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Monday, May 24, 2010
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
SEC. 4207. REASONABLE BREAK TIME FOR NURSING MOTHERS.
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.