White House Supports Working Mothers Who Breastfeed
Mothers who want to breastfeed their children at work find that office spaces are rarely conducive to privacy and support. To make it easier for mothers to transition back to the workplace while maintaining a bond with their babies, the White House Council on Women and Girls announced yesterday that new efforts will be made to support the Affordable Care Act.
Signed by President Obama on March 23, 2010, the Affordable Care Act requires that employers provide a private place (other than a bathroom) and a reasonable break time for new moms who need to express milk and nurse their babies for up to one year.
Under the new amendment, the Wage and Hour Division at the Department of Labor will be improving on three things to enforce the ACA:
1- Releasing a Frequently Asked Questions document and a Request for Information. The former will provide guidelines on how companies can comply with the law while the latter will allow for public comment on the law.
2- Delegating responsibility to the Director of the Office of Personnel Management to make sure federal agencies are enforcing the Affordable Care Act in companies.
The White House would like to encourage companies to support breastfeeding moms because the benefits of breastfeeding include increased workplace productivity, increased company brand reputation and recruitment, increased health benefits for mom and baby (reduced risk of infection, breast cancer, obesity, diabetes, etc.), decreased absenteeism and employee turnover, and increased cost savings on company healthcare.
Read more information about the Affordable Care Act:
- White House: New Efforts to Support Working Mothers
- U.S. Dept. of Labor: Break Time for Working Mothers
- Frequently Asked Questions: Break Time for Nursing Mothers
- White House: Breastfeeding Factsheet
- The Health Benefits of Breastfeeding