Clinics in Human Lactation: Breastfeeding and Employment

Clinics in Human Lactation: Breastfeeding and Employment



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The number of working mothers in the workforce is growing, but few businesses provide lactation support in the workplace. Employment has a profound effect on breastfeeding.

A woman entering employment is three times more likely to stop breastfeeding than her stay-at-home counterpart. In Breastfeeding and Employment: Making it Work, author Marsha Walker, RN, IBCLC, not only describes the problem in depth, but gives practical solutions to help employers accommodate breastfeeding women.

This book covers:

  • The effect of employment on mothers and babies
  • Current laws on breastfeeding in the workforce
  • The benefits to the employer of supporting breastfeeding mothers in the workforce
  • Current programs encouraging breastfeeding in the workplace
  • Making the case to employers to support breastfeeding mothers
  • Breastfeeding management for employed moms Resources for employers, childcare providers, and mothers are listed in the back of the book.

Whether you are a mother returning to work, a breastfeeding advocate helping businesses set up onsite lactation programs, or a business owner hoping to make your business more mother-friendly, this book will help you navigate the issues and find a workable solution.

Author: Marsha Walker, RN, IBCLC

ISBN: 978-0-9833075-2-5

Copyright: 2011

Total Pages: 144



Alicia I

© International Lactation Consultant Association
ILCA Print and Multimedia Reviews
July 2011 – Available at
Clinics in Human Lactation 8: Breastfeeding and Employment: Making it Work
Marsha Walker, RN, IBCLC
Hale Publishing, LP, 2011
138 pages, tables, boxed text, resources, references, index, US$18.95, softcover
Orders: Hale Publishing, LP, 1712 N. Forest St, Amarillo, TX 79106 USA
Tel: 806-376-9900; toll free 800-378-1317; fax 806-376-9901
E-mail:; URL:

Breastfeeding and Employment: Making it Work is a comprehensive review of the landscape of employment and breastfeeding. It is geared toward lactation consultants, health care providers and breastfeeding advocates. Walker includes a comprehensive analysis of state and federal legislation pertaining to breastfeeding in the workplace. She also includes multiple studies that highlight the cost savings to employers when they support mothers in pumping or breastfeeding at work, as well as the compelling health benefits to mothers and babies. She discusses in detail the many options that can be made available to working mothers and stresses the need for a clean, private place for mothers to pump, adequate break time and the laws that require employers to provide such accommodations.

Walker includes practical management strategies for the working mother to sustain a sufficient milk production and discusses the different types of pumps available and optimal pumping regimens. She discusses the barriers to pumping or breastfeeding at work. She offers practical options for women in jobs where it would be difficult to pump (e.g., bus drivers, women in the military or teachers). She stresses the need to prepare as early as possible for the return to work, providing specific recommendations depending on time frame when a mother must resume employment. She also talks about types of flexible work schedules that could enhance a mother’s ability to combine breastfeeding and work.

Chapter 2 on legislation is possibly the most useful as it assembles in one place a vast array of legal information, such as where to find a list and description of all state laws on breastfeeding, and details on individual states’ legislation, while taking the opportunity to point out the February 2011 revised ruling of the American Internal Revenue Service on the cost of breast pumps and other supplies being deductible from flexible spending accounts. Useful tables include a Return-to-work Breastfeeding Assessment Worksheet, which provides the lactation consultant a complete means of evaluating all the components that need to be in place for sustaining lactation in the work place.

Breastfeeding and Employment is well written and comprehensive. Since in 2009 56.6% of
mothers of infants less than one year of age participated in the work force, it should be required reading for all lactation consultants and health care providers working with new mothers.

Kathleen Boggs, RN, IBCLC
Mountain View, California USA

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