Bills supporting nursing, pregnant mothers pass

On Dec. 29, 2022, the following federal bills were signed into law, expanding federal protections for both pregnant and breastfeeding workers. 

• PUMP for Nursing Mothers Act: PUMP stands for Providing Urgent Maternal Protections. The PUMP for Nursing Mothers Act expands the legal right to receive pumping breaks and private space to nearly 9 million more workers, including teachers, registered nurses, farmworkers, and many others. The PUMP Act makes several important changes to the Break Time for Nursing Mothers law that you may already be familiar with. 

The Break Time for Nursing Mothers law, required employers since 2010 to provide reasonable break time and a private, non-bathroom space for lactating employees to pump milk during the workday. The 2022 PUMP act closed some of the loopholes in the original law. The legislation’s requirement to provide lactation break time and space to previously uncovered workers (teachers, registered nurses, farmworkers, and others) went into effect on Dec. 29, 2022. The law’s expanded enforcement provision goes into effect on April 28, 2023. More information can be found here:

• Pregnant Workers Fairness Act (PWFA): Gives pregnant and postpartum workers, including breastfeeding employees, a right to reasonable workplace accommodations, including lactation accommodations. PWFA guarantees workers the affirmative right to receive reasonable accommodations for known limitations stemming from pregnancy, childbirth and related medical conditions unless the requested accommodations would pose an “undue hardship” to the employer. The PWFA goes into effect on June 27, 2023. 

This act closes a gap that left pregnant and postpartum workers without remedy if they needed accommodations in order to prevent health complications and keep working. More information about the PWFA can be found here:

Both of these pieces of legislation have been in the making for about 10 years. It is exciting to see the hard work by many in the pregnancy and lactation fields see this come to fruition. 

I enjoy supporting employers and employees to make these accommodations work for everyone. There are two programs in Kansas that support employers in becoming breastfeeding friendly. They include the Business Case for Breastfeeding and the Breastfeeding Welcome Here program both supported by the Kansas Breastfeeding Coalition. 

Part of a healthy community is supporting mothers and families in reaching their breastfeeding and mothering goals. Please let me know if you have any questions about the new legislation or helping your business become more breastfeeding friendly.

Monique Koerner is the Family and Community Wellness Agent with K-State Research and Extension – Cottonwood District. You may reach her at: 785-628-9430 or