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On March 23, 2010, President Obama signed the “Break Time for Nursing Mothers” law in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act that requires employers to provide an opportunity for nursing mothers to breastfeed while at work. The law necessitates employers give a “reasonable” amount of time and a private space that is not a bathroom for the first year of a new infant’s life. In order to help mothers have access to breastfeeding, awareness of this law must be expanded, and the implementation of lactation programs in every workplace must be enforced so that mothers can continue to breastfeed when they return to work. Employers should include the following for a successful lactation program: a private space other than a bathroom, a reasonable amount of time allotted for break, a sign or decal outside the designated room, and a comfortable place to sit in solitude.


This article was originally published in the May 2015 issue of The Journal, a publication of the American Nurses Association – Maine:



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