Wife, Mummy, Nurse: Breastfeeding Work Laws {#BFBlogHop}

09 August 2012

Breastfeeding Work Laws {#BFBlogHop}

Many mothers choose to go back to work part time or full time after the birth of their baby, due to financial reasons and/or personal reasons, including me.  I worked PRN for 21 months after Charis was born.  Since I breastfed her, I needed to take a pump with me.  My workplace offered a pumping room down on the Labor and Delivery unit and had hospital grade pumps.  They allowed nursing mothers to use those pumps, but the employee had to provide the tubing and accessories to use the pumps.

Because of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, employers are to provide
... (A) a reasonable break time for an employee to express breast milk for her nursing child for 1 year after the child’s birth each time such employee has need to express the milk; and (B) a place, other than a bathroom, that is shielded from view and free from intrusion from coworkers and the public, which may be used by an employee to express breast milk.  (2) An employer shall not be required to compensate an employee receiving reasonable break time under paragraph (1) for any work time spent for such purpose. {Found here.}
But if an employer has less than 50 employees, the employer may be except from this law if it poses an "undue hardship" to his {or her} business.

To be honest, I worked on the seventh floor and the labor and delivery unit was on the fourth floor.  There were times I still pumped in the bathroom because it took 10+ minutes alone getting from one place to another and being a nurse it was often very HARD to get away-from the doctors, other nurse, health care team-so I could pump.  Even with the hospital grade pumps, I still brought my own pump because I wanted the freedom to pump on the floor I worked on instead of going to another floor.

Did you go back to work after the birth of your child?
If so, was the pumping room easy for you to get to?
Linking up at Sisters 'N Cloth Breastfeeding Blog Hop.


  1. I'm so glad there is some legal protection for moms who are working and need to pump! That's something I've never dealt with, but I know from experience pumping can be difficult enough without any extra stresses. One of my good friends was an OR nurse while pregnant, and I know she said it was really hard on her body - no opportunities at all to sit down, or even to eat a lot of times, and I know that was part of why she chose not to return to work after her daughter was born. She felt like even though pumping is legally protected, there was no way the doctors and other staff would honor that.

    I hope that in addition to legal protection, we can see an attitude shift that values providing breastmilk as something worthy, even if it is at times inconvenient.

    Kudos to you for working and pumping for your girl!


  2. That's great that there is legal protection for nursing mothers who go back to work. I actually have a friend who stopped nursing because she didn't have anywhere private to pump at her workplace and didn't know about these laws until afterward. :( Thanks for spreading awareness!

  3. With my first baby I basically worked out of my car so I have a breast pump I would use in my car. I'd find a quiet parking lot, park, and pump two times a day. It was not the best situation but I wanted to keep going. I would even fly home with pumped breast milk, too. It was tough but I just kept going and going.

    I totally understand your predicament. It's tough to take time and find a place. I am just glad you keep going and are able to work PRN instead of full time.

  4. I am going back to work on Monday to a medical practice where I will be the only surgical assistant and I am very nervous about being able to pump- I have worked for the group before but at the main location (which had a crazy schedule but 3 other assistants). My youngest is 10 months and I really hope that I can provide him with breastmilk during the day and hope that he will continue wanting to nurse in the evenings. I will be pumping in a public bathroom because that is the only option- the office is small and has no non patient rooms except for the one open office the doctors use. If I have enough time I may go to my car for more privacy.

  5. I am also a nurse and my hospital was very accommodating to me when I needed to pump!!

  6. I will be going back to work tomorrow so this is in the forefront of my mind! I work at a university that has no pumping rooms anywhere on campus so I'll be pumping in the break room until I can find somewhere better. Being as big as it is, I am very surprised that there aren't any rooms dedicated to this!