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Providing Urgent Maternal Protections (PUMP) for Nursing Mothers Act Coalition Letter

*** Add your organization to the coalition letter ***

We, the undersigned organizations, urge you to support the Providing Urgent Maternal Protections (PUMP) for Nursing Mothers Act. The PUMP for Nursing Mothers Act would protect breastfeeding employees across the nation by strengthening the existing Break Time for Nursing Mothers law and has bipartisan support.

The Break Time for Nursing Mothers law (Break Time law), passed in 2010, provided critical protections to ensure that employees would have reasonable break time and a private place to pump breast milk. Unfortunately, the placement of the law within the part of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) that sets minimum wages and overtime resulted in 9 million women — nearly one in four women of childbearing age — being excluded from coverage and as such they have no clear right to break time and space to pump breast milk. Those left unprotected include teachers, software engineers, and many nurses, among others.

Without these protections, breastfeeding employees face serious health consequences, including risk of painful illness and infection, diminished milk supply, or inability to continue breastfeeding. According to a report from the University of California's Center for WorkLife Law, the consequences of this coverage gap also include harassment at work, reduced wages, and job loss.

Breastfeeding mothers who return to work should not have to struggle to find time and space to express milk, risking their supply and thereby their ultimate breastfeeding success. This past May, the House Education & Labor Committee advanced an amended version of the PUMP for Nursing Mothers Act out of committee, with support from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. The amended bill strengthens the Break Time for Nursing Mothers law by expanding workplace protections for lactating workers, clarifying employers' obligations under the law, and ensuring breastfeeding mothers have access to appropriate remedies.

Breastfeeding is a proven primary prevention strategy, building a foundation for life-long health and wellness, and adapting over time to meet the changing needs of the growing child. The evidence for the value of breastfeeding to children's and women’s health is scientific, solid, and continually being reaffirmed by new research. Breastfeeding is proven to prevent a wide range of illnesses and conditions. Compared with formula-fed children, those who are breastfed have a reduced risk of ear, skin, stomach, and respiratory infections; diarrhea; sudden infant death syndrome; and necrotizing enterocolitis. In the longer term, breastfed children have a reduced risk of obesity, type 1 and 2 diabetes, asthma, and childhood leukemia. Women who breastfed their children have a reduced long-term risk of diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and breast and ovarian cancers.

More than half of mothers return to the paid labor force before their children are three months old, with as many as one in four returning within just two weeks of giving birth. Many of these mothers choose to continue breastfeeding well after their return to work to meet standard health guidelines—and those employees need to express (or pump) breast milk on a regular schedule.

Businesses of all sizes and in every industry have found simple, cost-effective ways to meet the needs of their breastfeeding employees as well as their business. The HHS Office on Women's Health hosts the Supporting Nursing Moms at Work: Employer Solutions resource, which provides a critical link between the need for workplace support for breastfeeding families and the need for implementation guidance for their employers. The online resource provides a user-friendly tool that employers can easily navigate to identify and implement industry-specific solutions to providing time and space accommodations. 

According to the HHS Business Case for Breastfeeding, employers that provide lactation support see an impressive return on investment (almost 3:1), including lower health care costs, absenteeism, and turnover, and improved morale, job satisfaction, and productivity. It is easier to provide temporary, scheduled breaks for milk expression than to cover the missed work shifts of an employee who is absent because either they or their baby is sick.

While 84% of babies are breastfed at birth, only 25% of U.S. infants are still exclusively breastfed at six months of age. Obstacles, especially workplace barriers, can make it difficult to fit breastfeeding into many parents' lives. But research clearly shows that employed mothers with access to workplace support are less likely to stop breastfeeding early. 

The Providing Urgent Maternal Protections (PUMP) for Nursing Mothers Act is a common-sense and important step toward eliminating the barriers to breastfeeding and ensuring all families have the opportunity to reach their personal breastfeeding goals.

