A large majority of American babies are breastfed. Employers must be prepared to make lactation-related accommodations for employees who breastfeed their babies when they return to work. Lactating parents who are away from their babies need to express milk (typically using a breast pump) on roughly the same schedule as the child’s feeding schedule to maintain their milk production and avoid health complications, which can be serious. This means that breastfeeding employees must be given lactation breaks every few hours throughout the workday and be allowed to use a clean, private space.
By adopting breastfeeding-friendly policies, employers can ensure that they are in compliance with federal and state laws, as well as improve employee retention and productivity, reduce the use of sick days, and lower health care and insurance costs.