August is National Breastfeeding Month, a time to celebrate and recognize the importance of breastfeeding while fighting to ensure that all parents who choose to breastfeed are able to do so. This month, we have the chance to take concrete action to pass legislation that will ensure all nursing workers can access the time and space they need to pump milk on the job.
The PUMP (Providing Urgent Maternal Protections) for Nursing Mothers Act will strengthen the 2010 Break Time for Nursing Mothers Law, extending the law’s protections to nearly 9 million employees who are currently uncovered, including nurses, teachers, and software engineers. The PUMP Act will also provide employees with appropriate remedies to ensure they get the protections they need. We need your help to pass this critical legislation: take action to protect nursing workers now by telling your legislators to pass the PUMP Act without delay.
Unfortunately, too many nursing parents—particularly those who work in low wage jobs and mothers of color—are still being forced to choose between breastfeeding and earning a paycheck, often suffering negative health consequences due to an inability to pump on the job. Studies have shown that only 40% of nursing moms have access to adequate break time and private space to express breast milk while at work, and 60% of mothers report stopping breastfeeding earlier than they would like to.
Returning to work after having a child can be a big transition for many, but being able to pump when they need to is a key workplace protection that will ensure that new parents can remain attached to the workforce without sacrificing their health or their child’s needs. We have already seen promising movement on the PUMP Act at the federal level after testifying in support of the bill and years of fighting for justice for breastfeeding workers. The fight isn’t over just yet; this National Breastfeeding Month, let’s tell our lawmakers to prioritize the needs of nursing workers and pass the PUMP Act!