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Open AccessArticle

Identifying Barriers and Supports to Breastfeeding in the Workplace Experienced by Mothers in the New Hampshire Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children Utilizing the Total Worker Health Framework

1
Institute on Disability, New Hampshire Occupational Health Surveillance Program, University of New Hampshire, College of Health and Human Services, Durham, NH 03824, USA
2
Department of Public Health, Keene State College, Keene, NH 03435, USA
3
State Director, Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children, New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services, Concord, NH 03301, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16(4), 529; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph16040529
Received: 10 January 2019 / Revised: 7 February 2019 / Accepted: 11 February 2019 / Published: 13 February 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Using Total Worker Health® to Advance Worker Health and Safety)
Variations in the barriers and contributors to breastfeeding across industries have not been well characterized for vulnerable populations such as mothers participating in the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC). Our study used the Total Worker Health Framework to characterize workplace factors acting as barriers and/or contributors to breastfeeding among women participating in the New Hampshire WIC. Surveys were collected from WIC mothers (n = 682), which asked about employment, industry, and workplace accommodation and supports related to breastfeeding in the workplace. We found workplace policy factors supporting breastfeeding (i.e., having paid maternity leave, other maternity leave, and a breastfeeding policy) varied by industry. Women in specific service-oriented industries (i.e., accommodation and retail) reported the lowest rates of breastfeeding initiation and workplace supports for breastfeeding and pumping. Further, how a woman hoped to feed and having a private pumping space at work were significantly associated with industry, breastfeeding initiation, and breastfeeding duration. A substantial portion of women reported being not sure about their workplace environment, policies, and culture related to breastfeeding. Additional studies with larger sample sizes of women participating in WIC are needed to further characterize the barriers to breastfeeding associated with specific industries. View Full-Text
Keywords: total worker health; breastfeeding; industry; workplace accommodations; work environment; work culture; work policy; health promotion; occupational health surveillance total worker health; breastfeeding; industry; workplace accommodations; work environment; work culture; work policy; health promotion; occupational health surveillance
MDPI and ACS Style

Lauer, E.A.; Armenti, K.; Henning, M.; Sirois, L. Identifying Barriers and Supports to Breastfeeding in the Workplace Experienced by Mothers in the New Hampshire Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children Utilizing the Total Worker Health Framework. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16, 529.

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