Maternal return to work and breastfeeding: a population-based cohort study.

Department of Nursing, Chang Jung Christian University, Tainan County 71101, Taiwan.
International journal of nursing studies (Impact Factor: 1.91). 10/2009; 47(4):461-74. DOI: 10.1016/j.ijnurstu.2009.09.003
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT In recent decades there has been a marked rise in the participation of women with infants in the labour market, while there has been a decline in the prevalence rate of breastfeeding.
To explore the relationship between maternal return to work and breastfeeding.
An on-going prospective longitudinal study.
Multistage stratified systematic sampling was designed to recruit 24,200 pairs, postpartum women and newborns, from the Taiwan national birth register in 2005. Participating women underwent two home interviews at 6 and 18 months after giving birth, following structured questionnaires. A total of 21,248 and 20,172 women were interviewed, and the completed interview rate was thus 87.8% and 83.4% at 6 and 18 months, respectively. All study participants provided informed consent as approved by the Ethics Review Board of the National Taiwan College of Public Health.
The overall prevalence of initial breastfeeding was 83.7%. Postpartum women returning to work less than or equal to 1 month had the lowest initiation of breastfeeding rate (77.5%), but had a higher prevalence of breastfeeding duration less than or equal to 1 month (34.9%) than the overall population (26.8%). Overall 67.9%, 39.4%, 25.4%, and 12.7% mothers who started breastfeeding still breastfed their infants at the age of 1, 3, 6 and 12 months, respectively. Women with maternal leave of less than or equal to 6 months ceased breastfeeding earlier than those with maternal leave beyond 6 months and those who did not return to work up to 18 months after birth. After adjustment for potential confounders, odds ratios of initial breastfeeding seemed no different, except those for postpartum women who returned to work less than or equal to 1 month and those who did not return to work. Mothers returning to work within 1 year after giving birth were significantly earlier in weaning than those without return to work.
In our study, an early maternal return to work, especial within 6 months after giving birth, was a barrier to the initiation and continuation of breastfeeding. Thus, a comprehensive strategy is required to encourage the practice of breastfeeding in working women from pregnancy to the return to work, and nurses should work to promote breastfeeding in the different occasion.

  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Objectives: The health benefits of breastfeeding are widely recognized. The World Health Organization recommends exclusive breastfeeding for six months after birth and for two years or longer together with nutritionally adequate complementary foods. To respond to the needs of industry, employed breastfeeding mothers must adapt to the rotating night shift (RNS). However, the RNS is associated with a higher risk of health problems in career women. We investigated the relationship between the RNS and breast milk volume. Methods: Mothers who used a breastfeeding room while working at a technology company in Taiwan voluntarily participated in this study from March 1 through April 30, 2013. We compared two groups: breastfeeding mothers on (RNS(+)) and not on a RNS (RNS(-)) to determine independent predictors for breast milk volume. We analyzed data from 109 participants: RNS(+) group n = 56; RNS(-) group n = 53. Results: There was no significant difference in daily milk collection volume between the groups. Daily milk collection frequency and exclusive breastfeeding were independent predictors for a daily breast milk collection volume > 350 ml. Conclusions: The RNS may not affect the breast milk volume. This result may help the government and employers make policies more appropriate for supporting employed breastfeeding mothers.
    Journal of Occupational Health 11/2014; · 1.10 Impact Factor
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Mothers who are employed postpartum are less likely to continue breastfeeding than mothers who are not formally employed. However, as postpartum employment is increasingly necessary for the majority of new mothers, it is important to investigate factors that influence the continuation of breastfeeding in employed mothers. A sample of 1,738 mothers who returned to paid employment postpartum were recruited from the obstetric units of four public hospitals in Hong Kong, and prospectively followed for 12 months or until their infant was weaned. More than 85 % of participants returned to formal employment within 10 weeks postpartum, with over 90 % of these employed full-time. About one-third of the participants (32 %) were able to combine breastfeeding and employment, with breastfeeding defined as continuing for more than 2 weeks after returning to work postpartum. Later return to work and higher maternal education were associated with new mothers being able to combine breastfeeding and employment. Later return to work, shorter working hours, parental childcare, and higher maternal education were also associated with less likelihood of weaning from any or exclusive breastfeeding. Improvements in employment-related conditions for mothers and additional support for lower educated mothers may be effective strategies to enable employed women to continue breastfeeding after their return to work.
    Maternal and Child Health Journal 08/2014; · 2.24 Impact Factor
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Abstract Background: Despite the increasing number of large companies complying with the demands for a breastfeeding-friendly workplace, providing on-site lactation support, some mothers still find continuing to breastfeed a challenge. We postulated that greater support and encouragement from the partner would be independently predictive of whether the mother would take advantage of workplace milk expression breaks and lactation rooms and continue to breastfeed after returning to work. To evaluate this hypothesis, we conducted a survey at a female labor-intensive electronics manufacturer in Taiwan. Subjects and Methods: Six hundred eight working mothers in an electronics manufacturing plant in Tainan Science Park in Southern Taiwan who had access to dedicated lactation rooms at the workplace were interviewed. Questionnaire content included female employee demographics, employment characteristics, partner-related characteristics, and breastfeeding behavior after returning to work following the birth of their most recently born child. Results: The partner's initial support of the choice to breastfeed and encouragement to use the lactation room and milk expression breaks and the mother's perception of the partner's support for baby care were significant predictors of the intention to continue to breastfeed after returning to work, after adjusting for the employed mother's demographics and employment characteristics, supporting our hypothesis. Conclusions: These findings suggest that antenatal education or activities provided by the workplace should include the partner, which may improve workplace breastfeeding rates.
    Breastfeeding Medicine 03/2014; · 1.65 Impact Factor

Full-text (2 Sources)

Available from
Jun 10, 2014