The Health Care Authority’s mission is: We ensure that New Mexicans attain their highest level of health by providing whole-person, cost-effective, accessible, and high-quality health care and safety-net services.

Breastfeeding Friendly Workplace Initiative

Be Proud to Have a Breastfeeding Friendly Workplace! Supporting breastfeeding employees is pivotal to a company’s family-friendly platform, with proven financial benefits to businesses. It is also the law. Let us help you establish a successful workplace lactation program!


Why Breastfeeding?

Breastfeeding is the healthiest way to feed a baby. This is why it’s so important to support parents when they return to work. All major health organizations recommend exclusive breastfeeding for the first 6 months of life and continued breastfeeding through at least 1-2 years of age. Both mothers and babies benefit from breastfeeding.


Breastfeeding lowers an infant’s risk of:

  • Obesity
  • Respiratory Infections
  • Type 2 Diabetes
  • Asthma
  • Ear Infections
  • Diarrhea
  • SIDS

Breastfeeding lowers a mother’s risk of:

  • Breast Cancer
  • Ovarian Cancer
  • Type 2 Diabetes
  • High Blood Pressure
  • Cardiovascular Disease Past Menopause


Breastfeeding Data

There is a variety of state and national data sources on breastfeeding initiation and duration rates, as well as data on policy and environmental supports for breastfeeding.

New Mexico

Please take a look at the breastfeeding data for New Mexico by visiting the Breastfeeding Data for New Mexico page on the Indicator-Based Information System website.

United States

You can take a look at national data by visiting the Breastfeeding Data for United States page.

Workplace Support

Working parents are a major force in our economy and balancing work and family is an important priority. 85% percent of parents in NM start off breastfeeding their infants. As such, many of your employees when they return to work after giving birth will need flexible break time and a clean, private space to express their milk during the work day.

For Parents

Many parents are able to continue breastfeeding when they return to work or school. You can too! Approach your employer while pregnant and be specific about what you will need:

  1. A clean, private space with an electrical outlet to express milk during the work day.
  2. Flexibility to use break time to express milk.

Remind your boss that supportive breastfeeding policies are a win-win: good for business and good for employees. Breastfeeding will help keep you and your baby healthier. This means you’ll need fewer sick days to care for an ill child and it will also keep the company’s health insurance costs lower.

For Employers

Supportive breastfeeding policies are good for business. Companies have found that implementing a lactation support program can have a positive impact on their bottom line.

  • Reduced staff turnover.
  • Reduced sick time.
  • Lower insurance and health-care costs.
  • Higher job productivity, employee satisfaction and morale.
  • Positive perception in the community and added recruitment incentive for parents.



New Mexico laws have specific provisions regarding nursing in public, pumping in the workplace, and excused absences in the school setting.

  • BREASTFEEDING IN PUBLIC PLACES  NMSA 1978, Section 28-20-1 (1999) makes it legal for a mother to breastfeed her child in any location, public or private, where the mother is otherwise authorized to be present.
  • USE OF A BREAST PUMP IN THE WORKPLACE  NMSA 1978, Section 28-20-2 (amended 2007) requires employers to provide flexible break time, and a clean, private space, not a bathroom, in order to foster the ability of a nursing mother who is an employee to use a breast pump in the workplace.
  • EXCUSED SCHOOL ABSENCES FOR PREGNANCY — New Mexico School Excused Absences for Pregnancy Act (2013) is a statewide standard that includes a 10 day excused absence for the documented birth of a child, 4 excused absences, per semester, when pregnant or caring for a child necessitates missing class.

Please take a moment to visit the Breastfeeding State Laws web page for more information about federal legislation and laws in other states across the US.

Training and Technical Assistance

Learn More

Our mission is to raise awareness of state, federal, and tribal workplace accommodation laws and to help employers and employees create successful lactation programs in the work setting.

We strive to bridge the gap in breastfeeding disparities by strengthening the infrastructure so that working families in New Mexico have the support they need to reach their breastfeeding goals.

Please email info.bfworkplace@gmail.com for more information or to schedule a training for your workplace.