Sound Off: Should Working Mothers Get Extra Breaks For Pumping Breast Milk?

An Arkansas lawmaker is introducing legislation that would require businesses give their workers who are new moms, extra break time to pump for breast milk. While they wouldn’t be paid for the time, backers of the law say its important women have the option. Opponents say it will reduce productivity. What do you think? Should women be given extra break time to pump for breast milk? If so, should they be paid for it? Email

I don’t see why women should be given “special” treatment in the work place due to nursing — are there things men might like to do, that are TOTALLY unrelated to the work for which they were hired, that they could also get five or ten minutes extra time “off” to accomplish, thus interrupting their work day? If women with sucklings want to nurse their young, they should pump the milk at home or on the bus to and from work, or at lunch time [also, aren’t two breaks and lunch mandatory anyway? Those should afford them ample time to do THEIR personal tasks – that’s what they are for, after all!]. Otherwise, I just don’t think the work-place is the place to do all that personal stuff. I have no objection to nursing in public, but it should be done so that it does not interfere with the employee’s tasks. Otherwise, why go to work? -Jim(Thompson Falls)

I am very fortunate to work for an agency that supports breast feeding. Because of this I was able to breast feed my son beyond one year and he was VERY healthy during his first winter. This winter, we have had nothing but sickness. I believe that breast feeding for as long as possible is a strong health benefit for the child and it creates a bond between mom and baby that is long lasting. I do believe employers should allow women as many breaks as they need to pump for their child. Most women will do this on their unpaid time, but what is an extra 15 minutes a time or two a day for a healthy child? –Stefanie


What is this world really coming to. The Mother made the choice to get pregnant why should employers have to pay more for them wanting to have kids. Lets see the tax payers already pay enough welfair and money to assist mothers and people in need. What next another stupid goverment funded program if the employers do not agree to something this stupid. Think about it people what are we coming to. Be thank full with this economy you even have a job. -PJ(Moses Lake)

Perhaps, it could be necessary to take a little more time when a mom first returns to work, if the child care is on-site. But what if the child care is off-site, and mom doesn’t have access to a refrigerator at work? –Ann

I think breast feeding mothers should be given time to pump breast milk. It doesn’t take that long, it is a natural process, It is excellent for the baby, helps new working mothers feel connected to baby (not to mention “better” from not having engorgement) and it is no more intrusive than a cigarette break. It is not like they will be going out every hour or so. –Kay(Avery)

As long as the potential breast pumper has proven that she can drive to work and talk on the cell phone at the same time, I see no problem with her working and pumping simultaneously in order that productivity not suffer. -John

At least they are doing something good for the future, trying to raise healthy children. I’m a non smoker, who gets a whole lot less breaks than the smokers I work with. They always get their breaks, and always go over the time allowed. Not to mention how much more time off they get for illness. -Parrot

Of course women should be aloud to breast feed their children. But should they get paid in the mean time? No. The babies of the mothers need to be breast feed and it is best for them. But the women are not working, there for they do not get paid. Put it this way: would you rather lose income or children? –Laser

Absolutely they sould be given extra breaks to pump. Pumping only takes about 20 minutes every 3 to 4 hours. In the United States fewer than 25% of nursing mothers continue to nurse the American Academy of Pediatrics recommended full year. Breast feeding is believed to provide protection against a variety of deseases such as diabetes and asthma. Breast feeding mothers are actually absent from work less than the formula feeding mothers as their infants have fewer illnesses such as colds and ear infections. –Sheri

Yes, I think mothers that actually want to breastfeed should be able to take extra/longer breaks at work. I think breast feeding should be encouraged as much as possible. Trying to pump on a 10 minute break is almost impossible; trust me, I tried! Productivity would probably go up as it would take some stress off of the mother, who is most likely missing and worrying about her baby! -Ang(Coeur d’Alene)

To the opponents of this bill: So it’s not okay for nursing mothers to take the time to do the healthiest thing they can do for their new baby, but it’s okay for smokers to take 4 times as many breaks as non-smokers? -Erin

I had a preemie daughter and the only way I could feed her was to pump since she was so small. Luckily I got to stay home with her for the first year. I had to choose my daughter over my job because I was not going to be able to pump and work since it took me a half an hour each time to pump. This did not include clean up time. I would have loved to have gone back to work but my daughter needed me more. Luckily my family was financially able to. I know that people say that formula is just fine, but this just made my daughter have such reflux. It would be have been nice to have this available. I wouldn’t want to be paid for it but having the option would be nice. Besides smokers get extra breaks quite often because no one wants to deal with them…. -Kathy

What is this world coming to? This is like asking for extra breaks to smoke. -Desiree


I say yes they should have more breaks IF they are breast feeding a child. The necessity of pumping is for the benefit of the child and the child should not have to do without just because the mother had to go back to work. Most mothers would prefer to stay home so they can be with their babies but with today’s economy, moms have to go back to work sooner than they want or risk losing their jobs. Employers should understand that breast milk is better for a baby than formula. How many employees are there at any one business that are breast feeding at the same time? I don’t think it’s that many. -Roxanne

Yes why not the smokers get extra breaks to go smoke cigarette so why not a mother she is doing it for food for a life and if she doesn’t then things can happen we would go in to that here. –Wayne

Ah, can’t they do it at home? –Mike

Absolutely yes they should get breaks to pump breast milk. The alternative would be for them to take extra time off under the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) and the business would lose a lot more that way. I used to let them work from home during the time after a pregnancy which is close to the same. –Dave (Pullman)

I was one of those women 12 years ago. Normal breaks were sufficient for pumping, but accommodations were not. I do not think there should be extra time given in breaks but if an employer had women working for them, there should be accommodations made available. Bathrooms are not sanitary enough. -Theresa

The proposed Arkansas law supporting time out for breast feeding mothers in the work force is sound and long overdue! I wish my wife had the advantage of such a law when we were raising our children! -Harold(Pullman)

Why? I thought the family leave medical act law already gave time off from work for the birth of a child. Sure, it’s unpaid time off. Pumping breast milk at work? I guess I can’t relate. If you have a personal problem, work it out with your employer. -Bryant