Too often, lack of workplace support for breastfeeding mothers leads them to face stigma about their choice, worries about future career opportunities, and the pressure to stop before they’re ready, leading to possible negative health consequences for both mothers and babies.
Though eight in 10 women in the US breastfeed their infants at birth, only 25 percent breastfeed exclusively for the first six months of their baby’s life, which is recommended by major medical organizations. Only 57 percent of mothers are still breastfeeding at all by the time their baby is six months old. Approximately 60 percent of US mothers stop breastfeeding earlier than they would like.
One of the major reasons is lack of workplace supports. Luckily, the North Carolina Breastfeeding Coalition (NCBFC), MomsRising, and the North Carolina Division of Public Health have partnered together to create the Making it Work Tool Kit, which provides step-by-step instructions and guidelines to help workplaces support breastfeeding mothers.
The Making It Work Toolkit outlines what workplaces need to do to comply with federal regulations regarding breastfeeding and offers solutions for employers of all types and sizes to support breastfeeding women, including suggestions for small businesses, restaurants, construction sites, hotels, and schools.