Author(s): Waite WM, Christakis D
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Abstract OBJECTIVES: Decades of research supports the health benefits of breastfeeding. Prior research has shown that unsupportive work environments are frequently cited as reasons women abandon breastfeeding early. The objective of this study is to determine if mothers' perceptions of workplace lactation support are associated with job satisfaction. MATERIALS AND METHODS: Female employees of Seattle Children's Hospital (SCH) and a large corporation were e-mailed a survey to measure perceptions of workplace lactation support. Women were eligible to participate if they had a child born within the last 5 years. Questions were asked about lactation support across five domains; organization, manager, coworker, time, and physical environment. The main outcome was job satisfaction. Linear regression models were run to evaluate the association between workplace support scores and the outcome of interest. RESULTS: The survey was completed by 420 women at SCH and 131 women at the large corporation (response rate, 47\%). Ninety-eight percent of study participants initiated breastfeeding, and most sustained breastfeeding for at least 6 months. Increased total workplace support score was associated with increased job satisfaction at both companies (p<0.001). Increased support scores within each domain were independently associated with increased job satisfaction (p values<0.005). When all domains were considered together, only manager and coworker supports were significant at SCH (p=0.04), and only time support was significant at the large corporation (p=0.01). The workplace support score was not significantly associated with breastfeeding duration at either institution. CONCLUSIONS: Improved lactation support in the workplace may improve new mothers' job satisfaction, which could be beneficial to businesses.
This article was published in Breastfeed Med
and referenced in Review of Public Administration and Management