Federal Health Reform and Nursing Mothers
President Obama signed the Affordable Care Act (ACA) on March 30, 2010. (See the combined full text of Public Laws 111-148 and 111-152 here.) Among many provisions, Section 4207 of the law amends the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) of 1938 (29 U.S. Code 207) to require an employer to provide reasonable break time for an employee to express breast milk for her nursing child for one year after the child's birth each time such employee has need to express milk. The employer is not required to compensate an employee receiving reasonable break time for any work time spent for such purpose. The employer must also provide a place, other than a bathroom, for the employee to express breast milk. If these requirements impose undue hardship, an employer that employs fewer than 50 employees is not subject to these requirements. The federal requirements shall not preempt a state law that provides greater protections to employees.
For more information:
- Fact Sheet on Break Time for Nursing Mothers under the FLSA, U.S. Department of Labor
- Break Time for Nursing Mothers, U.S. Department of Labor
- Frequently Asked Questions – Break Time for Nursing Mothers, U.S. Department of Labor
- Reasonable Break Time for Nursing Mothers: Request for Information from the public, Federal Register Notices, Vol. 75, No. 244, December 21, 2010
In addition, the ACA requires new private health insurance plans, including those available in the new health insurance marketplaces, to provide coverage for specified women’s preventive health services with no cost sharing (e.g., copayment, coinsurance, or deductible). Breastfeeding support, supplies and lactation counseling are one of these specified preventive services.
For more information:
- Preventive Services Covered Under the Affordable Care Act, NCSL webpage
- Women's Preventive Services Guidelines, Health Services and Resources Administration, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
- Affordable Care Act Rules on Expanding Access to Preventive Services for Women, HHS.gov/HealthCare, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, August 2011
Hopefully this has given you some insights to the improvements made for pregnant and breastfeeding moms. This information is provided as a resource for you to learn more about your rights.
If you need help finding the best maternity bras or breastfeeding bras, please contact us. We are experts in ascertaining which nursing bras will work for you in the long run, and estimating your size and product needs. We love supporting our breastfeeding moms, with full bust nursing bras wirefree or underwire, with nursing accessories and nursing clothing to suit your specific needs.
Take care - get plenty of rest and water,