International Journal Of Occupational Health and Public Health Nursing

Breastfeeding Duration in Mothers Returning to Employment in Greece

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  • Abstract

    Breast milk benefits are many and not only for the neonatal and infancy but cover the protection of maternal health and family welfare. Breast milk is a unique treasure of life, health and wellbeing of the child, mother, family and society in general. The purpose of this study was to investigate working mother’s return to work influence on duration breastfeeding. This descriptive study was conducted in Greece during 2012. The population of the study consisted of the 645 Greek women (n=508) and non Greek (n=136) who reside in Greece. The data were collected using a questionnaire form developed by the researcher consisting of 48 variables. 67.3% of the questionnaire participants were employees. 68.8% of participants took pregnancy leave, 5.1% unpaid leave and 24.6% worked part time. 10.5% of participants worked in facilities that accommodated a private area and/or specific time slots to facilitate breastfeeding mothers to collect their milk during their working hours. It was found that employees participate exclusively breastfed for significantly longer (4 months / average 6,1 ± 6,9) than those who were not working (3 months / 5 ± 6,7). The participants who took pregnancy leave, unpaid leave and those working part-time exclusively breastfed for five months, three months and three months respectively. Also, participants who worked in a place no special place or specific time to facilitate breastfeeding mothers to collect milk during working hours to breastfeed exclusively for significantly longer (5 months) compared with participants working without specific time or in a place where there was this possibility (3 months). Breastfeeding is more likely to be maintained as late mother returned to work or work part time. It is very important to promote breastfeeding, provide maternity leave be given to mothers who return to work opportunities and facilities for smooth adjustment.