Federal Breastfeeding Laws

The following federal laws protect a mother and her child and their right to nurse anytime, anywhere on federal property. Federal property includes such things as museums, parks, courthouses, agencies, and other public places maintained by federal funds. State laws can be viewed in more detail here.

Library of Congress H.R.2490
Treasury and General Government Appropriations Act, 2000
Public Law No: 106-58 (Sec. 647):

Authorizes a woman to breastfeed her child on Federal property if the woman and child are otherwise authorized to be present at the location.

Recently, an additional federal law was put into effect that impacts nursing mothers and their right to pump milk for their babies while at work. The issue we have with this law is that it only protects nursing mothers with babies up to the age of 12 months. This is simply not enough. The WHO and AAFP have both highlighted the fact that we find detrimental health outcomes when human babies are not provided human milk for their first 24 months of life, minimum. To reflect this, and be proactive in our nation's health care, we should protect nursing mothers' relationships with their children for at least the first 2 years of a baby's life.

Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act
Section 7 of the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938 (29 U.S.C. 207) is amended by adding at the end the following:

An employer shall provide 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 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.


  1. Thank you for posting this new federal law. I have a business obligation in October that is off-site. My mom and daughter are traveling with me (at my own expense) as she'll just be nearly nine months old and still nursing. When I mentioned that I will need breaks throughout the day to pump (which can be 12-14 hours of work) a few of the managers were obviously annoyed by this and one even asked why I'd still be nursing since my daughter would be older than 6 months old. So I have been arming myself with knowledge of my legal rights, just in case it comes down to it. Thank you!

  2. Oh, I just came across this! I just wanted to say that while I feel that is NOT enough, some employers do go above and beyond the call of "duty" here... My little one is still nursing at almost 15 months, and I'm still pumping for him at work every day, with no problems from my supervisor or anyone else. [Of course, I feel that if you're going to have a law about something, you have to go *all the way*. Otherwise people will think that the law is all that's necessary, such as in the case of rear facing car seats.]

  3. A friend of mine was asked not to breastfeed her child on her break, not even in her own car! She works at REDHAWK CASINO, 1 Red Hawk Parkway
    Placerville, CA 95667

  4. I am relieved to know someone out there cares about babies and moms who have to be away from their babies because of work. I wish I could stay at home, but i'm glad to know there are laws that protect my decision to pump at work.



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