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Breastfeeding and Working: Know Your Rights

Breastfeeding in the US is growing in popularity with almost 75% of babies being breastfed for at least a portion of their first year. Hospitals and health departments are all working to raise awareness of the benefits of breastfeeding and more and more women are continuing to breastfeed 6 months or longer.

One great support mechanism for nursing moms are some quiet provisions that were part of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act back in 2010. Since that health care reform bill was passed into law, some protections for moms who want to pump in the workplace have been put in place. Just a few simple rules that employers now need to follow can make the pumping-at-work experience that much easier and more pleasant for moms. No more pumping in restrooms or negotiating breaks with management. Moms now have some space and time guarantees that allow them the flexibility to express milk for their babies.

Click through to see what your rights are as a nursing mother in the work place:

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  • Does My Employer Have To Let Me Pump? 1 of 7
    Does My Employer Have To Let Me Pump?
    Yes. Employers with 50 or more employees must give nursing mothers time to pump during working hours. Employers with fewer than 50 employees are exempt from the rule if they can show undue hardship by adhering to it.
    Photo Credit: photo stock
  • Does My Employer Have To Give Me Break Time To Pump? 2 of 7
    Does My Employer Have To Give Me Break Time To Pump?
    Yes. You are allowed to take breaks as needed to express milk.
    Photo Credit: photo stock
  • How Long Can My Pumping Breaks Be? 3 of 7
    How Long Can My Pumping Breaks Be?
    As long as it takes to pump the milk. Duration may vary from sessions to session and woman to woman.
    Photo Credit: photo stock
  • Will I Be Paid For Nursing Breaks? 4 of 7
    Will I Be Paid For Nursing Breaks?
    Not necessarily. Your employer is not required to compensate your for nursing breaks. However, if you are already entitled to paid breaks, you may use those to pump. If you take additional breaks that would not normally be paid, you will not be compensated for those.
    Photo Credit: photo stock
  • How Many Months Am I Allowed To Take Pumping Breaks? 5 of 7
    How Many Months Am I Allowed To Take Pumping Breaks?
    You are protected by the law until 1 year after your baby's birth.
    Photo Credit: photo stock
  • Can My Employer Make Me Pump In The Ladies Room? 6 of 7
    Can My Employer Make Me Pump In The Ladies Room?
    No. Employers have to provide a private, non-restroom space for moms to pump. It doesn't need to be a permanent nursing room but they do have to give you as-needed access to a private space for pumping.
    Photo Credit: photo stock
  • What Do I Do If My Employer Won’t Cooperate? 7 of 7
    What Do I Do If My Employer Won't Cooperate?
    First, talk to your HR department. You can use this
    FAQ from the US Department of Labor as a reference of what the law says when you talk to them. If your employer still won't give you the time and space you need for pumping, you can contact the
    US Department of Labor .
    Photo Credit: photo stock

All facts sourced from The United States Department of Labor.

Read more from Rebekah at Mom-in-a-Million, The DC MomsThe Broad Side
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Photo credit: photo stock

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