Breastfeeding mothers returning to work: experiences of women at one university in Victoria, Australia

Carole Jane Gilmour, Hilary Monk, Helen Grace Hall

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6 Citations (Scopus)


Working women need to juggle work, child care and family to continue to breastfeed. This qualitative study s aim was to explore women s experiences of returning to work following the birth of their baby. Focus groups were held with women within one multi-campus university, who had commenced breastfeeding at birth and had returned to work or study within 12 months. In addition, educators working with babies in childcare centres on two of the campuses were interviewed. Thematic analysis was employed used Rogoff s (2003] three planes of analysis, the individual, the interpersonal and the cultural-institutional. Three themes, proximity, flexibility, and communication, were identified relating to the factors impacting on women and their choices to breastfeed or wean on returning to work. From a socio-cultural perspective these themes can be understood as situated within the interrelated contexts of workplace, child care and family. Limitations of the study include the small number of participants and recruitment from one university.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)23 - 30
Number of pages7
JournalBreastfeeding Review
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2013

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