Forthcoming issue 3 A qualitative study of employed mothers breastfeeding experiences at designated workplaces in Worcester, South Africa.

Main Article Content

L C Daniels
X Mbhenyane
L M Du Plessis

Abstract

Background: The work environment presents major challenges for breastfeeding mothers through the physical separation of the mother and the baby post maternity leave. The study aimed to explore the experiences of employed breastfeeding mothers from designated workplaces (who have more than 50 employees) in Worcester, South Africa.


Methods: A qualitative study was conducted using focus group discussions (FDGs). Employed breastfeeding mothers from designated workplaces, who exclusively or predominantly breastfed their children from birth for any period up to six months and had their babies within the last 24 months were recruited within the communities. Mothers were contacted to plan for the FDGs.


Results: Five FDGs (n=24) were conducted. The return to work for mothers was experienced as difficult and challenging. Mothers who were able to combine breastfeeding and work displayed commitment and a belief in breastfeeding. Enabling factors and main support mentioned consistently were, immediate family of mothers, grandmothers, siblings and spouses. Challenges identified relates to lack of breastfeeding space and time at work, unsupportive workplace culture, older generation beliefs and work life balance. Several needs were identified to support successful return to work and breastfeeding.


Conclusion: There is a need for more support for breastfeeding mothers within the workplace setting. Mothers should be educated by health professionals of their right of a breastfeeding break at work. Much more engagement with workplaces relating to the topic of breastfeeding support must be initiated. Dietitians, nutritionists, breastfeeding professionals and occupational health professionals can play an important role in this process.

Article Details

How to Cite
Forthcoming issue 3: A qualitative study of employed mothers breastfeeding experiences at designated workplaces in Worcester, South Africa. (2024). South African Journal of Child Health, 18(2), e1809. https://doi.org/10.7196/
Section
Research

How to Cite

Forthcoming issue 3: A qualitative study of employed mothers breastfeeding experiences at designated workplaces in Worcester, South Africa. (2024). South African Journal of Child Health, 18(2), e1809. https://doi.org/10.7196/

References

Weber D, Janson A, Nolan M, et al. Female employees ’ perceptions of organisational support for breastfeeding at work: findings from an Australian health service workplace. Int Breastfeed J 2011; 6: 1–7. https://doi.org/10.1186/1746-4358-6-19

World Health Organization. Global Strategy for Infant and Young Child Feeding. Geneva, http://apps.who.int/iris/bitstream/10665/42590/1/9241562218.pdf (accessed 7 December 2023).

United Nations Children`s Fund. Let’s make it work ! Breastfeeding in the workplace - Using communication for development to make breastfeeding possible among working mothers. 2018; 36. https://www.healthynewbornnetwork.org/hnn-content/uploads/Mother_BabyFriendlyWorkplaceInitiativeC4D_web1_002_.pdf (accessed 7 December 2023).

Rollins NC, Bhandari N, Hajeebhoy N, et al. Why invest, and what it will take to improve breastfeeding practices? Lancet 2016; 387: 491–504. https://doi.org/10.1016/S0140-6736(15)01044-2.

United States Department of Health and Human Services. Bussiness Case for Breastfeeding Easy Steps to support breastfeeding employees. https://owh-wh-d9-dev.s3.amazonaws.com/s3fs-public/documents/bcfb_easy-steps-to-supporting-breastfeeding-employees.pdf (accessed 7 December 2023).

Smith J, McIntyre E, Craig L, et al. Workplace support, breastfeeding and health. Fam Matters 2013; 93: 58–73.

Statistics South Africa. South Africa Demographic and Health Survey. Key Indicator Report 2016. https://www.statssa.gov.za/publications/Report%2003-00-09/Report%2003-00-092016.pdf. (accessed 7 December 2023).

Republic of South Africa. Basic Conditions of Employment Act, No. 75 of 1997. https://www.gov.za/sites/default/files/gcis_document/201409/a75-97.pdf (accessed 7 December 2023).

