Bringing babies and breasts into workplaces: Support for breastfeeding mothers in workplaces and childcare services at the Australian National University

Julie Smith, Sara Javanparast, Lyn Craig

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    5 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    In 1999, two leading Australian academics challenged Australian universities to lead moves to better manage employees' maternity and breastfeeding needs, and 'bring babies and breasts into workplaces'. This paper addresses the question of how universities cope with the need for women to breastfeed, by exploring barriers facing women who combine breastfeeding and paid work at the Australian National University (ANU). Data were collected through online surveys in 2013 using mixed method, case study design, nested within a larger national study. Participants were 64 working mothers of children aged 0-2 years from the ANU community of employees and users of on-campus child care. Responses highlighted the ad hoc nature of support for breastfeeding at ANU. Lack of organisational support for breastfeeding resulted in adverse consequences for some ANU staff. These included high work-related stresses and premature cessation of breastfeeding among women who had intended to breastfeed their infants in line with health recommendations.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)45-57
    Number of pages13
    JournalBreastfeeding Review
    Volume25
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - Mar 2017

    Keywords

    • Breastfeeding
    • Child care
    • Health promotion
    • Women
    • Working
    • Workplace

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