Despite overwhelming evidence that supports breastfeeding, the percentage of American women who breastfeed remains much lower than hoped for by government organizations and medical experts. Expert panels and professional organizations including the American Academy of Pediatrics Section on Breastfeeding, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, the American Academy of Family Physicians and the World Health Organization recommend that infants be exclusively breastfed for the first six months oflife. This becomes challenging, however, as women in the workforce may face multiple barriers to breastfeed.
The Affordable Care Act (ACA) aims to improve working mothers’ ability to continue breastfeeding upon return to work by requiring employers to provide space and time to express milk. This issue brief provides information on the background, requirements and enforcement of an ACA provision for nursing mothers.