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AAOHN J. 2008 Oct;56(10):423-9; quiz 430-1.

Knowledge, perceptions, and attitudes of managers, coworkers, and employed breastfeeding mothers.

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  • East Tennessee State University, Johnson City, TN, USA.


Employer attitudes and practices toward breastfeeding mothers are discouraging overall. Mothers who believe that breastfeeding while employed cannot be done without a considerable amount of additional work and stress may not even consider breastfeeding. Although it is known that lower income women tend not to breastfeed while employed, the relationship between type of employment and sustaining breastfeeding has not been clearly explained. Many women identify employment as a barrier to breastfeeding. Some elements of a workplace environment supportive of breastfeeding have been identified, including private space with a locking door (other than a bathroom stall), time to express milk at work, and adequate refrigeration. In relation to employers, monetary reasons (i.e., decreased productivity) are most frequently cited for not supporting breastfeeding. Only a small percentage of the research on employed breastfeeding mothers has focused on the workplace. Further research is needed to determine how breastfeeding can be beneficial to the mother, the infant, and the employer.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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