Breastfeeding Worksite Initiatives
Missouri is invested in providing breastfeeding support to working mothers. Mothers who choose to breastfeed are more successful when they have community support. Missouri provides recognition for businesses and child care providers who make the choice to be breastfeeding friendly.
Breastfeeding Friendly Worksite Program
The Missouri Breastfeeding Friendly Worksite Program is a collaboration between the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services and the Missouri Breastfeeding Coalition to educate employers on the value of providing lactation support in the workplace and to recognize businesses that support their breastfeeding employees.
Employer support of breastfeeding provides many benefits to businesses:
- Cost savings of $3 per $1 invested in nursing support
- Reduced absenteeism to care for sick children because breastfed infants have less illness
- Lower health care costs
- Improved employee productivity with higher morale and greater employee loyalty
- Increased ability to attract and retain valuable employees
- Family-friendly image in the community
Women who return to work while continuing to breastfeed need the support of their employers. Their needs are simple: a safe, private, and comfortable location at the worksite and the opportunity to pump two (2) or three (3) times during the work day. The Missouri “Breastfeeding Friendly Worksite Program” is available to help businesses become a nursing friendly workplace by:
- Identifying and setting up a suitable private room
- Scheduling appropriate breaks for nursing employees
- Reviewing written policies
The “Breastfeeding Friendly Worksite Award” evaluates employers on criteria for three (3) levels of support: Gold, Silver, and Bronze. Businesses that meet one (1) of the three (3) levels will be recognized in their community and statewide. To view the criteria or to apply for the award complete the application and submit it to the email address on the form. Please click here for a list of businesses that have been recognized as a "Breastfeeding Friendly Worksite."
“Breastfeeding Friendly Worksite Program” posters* (childcare, factory, healthcare, office, retail, restaurant, and school), brochures* and door knob hangers are available to order at no cost through the DHSS warehouse. To order complete the request for literature form and fax to 573-751-1574. The Outreach Partner Toolkit, Lactation Support Survey, Breast Pumps for Employees, PowerPoint Presentation*, Sample Elevator Pitch, Press Release, and Worksite Policy are also available for download.
*Created by the Kansas Breastfeeding Coalition. Used with permission.
Effective March 23, 2010, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act amended Section 7 of the Labor Standards Act to require employers to provide reasonable break time for an employee to express breast milk for her nursing child. Employers are also required to provide a place, other than a bathroom, that is shielded from view and free from intrusion from coworkers and the public, which may be used by an employee to express breast milk.
The Wage and Hour Fact Sheet #73 “Break Time for Nursing Mothers under the FLSA” and the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) on the Department of Labor website provide basic information about the law.
Colorado Breastfeeding Coalition YouTube video - Employer perspective on accommodating breastfeeding