1. A mother of a 6mo old has returned back to work and is having trouble with pumping. She states that she is having less breast milk available. What recommendations should the Nurse Practitioner make? What is the most recent research about the benefits of breastfeeding?  What laws are in place to support breastfeeding at work? Are employers required to allow breaks or a space to feed? Is there a stigma to breastfeeding in public? Is there any research that demonstrates breastfeeding and early maternal child care in the US vs other countries?


As a Nurse Practitioner, here are some recommendations for the mother:

  1. Encourage her to pump at work: It is recommended that she pump at work for about the same length of time that her baby would nurse. She can pump at least every 2-3 hours or as often as her baby would nurse.
  2. Ensure she has a comfortable, private, and clean place to pump: This can help her to relax and increase milk production. Employers are required to provide a private space for pumping under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA).
  3. Offer to help her increase milk production: Suggest that she try massaging her breasts, using warm compresses, and hand expressing milk to increase milk production.
  4. Advise her to eat a balanced diet: A well-balanced diet can help her to maintain her milk supply.
  5. Provide resources and support: Encourage her to seek support from a lactation consultant or a breastfeeding support group if she needs additional help.

Recent research on the benefits of breastfeeding include:

  • Breast milk provides optimal nutrition for an infant’s growth and development.
  • Breastfeeding can reduce the risk of certain illnesses and infections in both the mother and the baby.
  • Breastfeeding can also promote bonding between mother and baby.

Laws that support breastfeeding at work include:

  • The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA): This requires employers to provide a private, non-bathroom space for employees to pump.
  • The Affordable Care Act (ACA): This requires employers to provide reasonable break time for employees to pump for one year after the birth of a child.
  • The Break Time for Nursing Mothers law: This law requires employers to provide reasonable break time for an employee to express breast milk for her nursing child for one year after the child’s birth.

There can still be a stigma around breastfeeding in public, but many advocacy groups are working to normalize breastfeeding and promote the importance of supporting nursing mothers.

In comparison to other countries, the United States has lower rates of breastfeeding and less support for breastfeeding mothers. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), many countries have laws that provide paid maternity leave and support for breastfeeding mothers, which can greatly increase the rates of breastfeeding and improve maternal and child health outcomes.

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