Breastfeeding Patterns Among Employees at a Land Grant University
Exclusive breastfeeding is recommended for the first 6 months of life, and up to 1 year with complementary food. Breastfeeding rates have improved over the last 20 years, but exclusive breastfeeding, and breastfeeding to 6 months have not yet met Healthy People 2020 goals. Given that the majority of women return to work shortly after delivery, workplace support for breastfeeding could facilitate breastfeeding continuance. The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) was the first federal legislation to address breastfeeding in the workplace. This article examines employee breastfeeding behavior before and after implementation of workplace breastfeeding support policies and practices. Breastfeeding behavior change over time was assessed by comparing employees’ responses by age of their youngest children. Results indicated that breastfeeding among employees and breastfeeding after returning to work improved after initiation of breastfeeding support policies in this university setting.