Federal Breastfeeding Laws

Federal Breastfeeding Laws

The National Conference of State Legislatures website is the most comprehensive website available concerning federal breastfeeding law in the United States.

United States Breastfeeding Committee (USBC) Legislation & Policy Page – This comprehensive website includes existing federal and state legislation and pending policy initiatives.

Break Time for Nursing Mothers Law

Louisiana Breastfeeding Coalition • Federal Breastfeeding Laws

Reasonable Break Time for Nursing Mothers” – Section 4207 of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (also known as ACA or Health Care Reform), amended the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), or federal wage and hour law. The amendment requires employers to provide reasonable break time and a private, non-bathroom place for nursing mothers to express breast milk during the workday, for one year after the child’s birth. The new requirements became effective when the Affordable Care Act was signed into law on March 23, 2010.

For more information about this law, click here.

Payer Coverage of Breastfeeding Support and Counseling Services, Pumps and Supplies

The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act also included a provision that requires coverage of preventive health services for women, including “breastfeeding support, supplies, and counseling,” further defined as “comprehensive lactation support and counseling, by a trained provider during pregnancy and/or in the postpartum period, and costs for renting breastfeeding equipment.” These preventive services must be covered in conjunction with each birth, beginning in the first plan year (in the individual market, policy year) that begins on or after August 1, 2012. Plans must eliminate cost-sharing for these services, meaning they can no longer charge a patient a co-payment, coinsurance, or deductible when services are delivered by a network provider.


For more information about the Affordable Care Act, visit these links:

National Women’s Law Center – Health Benefits for Women

International breastfeeding laws

IRS Ruling to allow breastfeeding equipment as medical tax deduction

National Conference of State Legislatures – Breastfeeding Laws – Listing of statutes and laws related to breastfeeding for each state.