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Breastfeed Med. 2011 Oct;6:319-24. doi: 10.1089/bfm.2011.0082.

State breastfeeding worksite statutes.…breastfeeding rates…and.….

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  • 1Division of Social and Behavioral Medicine, Department of Community and Preventive Medicine, University of Rochester, Rochester, New York 14642, USA.



State worksite breastfeeding statutes are thought to play a role in increasing rates of breastfeeding duration, which remain below Healthy People 2010 goals. As of 2010 24 states including the District of Columbia had such worksite statutes. Of these only 18 required both break time and a site. This preliminary analysis assessed if infants born in states with worksite breastfeeding statutes had longer breastfeeding duration.


Using the 2009 National Immunization Survey we analyzed infants comparing breastfeeding duration at 6 months with type of worksite breastfeeding statute in place, while adjusting for year enacted and other state characteristics (years since founding of state breastfeeding coalition, breastfeeding supportive hospital practices). Other covariates included maternal and infant characteristics. Only those infants whose mothers were at least 18 years old and who had not changed state of residence since birth were included (n=16,145).


Although requiring a site and/or break time for breastfeeding increased the likelihood of breastfeeding at 6 months (odds ratio, 1.20; 95% confidence interval, 1.07-1.35; p=0.002), after accounting for other factors this relationship remained positive but was not significant (adjusted odd ratio, 1.07; 95% confidence interval, 0.92-1.24). Because all mothers, not just those in or returning to the workforce, were included in the analysis this relationship could be underestimated. Breastfeeding at 6 months was associated with being from a state that had had a breastfeeding coalition for a longer period of time (adjusted odds ratio, 1.25; 95% confidence interval, 1.04-1.49; p<0001).


State worksite breastfeeding statutes alone may not directly affect breastfeeding duration. Analysis of breastfeeding duration using the multiple levels of the social-ecological model is a potentially useful approach to understanding the impact of state breastfeeding statutes. The impact of state breastfeeding coalitions warrants further study.

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