Take action at work

As a breastfeeding mama, the law is on your side when it comes to asking for a better place to pump at work. But such conversations are rarely easy. So we wrote a note for you.

Copy and paste the email below to the person who heads up your benefits or human resources department. Use what suits you, lose the rest.

Hi [HR or Benefits Director],

I work in [your department] and have been at [your company] for [length of time]. Your department has always made me feel welcome to offer feedback, and I appreciate that.

Today, I am writing to request a secure, comfortable lactation space in our building where breastfeeding mothers like myself [or like I am soon to be] can express milk to take home to our babies.

Just as it’s important to me to do an excellent job at work, it’s important to me to breastfeed my baby.

  • The benefits of breastfeeding are well-documented. Both The American Academy of Pediatrics and The World Health Organization (WHO) recommend that mothers breastfeed for at least six months (and longer when possible).

  • In order to continue breastfeeding, a woman needs to pump for 20 to 30 minutes every three to four hours while she’s away from her baby.

  • As you may know, the Fair Labor Standards Act was amended in 2010 to require businesses with 50 or more employees to provide non-exempt breastfeeding employees with reasonable break time and a private lactation space that is not a bathroom. And many states have even stricter laws in place.

  • Mama, see our guide to breastfeeding laws to get specific info on your state and add more detail.

  • A conference room or borrowed office is not an ideal lactation space because it can be disruptive to others who need those spaces.

  • The optimal lactation space is one that’s clean, comfortable, has a plug for a pump, a table and a chair and a locking door. It’s located close to the mothers who need it, to reduce unproductive travel time.

I appreciate that building out a room is costly, but there’s a company called Mamava whose mission it is to help breastfeeding mothers and employers with this problem. They make freestanding lactation pods and other lactation furnishings and have lots of helpful information for businesses.

Thank you for considering my needs. Please don’t hesitate to reach out with any questions.


[Your name]