Breastfeeding-friendly offices are best, say mums

Posted on by Rob Powell

NEW MOTHERS are more likely to return to the workplace sooner if they can breastfeed at work, according to new research.

Academics at the Institute for Social & Economic Research, at Essex University, say that mums are 8% more likely to go back to the workplace within six months, and 5% more likely within four months, if breastfeeding is welcomed.

The research also showed that breastfeedingly-friendly offices will only make a difference to mums who stayed in education until they were at least 19. For less-well educated mothers, breastfeedingly in the workplace is not a driver for an earlier return to work.

Dr Emilia Del Bono, from ISER, is co author of the research with Dr Chiara Pronzato at the Università di Torino. Dr Del Bono says:

“Lower educated mothers have shorter maternity leave periods due to income constraints, so the availability of breastfeeding facilities has little impact on their decision to return to work. More educated mothers, by contrast, have more choice in relation to the duration of their maternity leave and are also more likely to breastfeed longer, so the availability of breastfeeding facilities is more important in this group.”

The research was carried out using a sample of over 3,000 mothers.

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