Whether you are a proponent of breastfeeding or not, the reality is that working mothers who do nurse their children need a place to pump during the workday, and the bathroom just might not do. Luckily for them, the new health care bill signed by President Obama includes provisions for nursing women in the workplace.
It requires employers to provide “a place, other than a bathroom, that is shielded from view and free from intrusion from co-workers and the public, which may be used by an employee to express breast milk.”
There are already laws on the books in 44 states allowing nursing mothers to breastfeed their children anywhere, public or private, something Ikea and Babies “R” Us have experienced first hand. In addition, 24 states already include legislation on workplace breastfeeding.
Ellen Galinsky, president and co-founder of the nonprofit research organization Families and Work Institute, tells CNN she’s pleased as punch over this new development. She says:
It reflects both a shifting attitude, a shifting reality, and also the impact of research that shows that it’s healthier for the kids, and therefore good for the company, good for the family.
Companies with 50 or less employees can opt out by claiming that such a room would be an undue hardship.
Breastfeeding State Laws [NCSL]