Breastfeeding in the Workplace

Introduction

Compiled by Sandee Tisdale


Topic Page Advisor:

Judith Galtry

Despite gaining consensus that breastfeeding is the most beneficial form of infant nutrition, less than half of mothers who work full-time exclusively breastfeed their newborns. Work seems to interfere with breastfeeding duration, as indicated by the fact that working full-time at 3 months postpartum decreases breastfeeding duration by an average of 8.6 weeks (Fein & Roe, 1998). Employers could benefit from providing supports to make it easier for working mothers to breastfeed; only 25% of the illnesses causing one day absences from work occurred in breastfed babies, while 75% occurred in formula-fed babies (Cohen, Mrtek, & Mrtek, 1995).

Updated: August 2010