A project of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office on Women's Health

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About the Breastfeeding at Work Project

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The "Supporting Nursing Moms at Work: Employer Solutions" resource is a national initiative of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office on Women's Health. The project builds upon the Business Case for Breastfeeding, a national resource kit and training/technical assistance initiative of the HHS Health Resources and Services Administration's Maternal and Child Health Bureau. The project was coordinated by Every Mother, Inc. and Altarum Institute, along with subcontractors Coffective Consulting, Vision Way Media, and Aspire Communications.

Project Components

The project is designed for employers of nursing mothers, particularly those in hourly jobs or settings that are more challenging for expressing milk at work. The project includes several key components:

  • Online searchable resource enabling businesses to search by:
    • Industry: strategies for time and space in each industry category, videos of businesses with solutions, and examples of employers in that industry. Clicking on the employer profile will provide more details about how each individual business made it work.
    • Solutions: common solutions for space and time, including dedicated milk expression rooms, flexible options, outdoor and mobile accommodations, room amenities, privacy options, and many other solutions.
  • Videos, including:
    • 3–5 minute videos of businesses across the country. These videos represent most major industries in the U.S. Each showcases a variety of solutions to meet the unique needs of different types of businesses.
    • Five informational videos directed to business owners, human resource directors, and others involved in providing time and space for nursing women.
  • Online Toolkits
    • The website provides specific guidance to two specific work settings with solutions for managing support for nursing moms at work.
    • Online toolkits are available for hospitals, for K-12 public schools, and for colleges and universities.

How Businesses Were Selected

Businesses included in the website searchable resource represent 28 states. These businesses were selected in two different ways:

  • State Breastfeeding Coalitions. State breastfeeding coalitions across the country identified businesses in their state that are known to provide supportive policies for nursing mothers.
  • Self-submission. A public online submission site was set up at www.everymother.org/workplace for businesses to self-submit their information to the site. The link was distributed widely to many national business organizations. All submissions were screened to assure they met the criteria for inclusion.

Businesses selected for the videos were based on recommendations by the state breastfeeding coalitions, diversity of industry types, unique solutions, having a strong culture of support for nursing employees, and willingness by the business to be showcased.

Note: any commercial business scenes depicted on the website, in the videos, or in the online toolkits do not imply endorsement by HHS.

Does YOUR business support nursing mothers at work?

If so, tell us about it! All businesses included must comply with the federal Break Time for Nursing Mothers law by providing reasonable time and a private space that is not a bathroom for nursing mothers to express milk at work.

Submit your information to:

The Department of Labor's Wage and Hour Division is responsible for administering and enforcing the Fair Labor Standards Act, under which employers are required to provide break time and space for certain nursing employees. For more information on the requirements under the law, visit http://www.dol.gov/whd/nursingmothers/ or call 1-866-4-USWAGE (1-866-487-9243).

Content last updated September 17, 2014.

Resources last updated April 15, 2014.


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