Breastfeeding Community

Does My State Support Breastfeeding at Work?

Amy Long Carrera, MS, RD, CNSC, CWCMS
Registered Dietitian Nutritionist
05/06/15  8:41 PM PST
Breastfeeding at Work

Breastfeeding is good for the health of both you and your baby. Some states recognize the importance of continued breastfeeding and make it the law for employers to support breastfeeding moms at work. Breastfeeding at work usually requires pumping, though some individuals may have a daycare center at work where they can breastfeed. Does your state measure up?

The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends:

  • Exclusive breastfeeding for the first 6 months
  • Continued breastfeeding as foods are introduced
  • Continued breastfeeding for 1 year or longer

Benefits for Baby:

Breastfeeding your baby protects her from respiratory tract and ear infections, allergic disease, sudden infant death syndrome and other conditions.

Benefits for Mom:

Breastfeeding decreases your risk of postpartum depression and certain types of cancers, and helps you lose pregnancy weight.

Please keep in mind that the Affordable Care Act provides pumping at work requirements as well, that may provide more coverage than your state. Take a look at Fact Sheet #73: Break Time for Nursing Mothers under the FLSA for more information.

The following states require your employer to provide:

  • Reasonable daily unpaid break time to express breast milk
  • A private, safe and clean space other than a toilet stall, to express breast milk






District of Columbia

Hawaii (Employers with less than twenty employees are exempt from these requirements if they can show that compliance would impose significant difficulty or expense on their business)


Indiana (Employers also must provide a cold storage space or allow a portable refrigerator to store expressed milk)

Louisiana (requirements apply only to employees of public schools for up to one year after birth)

Maine (specifies that employers must stick to the requirements for up to three years following childbirth)


Montana (In addition, every public employer must have written policies that encourage and accommodate breastfeeding)

New Mexico

New York (Specifies that employers must stick to the requirements for up to three years following childbirth)

Oregon (Requirements only apply to employers with twenty-five or more employees and only for up to eighteen months)

Puerto Rico (Requirements apply for up to one year of age)

Rhode Island



*Please note that states may pass laws that give specific protections and rights to workers, but they may not reduce or limit the protections provided by federal laws.


United States Department of Labor 

American Academy of Pediatrics



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