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For Nursing Moms: Breastfeeding at Work

Nursing moms often have many questions about how to continue breastfeeding when they return to work. Here are some resources that can help.

Woman working at a computer in an office environment.

Talk With Your Supervisor

Don't be shy to talk with your supervisor about your needs. Most employers want to meet the needs of their employees. They may need ideas of how they can best help you. Start the conversation during your pregnancy, if possible. This will give your supervisor time to make any arrangements that might be needed.

For ideas for how to comfortably discuss your needs with your supervisor, check out:

Making it Work: For Moms
Includes ideas of things you can say to your supervisor and to co-workers.

Some women prefer to send a letter or memo to their supervisor first. Here are two samples:

The Business Case for Breastfeeding: Employees Guide to Breastfeeding and Working

The Business Case for Breastfeeding: Outreach Marketing Guide
Scroll down to the sample letter your employee could sign to give to your supervisor.

Share Resources With Your Supervisor

Cover of the booklet, For Business Managers

The Business Case for Breastfeeding - For Business Managers
This booklet describes bottom-line benefits to the business for supporting employees.

Department of Labor Fact Sheet
A quick and easy handout to give your supervisor about the Break Time for Nursing Mothers law.

Sample Policy
These sample policies can be used as an example for how to set up support in a business.

More Breastfeeding Help

Office on Women's Health - Going Back to Work
Practical tips to prepare for returning to work, expressing milk at work, and getting support.

OR: call the toll-free hotline at 800-994-9662

Cover of the booklet, Employees Guide to Breastfeeding and Working

Employees' Guide to Breastfeeding and Working
Practical tips for combining employment with breastfeeding, including a sample letter to help you talk with your supervisor.

International Lactation Consultant Association
Check the Find a Lactation Consultant Directory to locate a lactation consultant in your community who can help you with any breastfeeding concerns, advise you on a breast pump that will best meet your needs, and help you with your transition back to work. You may also find a lactation consultant at your local hospital, health department, or Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) clinic.

New York Department of Health Breastfeeding Partners
Handy guides for preparing yourself, your baby, and your family for your return to work.

California WIC Program
Information for employers and mothers.

Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) Program
Your local health department or WIC office has breastfeeding counselors who can answer many of your breastfeeding questions or refer you to local experts. Many WIC agencies also provide breast pumps to eligible women.


Content last updated October 15, 2014.

Resources last updated April 15, 2014.

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