Lactation After Loss

This information has been migrated and updated from the former Breastfeeding Coalition of South Central WI

The loss of a child is devastating. Grieving postpartum mothers deserve understanding and compassion. Second trimester miscarriage, stillbirth or neonatal death will result in milk production. Typically, within one week after birth, milk production starts and can be both physically and emotionally painful. 

For some mothers, pumping and donating breast milk to another baby in need can be very healing.  [Read “Bryson’s Legacy: A Story of Milk Donation and the Love of a Family“]

The following pamphlet is a useful guide to engorgement, milk donation, transition to drying milk, and other information that may be a helpful to a grieving mother: Lactation after Loss – A Guide for Bereaved Mothers 

This video may be a helpful guide managing milk supply after a perinatal loss.
Breast Massage and Hand Expression Following Perinatal Loss by Maya Bolman, RN, IBCLC and Ann Witt, MD, IBCLC, FABM

Other Resources for Bereaved Parents

Resource List for Bereaved Parents from Mikayla’s Grace. Mikayla’s Grace Inc. is a 501c3 non-profit created to support families with a baby in the NICU and those who experience the death of an infant at hospitals in Wisconsin.  Includes support groups and resources in Dane County.

Empty Arms Bereavement Resource List.  Includes reading list and bereavement keepsake links.

Know Your Legal Rights

City of Madison

City of Madison, WI Ordinance 23.37 Interfering with breastfeeding prohibited

Notwithstanding any other provision of law, a mother or her surrogate may breastfeed her child and may express breastmilk in any location, public or private, except the private home or residence of another, where the mother or her surrogate and the child are otherwise authorized to be present. Any person who intentionally interferes with a mother’s or her surrogate’s attempts to breastfeed her child or to express breastmilk, except the owner or resident of a private home or residence, shall be subject to a forfeiture of not less than $25.00 nor more than $250.00 for each such violation.

Wisconsin Breastfeeding Laws

1995 Wisconsin Act 165 
Under current law, there are various prohibitions against lewd behavior or 
sexual gratification in public. This bill specifies that those prohibitions do not apply 
to a mother's breast-feeding of her child. 
2009 Wis. Laws, Act 148
 provides that a mother may breastfeed her child in any public or private location where the mother and child are otherwise authorized to be. The law specifies that in such a location, no person may prohibit a mother from breastfeeding her child, direct a mother to move to a different location to breastfeed her child, direct a mother to cover her child or breast while breastfeeding, or otherwise restrict a mother from breastfeeding her child.

Prohibiting a mother from breastfeeding can result in a general penalty provision provided under this law of a fine not greater than $200.

Breastfeeding in public is legal in all states in the U.S.

WORKPLACE PUMPING RIGHTS (Not yet passed into law)

2017 AB 193/SB 147 – AN ACT to create 103.12, 106.54 (11) and 111.91 (2) (gp) of the statutes; relating to: requiring an employer to provide reasonable break time for an employee who is breast−feeding her child to express breast milk for the child.

This proposal was introduced by Rep. Lisa Subeck and co-sponsored by Rep. Joan Ballweg and Sen. Julie Lassa.  The bill, if passed into law, will help to ensure that both salaried and waged employees the right to unpaid break time to breastfeed or express their milk and that eligibility for employer-sponsored health insurance is maintained.

Federal Breastfeeding Laws

Break Time for Nursing Mothers Act
The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (“Affordable Care Act”) amended section 7 of the Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”) to require employers to provide reasonable break time for an employee to express breast milk for her nursing child for one year after the child’s birth each time such employee has need to express the milk. Employers are also required to provide a place, other than a bathroom, that is shielded from view and free from intrusion from coworkers and the public, which may be used by an employee to express breast milk. The break time requirement became effective when the Affordable Care Act was signed into law on March 23, 2010. The Wage and Hour Fact Sheet #73 “Break Time for Nursing Mothers under the FLSA” and the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) posted below provide basic information about the law. 

Frequently Asked Questions about this law:

The Business Case for Breastfeeding Toolkit for managers

The Business Case for Breastfeeding: Employees Guide

  • How to talk to your supervisor about the need to pump
  • Finding a pumping space

Time and space solutions for pumping at your place of employment
Industry Solutions – creative ideas for different industries (retail, education, construction, etc.) 

Radiology letter

Sometimes a breastfeeding parent is told by a health care provider that they will need to “pump and dump” their milk after receiving a contrast dye for a radiological scan.  This information is not accurate and not currently supported by breastfeeding advocacy organizations and research.  Many parents are distressed to discover that discarding their milk is unnecessary after a CT or MRI scan.  In order to help advocate for parents in these situations, the former Breastfeeding Coalition of South Central Wisconsin (BCSCW) published a letter that can be sent to a medical provider to help advocate for breastfeeding families. This letter was written by a local physician and was approved by the Health Care Outreach Committee at BCSCW.

For more information about medical imaging contrast agents and breastfeeding compatibility, see these links:

Live, Love, Latch! potluck picnic

La Leche League of Madison Area Chapter
Breastfeeding Coalition of South Central Wisconsin

are co-hosting a family potluck picnic for World Breastfeeding Week!