Co-Signers

1,000 Days
2020 Mom
#757Breastfeeds - Hampton Roads Breastfeeding Education & Advocacy Team
A Better Balance
Academy of Breastfeeding Medicine
Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics
African-American Breastfeeding Coalition of Oregon
Alabama Breastfeeding Committee
Alaska Breastfeeding Coalition
Alimentacion Segura Infantil
American Academy of Family Physicians
American Academy of Nursing
American Academy of Pediatrics
American Association of University Women
American Civil Liberties Union
American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists
American Federation of Teachers
American Public Health Association
API Breastfeeding Task Force
Arizona Youth Partnership
Association of Maternal & Child Health Programs
Association of State Public Health Nutritionists
Baby And Me LC
Baby Cafe Bakersfield
Baby Cafe USA
Baby-Friendly USA, Inc.
Baby Knows Breast Parenting Services
Barry Pediatrics
Bay Area Lactation Associates
Beaufort-Jasper-Hampton Comprehensive Health Services
BetaCarrotTeen
Birthing Miracles Pregnancy Services LLC
Black Breastfeeding Caucus
Black Mothers' Breastfeeding Association
Breastfeed Durham
Breastfeed LA
Breastfeed Macomb
Breastfeed Orange NC
Breastfeeding Coalition of Palm Beach County
Breastfeeding Coalition of Washington
Breastfeeding Education and Support Team of the Easter Upper Peninsula
Breastfeeding Family Friendly Communities
Breastfeeding Hawaii
Breastfeeding Task Force of Greater Los Angeles
Breastfeeding USA
Bright Future Lactation Resource Centre Ltd.
Bronx Breastfeeding Coalition
California Breastfeeding Coalition
Center for Health Equity, Education, and Research
Center for WorkLife Law
Centro Pediatrico de Lactancia y Crianza
CHI Mercy Hospital
Coalition of Labor Union Women
Coalition of Oklahoma Breastfeeding Advocates
Connecticut Breastfeeding Coalition
Connecticut Women's Education and Legal Fund
Constellation Consulting, LLC
Courthouse Lactation Space Task Force of the Florida Association for Women Lawyers
Covenant Healthcare
Dancing For Birth, LLC
DKH Family Advocacy Center/ DKH WIC program
District of Columbia Breastfeeding Coalition
Equal Rights Advocates
Every Mother, Inc.
Fed Is Best Foundation
Florida Breastfeeding Coalition
Florida Outreach Childbirth Education Program
Geelo Wellness
Genesee County Breastfeeding Coalition
Georgia Breastfeeding Coalition
Harambee Village Doulas
HealthConnect One
Healthy Children Project, Inc.
Human Milk Banking Association of North America
Hurley Medical Center
Improving Birth
Indiana Breastfeeding Coalition
Indianapolis Urban League
Indigenous Breastfeeding Counselor
InterCare Community Health Network
InterCare Community Health Network, Women, Infants, and Children Program
International Board of Lactation Consultant Examiners
International Breastfeeding Institute
International Childbirth Education Association
Justice for Migrant Women

Kansas Action for Children
Kansas Breastfeeding Coalition
La Leche League Alliance
La Leche League USA
Lactation Improvement Coalition of Kentucky
Lactation Lighthouse
Lactation Training Lab
LactPower
Las Cruces New Mexico Breastfeeding Task Force
Learn Lactate Grow
Maryland Breastfeeding Coalition
Maternity Care Coalition
Metro Detroit/ Wayne County Breastfeeding Coalition
Metropolitan Hospital
Michigan Breastfeeding Network
Missouri Breastfeeding Coalition
Mom Congress
Mom2Mom Global
MomsRising
Montana State Breastfeeding Coalition
Montefiore WIC program
Mother Heart Birth Services
Mothers' Milk Bank at Austin Inc
Mothers' Milk Bank Northeast
Mother's Own Milk MattersNational Association of Pediatric Nurse Practitioners
National Birth Equity Collaborative
National Education Association
National Employment Law Project
National Lactation Consultant Alliance
National Organization for Women
National Partnership for Women & Families
National WIC Association
National Women's Law Center
Native Breastfeeding Council
NETWORK Lobby for Catholic Social Justice
New Hampshire Breastfeeding Task Force
New Jersey Breastfeeding Coalition
New Mexico Breastfeeding Task Force
New Mexico Doula Association
New York Statewide Breastfeeding Coalition
Next Generation Lactation Service
North Carolina Breastfeeding Coalition
Nourish and Thrive Feeding and Lactation
Nourished Beginnings
Nursing Mothers Counsel, Inc.
Nurture.
Nurturely
Nutrition First
NYC Breastfeeding Leadership Council, Inc.
Ohio Breastfeeding Alliance
Playwell
Prairie Band Potawatomi Nation Breastfeeding Coalition
Precious Jewels Moms Ministries
pumpspotting
Reaching Our Sisters Everywhere, Inc
Sacramento Breastfeeding Coalition
Saline County (MO) Breastfeeding Coalition
San Diego County Breastfeeding Coalition
Search Influence
Solutions for Breastfeeding
Southeast Michigan IBCLC's of Color
Speaking of Birth
Tennessee Breastfeeding Coalition
The Institute for the Advancement of Breastfeeding and Lactation Education
Time's Up Now
The New York Milk Bank
U.S. Breastfeeding Committee
Underwood Early Learning Center LLC
Virginia Breastfeeding Advisory Committee
Virginia Breastfeeding Coalition
West Virginia Breastfeeding Alliance
Western Kansas Birthkeeping
WIC Nutrition, Sonoma County Indian Health Project, Inc.
Wisconsin Breastfeeding Coalition
W. Kohler Lamp Co
Women Employed Women-Inspired Systems' Enrichment
Women's Law Project
Women's Rights and Empowerment Network
YWCA of the University of Illinois
ZERO TO THREE


Download a PDF of the letter. 

The PUMP for Nursing Mothers Act is also supported by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the National Retail Federation.

If you have questions about the PUMP Act, contact advocacy@usbreastfeeding.org to be directed to one of the following coalition partners: A Better Balance, the American Civil Liberties Union, the Center for WorkLife Law, the National WIC Association, or the U.S. Breastfeeding Committee.