Breast-feeding Accommodations - Definition and Explanation

Breast-feeding Accommodations – Definition and Explanation

Breast-feeding Accommodations

Breast-feeding Accommodations: Supporting Mothers in the Workplace

Breast-feeding accommodations refer to the provisions and support provided to nursing mothers in the workplace to enable them to continue breastfeeding their babies while returning to work. These accommodations are an essential aspect of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) initiatives, aiming to create an environment that supports the needs of all employees, including new mothers.


Supporting breast-feeding mothers in the workplace is crucial for several reasons. Firstly, it promotes gender equity by ensuring that women can return to work without compromising their ability to breastfeed. Secondly, it contributes to employee retention and satisfaction, as mothers are more likely to remain with an employer who values their needs and supports their transition back to work. Additionally, breast-feeding accommodations align with health and well-being initiatives, as breastfeeding has numerous benefits for both the mother and the baby.


  • Designated Nursing Rooms: Many workplaces provide dedicated nursing rooms equipped with comfortable seating, privacy screens or curtains, and electrical outlets for breast pumps. These rooms offer a quiet and private space for mothers to express milk during their breaks or lunchtime.
  • Flexible Work Schedules: Employers can offer flexible work arrangements, such as adjusted break times or shortened workdays, to accommodate a mother’s need to express milk or breastfeed her baby. Flexible schedules enable mothers to maintain their breastfeeding routine while fulfilling their work responsibilities.
  • Breast Pumping Equipment: Some companies provide breast pumping equipment, such as electric breast pumps or manual pumps, for employees to use while at work. This eliminates the need for mothers to transport their pumps to and from the workplace, making it more convenient for them to express milk during working hours.

Implementing Breast-feeding Accommodations:

In the United Kingdom, employers have a legal obligation under the Equality Act 2010 to make reasonable adjustments to support breastfeeding employees. This includes providing suitable facilities for expressing milk and allowing flexible work arrangements where necessary. For example, a London-based tech company, XYZ Solutions, introduced a policy allowing nursing mothers to work from home for the first three months after returning to work. This initiative enabled new mothers to establish a breastfeeding routine while gradually transitioning back to the office environment.


Breast-feeding accommodations are an integral part of creating inclusive workplaces that support the diverse needs of employees. By implementing policies and facilities that facilitate breastfeeding, employers demonstrate their commitment to gender equity, employee well-being, and fostering an inclusive culture.


Kozhimannil, K. B., Jou, J., Gjerdingen, D. K., & McGovern, P. M. (2016). Access to workplace accommodations to support breastfeeding after passage of the Affordable Care Act. Women’s Health Issues, 26(1), 6-13.

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