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Coworker Support and Stigma of Breastfeeding in the Workplace

Legislation has been passed to give American mothers 12 weeks of maternity leave (1993) and private mothering rooms (2010). However, legislation alone is not enough to provide the support that breastfeeding mothers need when they return to the workplace. Three factors continue to undermine breastfeeding mothers: lack of a private place for pumping, supervisor and coworker concern about reduced worktime and interrupted productivity, and coworker resentment about mothers taking “breaks.”

Join Marie and her guests. Jie Zhuang, PhD and Joanne Goldbort RN PhD, as they describe how 25% of male and female colleagues create barriers though stigmatizing, focusing on the “ick” factor, and perceiving unfairness when working with breastfeeding colleagues. Consider how normalizing pumping/feeding at work, educating, and providing appropriate space is necessary, but not sufficient. Get some tips for how to get—or give—practical support for breastfeeding in the workplace.

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