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Breastfeeding mothers now have more protections at work

The PUMP Act, which was signed into law in December, gives breastfeeding mothers protections while pumping at work.
Breastfeeding mothers now have more protections at work
Posted at 9:08 AM, Apr 28, 2023

Mothers across the country now entitled to a paid break at work to pump breast milk

The new protection is part of the Providing Urgent Maternal Protections for Nursing Mothers Act (S. 1658/H.R. 3110), which gained bipartisan support. It was included in the Consolidated Appropriations Act that President Joe Biden signed into law in December.

It also requires companies to provide a private space, not a bathroom, for mothers to pump. 

SEE MORE: How working mothers are impacted by breastfeeding discrimination

Rep. Lauren Underwood (D-IL) introduced the PUMP Act, along with Congresswoman Carolyn B. Maloney (D-NY), Congressional Maternity Care Caucus co-chairs Congresswomen Jaime Herrera Beutler (R-WA) and Lucille Roybal-Allard (D-CA), and Black Maternal Health Caucus co-chair Alma Adams (D-NC).

SEE MORE: Breastfeeding could save more than 800,000 children's lives a year

The PUMP Act was officially enacted across the country on April 28. Even though the legislation went into effect immediately after it was signed into law, it allowed a 120-day delay for employers to adjust. There's also a 3-year delay for railway workers.

While the legislation does not protect flight attendants or pilots, it does make a huge difference in protecting more breastfeeding employees than before.

In 2010, the Break Time for Nursing Mothers law was passed. It did give the right to break times and a private space for breastfeeding employees to pump, but the U.S. Breastfeeding Committee said nearly one in four women of childbearing age were not protected by it.

SEE MORE: World health leaders promote breastfeeding over formula

The committee co-hosted a virtual PUMP for Nursing Mothers Act Briefing in February, along with A Better Balance, the American Civil Liberties Union, Center for WorkLife Law, MomsRising and the National WIC Association. You can watch it below to learn more about the PUMP Act.

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