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Support for Nursing Mothers

Revised February 2020

Originally approved October 2013

 

The American College of Emergency Physicians (ACEP) supports breastfeeding mothers for the health and wellness of mother and baby. ACEP encourages a culture of support surrounding the nursing mother.

ACEP endorses the availability of a sanitary, private, non-bathroom area for breastfeeding emergency department employees, nurses, trainees, residents, and physicians to express breast milk during their workday inside or directly proximal to the emergency department. All necessary facilities should be present within the designated area, including but not limited to, functioning electrical outlets, a surface for equipment placement, and seating area. A nearby sink and refrigerator is encouraged, ideally within the area or directly proximal. Other equipment useful to maintain productivity of the mother while breast pumping would include a computer and telephone. Adequate time should be given to enable a breastfeeding mother to express milk. Breastfeeding mothers generally require pumping sessions every 4-6 hours for 20-30 minutes to maintain milk supply. Efforts should be made by other emergency department staff to support the nursing mother during these sessions.

ACEP also supports the education of emergency department provider employers and hospitals on the benefits of breastfeeding support in the workplace for infants, mothers, and the business of emergency medicine.

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