According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Office on Women’s Health, breastfeeding exclusively for the first six months of a child’s life can possibly offer protection from, for example, ear infections, diarrhea and respiratory illnesses.
More than 50 percent of all mothers with infants are in the workforce, up from 31 percent in 1976. Working mothers who breastfeed their babies face unique challenges, but yield a wide range of benefits. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Office on Women’s Health states that breastfeeding exclusively for six months, for example, offers protection from ear infections, diarrhea, and respiratory illnesses.
Working mothers who receive support from their family, and coworkers and/or employers find it easier to overcome breastfeeding challenges. American workplaces can do a lot more to make breastfeeding easier for new moms. Employers can provide support by establishing lactation rooms and worksite support for mothers who return from maternity leave. Not only will new moms benefit from the support within her workplace, but the employer will also benefit. Employers will see a reduction in healthcare costs and an increase in productivity since new moms will need less time off to take care of sick babies.
With support from others, new moms can take steps to make breastfeeding work for them. Here are just a few tips to a good start:
The CoE-WHRC is committed to supporting nursing mothers in their efforts to continue to breastfeed after returning to work. For the past eight years, the CoE-WHRC has administered the UCSF employee lactation breastfeeding program. Sites throughout the UCSF campuses are designated as official breastfeeding zones where mothers can comfortably express milk in privacy using hospital grade breast pumps.
“The breastfeeding stations benefit UCSF students, staff and faculty, and is one of the ways in which the Center of Excellence promotes a supportive and family friendly work-life environment. The work of Diane Wara, MD and the Chancellor's Advisory Sub Committee on Child Care; Alma Sisco-Smith and the Work~Life Resource Center; Patricia Robertson, MD and the Breastfeeding Taskforce; and Stella Hsu and Campus Auxiliary Services has been very important to the breastfeeding initiative at UCSF."
--Nancy Milliken, MD, director of the CoE
If you are at UCSF, here is a link to our lactation stations.