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Master's Professional Reports Abstract

Lactation Accommodation in the Workplace

The choice to breastfeed is a private and independent decision made by every new mother. The benefits to breastfeeding over formula feeding a new baby are overwhelming. Unfortunately, many lactating mothers who return to work (especially full-time) after maternity leave find workplace barriers to continuing breastfeeding.

This report examines the current feminization trend of the work force, where more women are entering the work force than ever before, approaching the percentage levels for men. Also, this report researches breastfeeding trends. We find that more new mothers are choosing to breastfeed their new babies at birth and beyond. The report also describes breastfeeding benefits and current national breastfeeding goals.

An employer can remove workplace barriers to breastfeeding and promote national health goals for its work force by instituting workplace lactation accommodations. This report describes various lactation accommodation options of "mother-friendly" provisions. Examples of employers instituting "mother-friendly" workplace programs and analysis of their success are given. The report concludes by providing guidelines for instituting workplace lactation accommodations.

--Author's foreword.