Breastfeeding in the Workplace

Breastfeeding in the Workplace

Compiled by Sandee Tisdale

Topic Page Advisor:

Judith Galtry

Suboptimal Breastfeeding in the United States and Cost Analysis Findings (2010)

Bartick, M., & Reinhold, A. (2010). The burden of suboptimal breastfeeding in the United States: A pediatric cost analysis. Pediatrics, 125(5), e1048- e1056.

This study was based on data collected for the 2007 breastfeeding report from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. The study computed current costs and compared them to the projected costs if 80% and 90% of U.S. families would follow the recommended guidelines to exclusively breastfeed for 6 months. An analysis was computed for all pediatric diseases to determine the risk ratios that promoted breastfeeding.  Results found, “If 90% of US families could comply with medical recommendations to breastfeed exclusively for 6 months, the United States would save $13 billion per year and prevent an excess 911 deaths, nearly all of which would be infants ($10.5 billion and 741 deaths at 80% compliance). Current US breastfeeding rates are suboptimal and results in significant excess costs and preventable infant deaths” (Bartick & Reinhold, 2010, p. e1048). This article suggested developing a national infrastructure to support breastfeeding.

To access this document (PDF), visit:

Statutes by Theme: Breastfeeding and the Workplace (2009)

The Work and Family Statutes by Theme are presented primarily for state policy makers to help provide an overview of the laws that have been passed in various states that are relevant to work and family issues.

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A Sloan Network Fact Sheet on Breastfeeding in the Workplace (2010)

The Sloan Work and Family Research Network has prepared Fact Sheets which provide statistical answers to some important questions about work-family and work-life issues.

Click here to download the Sloan Network Fact Sheet on Breastfeeding in the Workplace:

Policy Mini-Brief Series, 2009, Issue 03 - Breastfeeding and the Workplace

By Julie Weber, JD

The Sloan Work and Family Research Network has created a series of publications called the Policy Mini-Brief Series.  These publications are shorter, complimentary briefs to the Policy Briefing Series, providing state legislators and their staff with a one page summary of work-family policy issues.

Download Issue 3 in this series, entitled "Breastfeeding and the Workplace":

Policy Briefing Series (PBS), 2008, Issue 14 - Opportunities for Policy Leadership on Breastfeeding and the Workplace

By Sandee Shulkin, MSW, and Melissa Brown, MSW

The Sloan Work and Family Research Network has created a series of publications called, the Policy Briefing Series.  These publications provide state legislators and their staff with answers to questions about specific work-family issues, such as, “How does afterschool care affect my constituents?” and “What can be done about telework?” This publication is mailed to legislators across the United States.

Download Issue 14 in this series, entitled "Breastfeeding and the Workplace":

Guidelines for Supporting Breastfeeding in the Workplace (n.d.)

Galtry, J., & Annandale, M. (n.d.). Guidelines for supporting breastfeeding in the workplace. Retrieved from Equal Opportunities Employment Trust:

Discusses why supporting the rights of employees to breastfeed is an Equal Employment Opportunity issue and provides information on the benefits of breastfeeding for infants, mothers, and businesses. This brief also provides examples of employers with practices and policies that support breastfeeding employees. Considerations in developing supportive workplace policies are also discussed.

Supporting Breastfeeding Mothers as They Return to Work (2000)

Neifert, M. (2000). Supporting breastfeeding mothers as they return to work. Elk Grove Village, Illinois: American Academy of Pediatrics.


A brief handout that explains the benefits of breastfeeding as well as how professionals can support breastfeeding mothers returning to work.


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Support for Breastfeeding in the Workplace (2007)

Centers for Disease Control Prevention (2007). Support for breastfeeding in the workplace. Atlanta, Georgia: Author.

A brief overview of the many ways employers can support breastfeeding in the workplace and a discussion of effective programs that currently exist.

To access this document, click here:

Returning to Work While Breastfeeding (2003)

Biagioli, F. (2003). Returning to work while breastfeeding. Portland, Oregon: American Academy of Family Physicians.

A brief created by the American Academy of Family Physicians on the effects of returning to work on breastfeeding. The brief also mentions current legislative and workplace initiatives that address the issue.

To access this document, click here:

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