Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Breastfeed Med. 2008 Sep;3(3):151-7. doi: 10.1089/bfm.2008.0103.

Development of an instrument designed to measure employees' perceptions of workplace breastfeeding support.

Author information

  • 1Department of Food Science and Human Nutrition, Michigan State University, East Lansing, Michigan 48824, USA.



Breastfeeding rates remain low in the United States, especially among working women. Unfortunately, no quantitative instrument exists to facilitate the examination of why women who return to work discontinue breastfeeding sooner than the general population. The objective of this study was to develop an instrument to measure female employees' perceptions of breastfeeding support in the workplace, which would be suitable for piloting with the target population.


Examination of the literature, reviews with experts, and one-on-one interviews with women who had experience combining breastfeeding and work were used to create the instrument subscales and items. Examination of the literature was used to develop four subscales: company policies/work culture, manager support, co-worker support, and workflow. Expert review resulted in the addition of a fifth subscale, the physical environment of the breastfeeding space. One-on-one interviews were used to ensure that the item wording was appropriate for the target population.


Eighteen items were added, and 15 were reworded based on comments from the expert review and from the interviews. The resulting survey contained 54 items that required either categorical yes/no or Likert scale responses.


Results from this process indicate the survey subscales and items adequately reflect women's perceptions of breastfeeding support in the workplace and the instrument is appropriate for piloting with new mother employees.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for Atypon
    Loading ...
    Support Center