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Breastfeeding Support For Employers

WIC can provide information and guidance to help companies support lactation in the workplace for employees. Agricultural companies with Woman, Infants & Children (WIC)-eligible employees can visit our Lactation Accommodation for Agricultural Workers in Monterey County page for more specific information on agricultural workers and resources offered to them to meet their specific needs.


kelly-350Why should an employer be concerned about breastfeeding?

Employers who provide lactation accommodation to their breastfeeding employees benefit from:  

    • Retention of experienced workers after the birth of their child.
    • Reduced leave time for parents of breastfed infants, who are more resistant to illness.
    • Lower and fewer health care costs associated with healthier breastfed infants.
    • Higher job productivity, employee satisfaction, and morale.
    • Enhanced loyalty from accommodated employees.
    • Improved positive image in the community.
    • Healthier workforce for the future.                                                                                                 

For more information on employer lactation support benefits visit the link below:                                                                                                                  http://www.womenshealth.gov/breastfeeding/government-in-action/business-case-for-breastfeeding/business-case-for-breastfeeding-for-business managers.pdf                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            How

Can I become a Breastfeeding Friendly employer?       

Studies indicate that mothers are more likely to continue breastfeeding when they return to work if they feel supported by employers and coworkers. Breastfeeding helps protect the health of mothers and children in a unique way that infant formula cannot, so it is in everyone's best interest for employers to become breastfeeding friendly.

In order to be a breastfeeding friendly employer, you need to provide your employees with two basic things:

  1. A flexible schedule for breastfeeding mothers, allowing them their legal right to express milk for their baby. 
  2. A private, sanitary space in which the mother can either express milk or feed her baby.                                                                               

Refer to the California Labor Code § 1030-1033 for detailed information on CA labor code guidelines.


Additional Support:

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  • Create a workplace environment that supports and respects a woman’s decision to breastfeed. Provide their legally required break, both morning and afternoon, for the woman to express her milk.
  • Make a private area available for nursing or expressing milk. It should be quiet, clean and have enough room for a comfortable chair.
  • Develop a written policy that states your company’s support of a woman’s choice to breastfeed her infant(s) and describes the worksite accommodations and/or benefits available to her.
  • Inform new employees of this policy or give them a copy as part of new employee orientation.

 For Businesses:

  • Place a breastfeeding friendly decal on your business to let customers and employees know you are a Breastfeeding Friendly business.
  • Businesses who show support to breastfeeding mothers teach the community awareness of the importance of breastfeeding.
  • A positive, accepting attitude helps breastfeeding customers and employees feel welcomed to your business.


For more information on the state and federal laws protecting lactation accommodation in the workplace, please visit the Lactation in the Workplace Laws webpage.