide women with lactation support such as time and space to express milk at work.
Lactation Support is the LAW
The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) was amended in 2010 with the passage of the Federal Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, requiring employers to accommodate nursing women who wish to express milk for their infants during the work period. The law stipulates that employers must provide:
- Reasonable Time
- Private space (that is not a bathroom)
Resources for Employers
U.S. Department of Labor
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
- The Business Case for Breastfeeding - HRSA’s Maternal and Child Health Bureau. Free copies available at: www.ask.hrsa.gov
- Find a Lactation Consultant Directory (to assist mothers with breastfeeding)
- American Institute of Architects – “Best Practice in Lactation Room Design”
Mutual of Omaha Mutual of Omaha. (2001). Prenatal and lactation education reduces newborn health care costs. Omaha, NE: Mutual of Omaha.
Dickson V, Hawkes C, Slusser W, Lange L & Cohen R. (2000). The positive impact of a corporate lactation program on breastfeeding initiation and duration rates: help for the working mother. Unpublished manuscript. Presented at the Annual Seminar for Physicians, co-sponsored by the American Academy of Pediatrics, American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, and La Leche League International, on July 21, 2000.
Ortiz Ortiz J, McGilligan K & Kelly P. (2006). Duration of breast milk expression among working mothers enrolled in an employer-sponsored lactation program. Pediatric Nursing. 30(2):111-119.