Martin-Wiesner P. A policy-friendly environment for breastfeeding. A review of South Africa’s progress in systematising its international and national responsibilities to protect, promote and support breastfeeding. https://www.wits.ac.za/media/wits-university/research/coe-human/documents/Breastfeeding%20policy%20review.pdf (accessed 7 December 2023)

Froh EB, Spatz DL. Navigating Return to Work and Breastfeeding in a Hospital with a Comprehensive Employee Lactation Program. J Hum Lact; 32(4). https://doi.org/10.1177/0890334416663475

Burns E, Triandafilidis Z. Taking the path of least resistance: A qualitative analysis of return to work or study while breastfeeding. Int Breastfeed J 2019; 14: 1–13. https://doi.org/10.1186/s13006-019-0209-x

Rojjanasrirat W. Working women ’ s breastfeeding experiences. Am J Matern Child Nurs 2004; 29: 1–7. https://doi.org/10.1097/00005721-200407000-00004.

Wolde FB, Ali JH, Mengistu YG. Employed mothers’ breastfeeding: Exploring breastfeeding experience of employed mothers in different work environments in Ethiopia. PLoS One 2021; 16: 1–16. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0259831.

Mabaso BP, Jaga A, Doherty T. Experiences of workplace breastfeeding in a provincial government setting: a qualitative exploratory study among managers and mothers in South Africa. Int Breastfeed J 2020; 15: 1–11. https://doi.org/10.1186/s13006-020-00342-4.

Debevec AD, Evanson TA. Improving breastfeeding support by understanding Women’s perspectives and emotional experiences of breastfeeding. Nurs Womens Health 2016;20(5):464–474. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.nwh.2016.08.008.

Desmond D, Meaney S. A qualitative study investigating the barriers to returning to work for breastfeeding mothers in Ireland. Int Breastfeed J 2016; 11: 1–9. https://doi.org/10.1186/s13006-016-0075-8

Tsai S-Y. Influence of Partner Support on an Employed Mother’s Intention to Breastfeed After Returning to Work. Breastfeed Med 2014; 9: 222–230. https://doi.org/10.1089/bfm.2013.0127

Kebede T, Woldemichael K, Jarso H, et al. Exclusive breastfeeding cessation and associated factors among employed mothers in Dukem town, Central Ethiopia. Int Breastfeed J 2020; 15: 1–10. https://doi.org/10.1186/s13006-019-0250-9.

Republic of South Africa. Department of Labour. (1998). Basic Conditions of Employment Act, 1997. Code of good practice on protection of employees during pregnancy and during child birth. https://www.labour.gov.za/DocumentCenter/Code%20of%20Good%20Practice/Basic%20Condition/Code%20of%20Good%20Practice%20Basic%20Conditions%20of%20Employment%20and%20Pregnancy.pdf (accessed 7 December 2023).

Febrianingtyas Y, Februhartanty J, Hadihardjono DN. Workplace support and exclusive breastfeeding practice: A qualitative study in Jakarta, Indonesia. Malays J Nutr 2019; 25: 129–142. doi: https://doi.org/10.31246/mjn-2018-0107

Jantzer AM, Anderson J, Kuehl RA. Breastfeeding Support in the Workplace: The Relationships Among Breastfeeding Support, Work–Life Balance, and Job Satisfaction. J Hum Lact 2018; 34: 379–385. https://doi.org/10.1177/0890334417707956

Spitzmueller C, Wang Z, Zhang J, et al. Got milk? Workplace factors related to breastfeeding among working mothers. Journal of Organizational Behavior 2016, 37(5), 692–718. https://doi.org/10.1002/job.2061

Abekah-Nkrumah G, Antwi MY, Nkrumah J, et al. Examining working mothers’ experience of exclusive breastfeeding in Ghana. Int Breastfeed J 2020; 15: 1–10. https://doi.org/10.1186/s13006-020-00300-0

Similar Articles

You may also start an advanced similarity search for this article.

Most read articles by the same author(s)

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 > >>