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Breastfeeding information and support

Breastfeeding provides many health, nutritional, economical and emotional benefits to the mother and baby. There are also significant benefits to the community, workplace and the environment. Public Health is dedicated to support, actively promote and protect breastfeeding at the individual, community and systems levels.

Become a breastfeeding friendly workplace

It's the law!

According to Minnesota State Statute 181.939, employers must provide nursing mothers a reasonable unpaid break and a set space to express breast milk. The space can either be a private room or another location that is free from intrusion, as long as it's not a bathroom, is in close proximity to the work area and there is access to an electrical outlet.

PDF icon How to apply the law supporting employees nursing their baby

Benefits

Not only are there numerous health benefits breastfeeding offers moms and babies, but employers can see benefits in the workplace as well. When an employer supports moms who continue to breastfeed, it can lead to higher job satisfaction, lower health care costs, lower staff turnover, higher retention rates, higher productivity and loyalty, and good public relations.

Next steps

Whether you are a workplace or child care setting, you can take steps to become a breastfeeding friendly facility. Contact Public Health for more information on how to best support nursing mothers in the workplace, what requirements all businesses need to follow and suggestions for implementing these supports.

Resources for moms

Establishing breastfeeding

Breastfeeding and returning to work

  • PDF icon Breastfeeding and Returning to Work
    • Will working and breastfeeding work for me?
    • Will I need a breast pump?
    • Where can I get a breast pump?
    • Do I also need to know how to hand express my milk?
    • What steps should I take before I return to work?
    • What law protects a mother's right to express milk at work?
    • What is the best way to talk to my employer?
    • What questions should I ask my employer?
    • What about child care?
    • What tips can I share with my child care provider?
    • How do I store my milk?
    • Breast milk storage guidelines
    • How do I keep up good milk production?
    • What do I do once I return to work?
  • Guidelines for breast milk storage and preparation.

Introducing a bottle

  • Introduce one bottle a day to your baby for at least two weeks before starting child care so that your baby learns to drink from a bottle.
  • It may take many tries before your baby will drink from a bottle.
  • Not all bottle nipples are alike. The "ideal" nipple should be a slow flow and gradually flare from the nipple length to the nipple base. This narrow neck nipple reaches far into the baby's mouth and allows for a gradual widening of the baby's lips.
  • PDF icon How to bottle feed the breastfed baby .
  • If you have questions, contact your health care provider or Public Health for more information.

Preparing your child care provider

  • Take your baby to child care for a few short visits before you return to work or school.
  • Discuss with your child care provider whether you will be breastfeeding on site or sending pumped milk in a cooler with ice packs.
  • Write down your baby's home feeding schedule so your child care provider will know your baby's routine.

Additional resources