Supreme Court Upholds Health Care Law: Implementation of Breastfeeding Provisions Continues


Washington, DC—Earlier today, the U.S. Supreme Court issued its ruling to uphold the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (health care reform). The law includes several provisions that support women and their families to reach their personal breastfeeding goals, and this ruling ensures that these (and others) will continue to be fully implemented:

  • Break Time for Nursing Mothers: Section 4207 of the Act amends the Fair Labor Standards Act, requiring employers to provide reasonable break time in a private, non-bathroom place for breastfeeding mothers to express breast milk during the workday, for one year after the child's birth.
  • Women's Preventive Services Required Health Plan Coverage Guidelines: The Act requires health plans to cover preventive services for women with no cost sharing, including breastfeeding support, supplies, and counseling. Non-grandfathered plans and issuers are required to provide coverage without cost sharing consistent with these guidelines in the first plan/policy year that begins on or after August 1, 2012.
  • Community Transformation Grants: The CDC's Community Transformation Grant program funds community-level efforts to improve health, reduce health disparities, and control health care spending. Under Strategic Direction 2: Active Living and Healthy Eating, many communities are implementing Recommended Evidence and Practice-Based Strategies to 1) increase the number of designated Baby-Friendly hospitals; and 2) increase policies and practices to support breastfeeding in health care, community, workplaces, and learning and childcare settings.

"Our Nation's public health leaders have come together to call for real changes in the policies, systems, and environments that impact breastfeeding families," said USBC Chair Jeanne Blankenship. "The Surgeon General's Call to Action to Support Breastfeeding, National Prevention Council Action Plan, and the Institute of Medicine's report, Accelerating Progress in Obesity Prevention, all identify the important role of breastfeeding in prevention and reducing health care spending. The Affordable Care Act helps to ensure that the United States continues to improve the landscape of breastfeeding support so that all mothers have the opportunity to reach their personal breastfeeding goals."

The United States Breastfeeding Committee will continue to work with Congress, the Administration and state governments during the law's implementation. For additional details on the law, visit

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