You can continue to breastfeed your baby when you return to work. Employers must support you. It’s the law.
If you’re an employer, you can get tools and resources to help support breastfeeding in the workplace.
This booklet can help you continue breastfeeding, even after returning to work.
Employee's Guide to Breastfeeding and Working (PDF)
Breaks to Express Milk
Your employer must provide time and space for you to express breast milk during the workday.
- Your employer must allow reasonable break time for you to express breast milk each time you need to. At least 30 minutes for every 4 hours worked.
- Lactation breaks may be combined with regular or paid breaks.
- Your employer must count pumping time for the purpose of determining your eligibility for health insurance.
- The lactation space needs to be private, shielded from view and free from intrusion from coworkers and the public. The best spaces are clean and have a chair, desk or table, appropriate lighting and a sink nearby. It can’t be a toilet stall or restroom.
- The location must be close to your work area. If it’s not, the time it takes you to get there cannot be included in your break time.
- If the space is not a dedicated lactation room (a spare office), it must be available when you need it. A space can be temporarily created, converted or made available when needed for pumping.
If You're Not Getting Breaks
Employers may be fined $1,000 per incident if they don’t comply with the law.
Employers with less than 50 employees in Oregon can ask the Oregon Bureau of Labor and Industries (BOLI) for an exemption because of undue hardship. But, these exemptions are not automatic.
Supporting breastfeeding in the workplace is good for business. Use these tools for business and human resource managers to develop a lactation support program at your worksite.
Office of Women's Health Lactation Support Toolkit
Develop programs and policies to create a breastfeeding friendly workplace.
In Oregon you also have the right to breastfeed in public.