Information For Working Women
There has been so much written about the well-established benefits of breastfeeding — to both children and their mothers — that it seems every woman in America must know by now how important it is. Even after you return to work you can continue breastfeeding your baby, and you should. As with many things that mothers do, it isn't always easy but the rewards are well worth the effort.
Keeping your baby on breast milk while working almost always means "expressing" your milk into bottles at work and taking it home at the end of each day. The bottled breast milk can be used by your baby's caregiver while you're at work and by your partner while you miss a feeding or two at night to get some sleep. Expressing breast milk during the work day can be difficult and even unproductive, however, unless the work environment accepts and accommodates it.
Employers have good reasons to support your choice to continue breast feeding your baby. New York State Labor Law section 206-c, for example, requires employers to provide "lactation programs" meeting certain standards. Also section 4207 of the 2010 Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (also known as "Health Care Reform") has similar provisions that now make workplace breastfeeding the law of the land thoughout the United States.
But most importantly, there is convincing evidence that the relatively small costs are outweighed by real bottom-line business benefits. As employers realize how they stand to gain from it, they will readily accept employee lactation programs.