Twenty Florida school districts implement work-site breastfeeding policies

World Breastfeeding Week…. Day 5

Mothers now have some teeth when it comes to breastfeeding at work in 20 school districts in Florida. The districts recently adopted work-site breastfeeding policies, including Clay County in Northeast Florida.

See what a model policy looks like here.

The work-site policies were part of Florida’s Communities Putting Prevention to Work initiative , which was awarded $2.1 million from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act to improve the health of Floridians. There were three specific interventions that the initiative focused on: increased physical activity, improved nutrition and tobacco-free parks.

Lactation support from employers with 50 or more employees is law under the Fair Labor Standards Act and strengthened under the Affordable Care Act. These employers are required to provide reasonable unpaid break times until the baby is one year and a private place other than a bathroom.

The school districts in the state that implemented policies are:

  • Leon County
  • Orange County
  • Desoto County
  • Lafayette County
  • Monroe County
  • Palm Beach County
  • Washington County
  • Suwannee County
  • Flagler County
  • Hamilton County
  • Holmes County
  • Miami-Dade County
  • Sarasota County
  • Sumter County
  • Clay County
  • Highlands County
  • Polk County
  • Taylor County
  • Union County
  • Walton County

Besides the health benefits for mother and baby, employers are encouraged to support breastfeeding because it saves money too: through lower absenteeism rates, better retention of employees, lower health care costs and higher productivity.