Breastfeeding Friendly Workplace Recognition Program

We are excited to have launched our Breastfeeding Friendly Workplace Recognition Program on August 1, 2016, coinciding with World Breastfeeding Week. 

Supporting breastfeeding employees is good for business. Employers who provide a supportive environment to help women continue breastfeeding after childbirth enjoy many proven benefits that directly affect their bottom line. These include:

  • Lower health care costs
  • Lower turnover rates
  • Lower absenteeism rates
  • Higher employee productivity and morale
  • Positive public relations in the community as a “family friendly” business

Supporting breastfeeding is good for employees and their families. When an employee returns from maternity leave, she wants to be a productive and profitable employee and also a good mother. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that babies receive their mother’s milk exclusively for the first six months, and continue breastfeeding for at least a year or more.

  • Breastfed babies are healthier, and have fewer infections and illnesses—especially those infants who are in childcare centers. This translates into fewer missed days of work for parents.
  • Mothers who breastfeed also experience significant health benefits—the longer a woman is able to breastfeed, the more she reduces her risk of diseases such as breast and ovarian cancer, diabetes, osteoporosis and heart disease.
  • Over 70% of new mothers today choose to breastfeed, but many of these mothers are concerned that returning to work will be an obstacle to continuing to breastfeed.

The North Shore Health Department wants to help businesses in the North Shore become Breastfeeding Friendly Workplaces.  We will work with businesses—large or small—to develop policies that support breastfeeding and to ensure that breastfeeding mothers have a private place to express milk.  We want to recognize those businesses who are supportive of breastfeeding mothers and will acknowledge them with a window cling (see image above) and listing on our website.

Recognition is available at the Gold, Silver or Bronze level. Download a handout with information on the different levels of recognition.

If you are interested in learning more about our program, including setting up a visit and consultation at your workplace, email Lori or Kala or call 414-371-2980 and ask for Lori or Kala.

Current Award Winners

Click on the name of the business to learn more about their facility and lactation support elements.

Village of Brown Deer

Village of Shorewood

U-Line Corporation, Brown Deer

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Legal Protections for Breastfeeding Mothers

Nursing Mothers Card

In the United States, Mothers Have a Right to Express their Milk During the Workday

Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), Section 7 states that employers are required to provide “reasonable break time for an employee to express breast milk for her nursing child for 1 year after the child’s birth each time such employee has need to express the milk.” 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.”

Employers are not required to pay nursing mothers for breaks taken for the purpose of expressing milk.  However, where employers already provide paid breaks, the employer must pay an employee who uses those breaks to express milk.

Any employee who is “discharged or in any other manner discriminated against” because, for instance, he or she has filed a complaint or cooperated in an investigation, may file a retaliation complaint.

Contact your local US Department of Labor Wage and Hour Division Office or the National Office.

Milwaukee Area Office

US Dept. of Labor

Phone: (414) 297-1590

Milwaukee, WI 53203

U. S. Department of Labor

1-866-4-USWAGE (1-866-487-9243)

Frances Perkins Building

Wage & Hour Division

200 Constitution Avenue, NW

310 W. Wisconsin Ave., Suite 1170

Washington, DC 20210

1-866-4US-WAGE (487-9243) or

For more information on returning to work while continuing to breastfeed, visit

Are you an employer who is interested in legal requirements and supportive benefits for your returning employee?  Print out this card, developed in cooperation with Milwaukee County Breastfeeding Coalition and the African American Breastfeeding Network: Employer Resources

Are you an employee who wants a reference for returning to work?  Print out this card, developed in cooperation with Milwaukee County Breastfeeding Coalition and the African American Breastfeeding Network:  Employee Resources