August 4th, 2018, 1-4pm, at McKee Farms Park, 2930 Chapel Valley Road, Fitchburg, WI

Dream Park playground, Splash Pad, Shelter with picnic tables.
Disposable tableware provided. Awesome door prizes!
Bring your family, a dish to pass and your own beverages for an afternoon of fun!
See event weblink for updates.

Live, Love, Latch! events are designed to not only celebrate breastfeeding, but to also highlight community support. All in attendance at a Live, Love, Latch! event will be counted as participants, who declare their support of breastfeeding in their local community and beyond.

Wisconsin area La Leche League groups

Are you looking for a La Leche League group in the Wisconsin area outside of Madison/Dane County?  

La Leche League of Wisconsin has a map and listing of all active Wisconsin La Leche League groups.  Click here for the map.  Each pinpoint has contact information for each group when you click it.

Groups in Wisconsin

Groups in Wisconsin

If you are still unable to find the information you are looking for, please feel free to call our Madison Area Helpline at (608)616-9978 or you can email Deb at


Membership and donations

La Leche League monthly gatherings and assistance via our phone line or e-mail are always FREE. Membership to LLL of Madison is available and a wonderful way to support the work of our volunteer Leaders.

Some of the benefits of membership include:.

  • Access to monthly group gatherings, group library, and telephone help at (608) 616-9978.
  • Local online support through the Madison LLL moms’ Facebook page. Share your experiences and challenges with other local breastfeeding moms and receive support from Leaders online.  Include your email address with the renewal notice to receive an invitation to join.
  • Meeting new people in your community and gaining self-confidence as you learn from other mothers.
  • Providing funds for the phone line, pamphlets and information sheets, postage, and continuing education for Leaders.
  • Ensuring that LLL continues to exist now and for future breastfeeding families!

A one year membership is $25.00.   For an additional $15.00 ($40.00 total), a copy of the newest edition of The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding  is added.

The benefits of breastfeeding are, of course, priceless! Your membership or donation will help mothers in Wisconsin and all over the world who want to breastfeed!

Your membership check, or tax-deductible donation to LLL of Madison can be mailed to:

LLL of Madison

c/o Heather Reekie, Treasurer

742 Schubert Street, Verona, WI 53593

By joining as a member locally, a portion of the membership helps to support the local La Leche League Madison Area Chapter.

NEW! You can now join or donate online via Paypal.  There is now a Paypal button on the top of the right-hand sidebar.

Thinking about becoming a La Leche League Leader?

Have you enjoyed your breastfeeding experience and want to help breastfeeding/chestfeeding parents?

Are you proud of a breastfeeding challenge you have overcome and want to help other parents and breastfeeding families overcome theirs?

Are you interested in finding a volunteer position that fits into the life of a busy parent while building real life skills for using within your family or future job applications?

If you think you might be interested, read more here on the LLL International website about becoming a La Leche League Leader.

If you have questions, contact a local Leader to further discussion on whether becoming a LLL Leader is right for you.

LLL is an international, educational, non-sectarian, non-discriminatory service organization with a strict policy of not mixing causes. We have that policy in order to offer breastfeeding help to parents with a variety of personal beliefs.

Why La Leche League?


We should have learned breastfeeding as we grew up watching our sisters, mothers, and neighbors, all of whom nursed their own children.  In our bottle-feeding culture, La Leche League may be the next best thing.  At monthly meetings…

You can look.  No two people at a meeting will have the same parenting style.  You’ll see things that might work for you and things that wouldn’t.  Try what you like and leave the rest.

You can listen.  Some women just want to sit and listen when they come. No one will pressure you to talk if you don’t want to.

You can ask questions.  Is this a normal breastmilk diaper?  How can I get my baby to sleep?  Where can I find a good bra? How will I cope with critics?  What do I do with a crying baby?

You can find a playgroup.  Playgroups are for mothers, not children, and finding a group of women who are raising their babies the way you are can make your job much easier.  The playgroup friendships that start at a La Leche League meeting often last long after the children are grown.

You can find other resources.  Looking for books?  The name of a breastfeeding helper in your sister-in-law’s hometown?  Information on jaundice or increasing a milk supply?  Breastfeeding literature in Korean?  La Leche League is a great place to start.

You can talk to someone any time.  La Leche League’s breastfeeding counselors are just a phone call away, any time you need to talk.

You can”get out” with your baby.  The meetings are designed with babies in mind.  They’re informal, there are toys for toddlers and snacks for everyone, and no one will mind if you nurse, change a diaper, soothe a fretful baby, come late, or leave early.  It feels good to get out of the house with your baby.  What better place to come?

You can complain.  No relationship is all roses.  Sometimes it helps to complain among people who have “been there”.  You can do it at a La Leche League meeting.  Whatever you’re going through, someone there will have had something similar.

You can help someone else.  When you come to a La Leche League meeting,you don’t just learn from other women; other women have a chance to learn from you.  You become part of the pattern of ripples that began at the first La Leche League meeting in 1956.  Those ripples have spread around the world and are still felt at all the mother-to-mother get-togethers that are the heart of La Leche League.

from an article written by Diane Weissinger,MS, IBCLC.