Supporting Breastfeeding is
Good for Business
Establishing workplace support for nursing mothers helps you comply with federal law and helps give your employees—and your business—the comprehensive benefits of breastfeeding. Research shows that businesses that support nursing mothers at work enjoy cost savings of $3 for every $1 invested in breastfeeding support. Employers can see significant savings and increased productivity due to:
Decreased employee absenteeism Annual savings of $42,000 from absenteeism averted by its breastfeeding support program at one store.
Reduced health care costs Healthier babies can mean lower healthcare costs for employers. The additional cost of prescriptions and medical services in the first year of life for infants who have never been breastfed is estimated to be more than $400 per infant. After instituting a workplace lactation program, one large corporation saw a 62 percent drop in prescriptions written for infants of employees.
Increased employee loyalty, retention and productivity Healthier babies can mean happier employees. Conflict between paid work and family responsibilities has been linked to decreased productivity in employees. Family-friendly policies, including workplace lactation programs, can reduce turnover and increase productivity.
1. U.S. Breastfeeding Committee: Workplace Breastfeeding Support. Available at: http://www.usbreastfeeding.org/Portals/0/Publications/ Workplace-2002-USBC.pdf
2. Cohen, Rona, Mrtek MB, Mrtek RG Comparison of Maternal Absenteeism and Infant Illness Rates Among Breast-feeding and Formula-feeding Women in Two Corporations. American Journal of Health Promotion Available at www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10160049
3. LifeCare Special Report: Workplace Breastfeeding Support: A Legal and Business Imperative. Available at: www.lifecare.com/docs/ Breastfeeding_SpecialReport_2010.pdf4. CSRwire UCLA Center for Healthier Children, Families and Communities, Study of CIGNA Corporate Lactation Program proves that helping working moms breastfeed is good business. Available at http://newsroom.cigna.com/article_display.cfm?article_id=37 . The Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, Work-Family Information for State Legislators: Breastfeeding and the Workplace, 2008, Issue 14, Available at wfnetwork.bc.edu/pdfs/policy_makers14.pdf
Section 4207 of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (also known as Health Care Reform), amended the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), or federal wage and hour law. The amendment requires employers to provide reasonable break time and a private, non-bathroom place for nursing mothers to express breast milk during the workday, for one year after the child’s birth. The new requirements became effective when the Affordable Care Act was signed into law on March 23, 2010. Download the text of Section 4207 only.