4378 - Breastfeeding is Smart Business

State of Illinois
Department of Human Services

Breastfeeding is Smart Business

Learn how your business can benefit from supporting breastfeeding employees!

Illinois Breastfeeding Laws

The Right to Breastfeed Act

  •  A mother may breastfeed in any location, public or private, where the mother is otherwise authorized to be.

Pregnancy Accommodation Act

  •  Illinois employers are required to provide reasonable accommodations to employees who are pregnant or have recently given birth.

Nursing Mothers in the Workplace Act

  •  Reasonable break time to express milk for nursing infant/child up to one year after birth.
  •  A private place other than a bathroom, where employees can express milk.

Lactation Accommodations for Students

  • Public and charter schools must provide reasonable accommodation for students to express milk, breastfeed, or address lactation needs.
  • Students must be provided opportunity to make up school work without academic penalty.

Exempts Nursing Mothers from Jury Service

  • Any mother nursing her child shall, upon request, be excused from Jury service.

 Federal requirements shall not preempt any state law providing greater protection to employees.

Breastfeeding is Good for Mom, Baby, and Business!

How Breastfeeding Can Benefit Your Business:

  • Lowers medical care costs and health insurance claims
  • Reduces absenteeism
  • Lowers turnover and reduces training costs
  • Improves productivity
  • Increases employee morale and loyalty to the company
  • Creates a positive image for your business
  • Employee recruitment incentive

How Your Business Can Support Breastfeeding

  1. Create a supportive environment that helps breastfeeding employees feel confident.
  2. Allow for flexible breaks and work schedules for nursing employees.
  3. Provide a lactation room for employees and customers.
  4. Help prepare women for balancing breastfeeding with their job responsibilities by offering educational resources.
  5. Write a Breastfeeding Policy, following the Illinois State laws that is unique to your business.

MOTHERS are the fastest-growing group in the U.S. labor force.

"Breastfeeding is Smart Business" Award Program

Businesses who have established policies that support breastfeeding families by providing supportive services for working breastfeeding mothers can receive the "Breastfeeding is Smart Business" Award.

Businesses that participate will be awarded a certificate based on their level of breastfeeding friendliness.

Worksites can be nominated by a member of the public, Regional Breastfeeding Task Force or employees of a given business.

Additional information, applications, and guidelines can be found at:


Additional Resources:

This institution is an equal opportunity provider.

DHS 4378 (R-09-22) Breastfeeding is Smart Business  Printed by the Authority of the State of Illinois.  3,000 copies PO#23-0374