Author(s): Tsai SY
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Abstract BACKGROUND: Ever-increasing populations of women in their childbearing years are choosing to become employed. Breastfeeding provides unique health advantages to both the infant and mother. A breastfeeding-friendly workplace might be an important factor for predicting breastfeeding rates among working women. To explore the impact of breastfeeding-friendly support on the intention of working mothers to continue breastfeeding, we conducted a survey at a female labor-intensive electronics manufacturer in Taiwan. SUBJECTS AND METHODS: A structured questionnaire survey was administered to 715 working mothers employed in an electronics manufacturing plant in Tainan Science Park in Southern Taiwan. Questionnaire content included female employee demographics, employment characteristics, continued breastfeeding behavior after returning to work, access to lactation rooms, and employee perception of the breastfeeding policy and support when raising their most recently born child. RESULTS: A higher education level (odds ratio [OR]=2.66), lower work load (8 work hours/day) (OR=2.66), lactation room with dedicated space (OR=2.38), use of breast pumping breaks (OR=61.6), and encouragement from colleagues (OR=2.78) and supervisors (OR=2.44) to use breast pumping breaks were significant predictors of continued breastfeeding for more than 6 months after returning to work. CONCLUSIONS: The findings of the present study suggest that to encourage and increase the rate of continued breastfeeding, workplaces should establish dedicated breastfeeding rooms and maintain a comfortable and clean environment. Furthermore, employers should provide encouragement and support for working mothers to continue breastfeeding after returning to work.
This article was published in Breastfeed Med
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