Employers' perspective of workplace breastfeeding support in Karachi, Pakistan: A cross-sectional study

Author(s)

Publication date

2016

Publisher

BioMed Central

Document type

Abstract

Background Breastfeeding is considered to be an important measure to achieve optimum health outcomes for children, women’s return to work has frequently been found to be a main contributor to the early discontinuation of breastfeeding. The aim of the study is to assess workplace breastfeeding support provided to working mothers in Pakistan. Method A workplace based cross-sectional survey was conducted from April through December 2014. Employers from a representative sample of 297 workplaces were interviewed on pre-tested and structured questionnaire. The response rate was 93.7 %. Prevalence of workplace breastfeeding facilities were assessed in the light of World Alliance for Breastfeeding Action (WABA) guidelines. Results Among non-physical facilities, all workplaces offered 3 months paid maternity leave, 45 % of the sites were offering task adjustment to mothers during lactation period. Only 15 % of the sites were offering breastfeeding breaks to working mothers. Physical facilities that include a breastfeeding corner, refrigerator for storing breast milk, breast milk pump and nursery for childcare were provided in less than 7 % of the sites. Multinational organizations provided better support compared to national organizations. Conclusion Support for continuation of breastfeeding by working women at workplaces is inadequate; hence, women discontinue breastfeeding earlier than planned. Policies need to be developed and enforced, employers and employees need to be educated and supportive environment needs to be created to encourage and facilitate breastfeeding friendly worksite environment.

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publishedVersion

Permanent URL (for citation purposes)

  • http://hdl.handle.net/10642/4975