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 Breastfeeding

​​​​The AMCHP Workplace Breastfeeding Support Projectbreastfeeding.jpg

Breastfeeding is recognized as the best source of nutrition for most infants, and strategies to support breastfeeding mothers and babies are some of the most effective measures to protect and promote the health of all infants [1]. Lack of accommodations to breastfeed or express milk at the workplace is a persistent barrier for women to initiate and continue to exclusively breastfeed. The Affordable Care Act (ACA) amended Section 7 of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) that requires employers to provide reasonable breaks for an employee to express breast milk for her nursing child for one year after the birth of the child. In addition, employers are required to provide a place – other than a bathroom – that is shielded from view and free from intrusion from coworkers and the public for nursing mothers to express breast milk during the workday [2]

These requirements, however, do not preempt state laws providing greater protection to employees. Employers with fewer than 50 employees are not subject to the FLSA break time requirement if compliance with the provision would impose an undue hardship [2]. Some state MCH programs, state breastfeeding coalitions, and state departments of labor are collaborating to support employers with the implementation of the FLSA the requirements as well as recognizing businesses that accommodate lactating women.

With support W.K. Kellogg Foundation (grant number P3025388), the Association of Maternal and Child Health Programs (AMCHP) has committed to partnering with state Title V programs (or organizations working in partnership with their state Title V program to promote breastfeeding initiation and duration) to provide technical assistance that enables the state to complete one of the following projects around breastfeeding accommodation and support:

  • Develop a model policy within your own organization or for employers on workplace breastfeeding accommodation that can be adapted and replicated.
  • Create lactation space in your own organization or support employers in creating a lactation space.
  • Replicate best practices around workplace breastfeeding accommodation to increase breastfeeding rates.

Five state teams were selected to participate in this​ project which runs until June 2017: Alaska, Arkansas, Georgia, Illinois, and North Dakota. State teams are expected to participate in the following activities:

  • ​Action planning, budget development, and activity implementation for a $15,000 mini-grant to develop a model policy on workplace breastfeeding accommodations, develop a lactation room, or replicate best practices around workplace breastfeeding accommodations to increase breastfeeding rates.
  • Participate in cross state peer-to-peer sharing via the virtual meeting, emails, and additional conference calls as needed.
  • Document your processes and share best practices for future replication within other agencies, organizations, and businesses.

 For more information, please see the resources below:

AMCHPBreastfeedingRFA.pdf

AMCHP Workplace Support Project Poster.pptx

For more information​ about the AMCHP Workplace Breastfeeding Support Project, please contact Michelle Eglovitch, program analyst for women's and infant health, at meglovitch@amchp.org