Supporting breastfeeding through workplace, early childhood centre and family relations: Educators' experiences Monk, Hilary; Gilmour, Carole; Hall, Helen

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Monk, Hilary ; Gilmour, Carole ; Hall, Helen
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Australasian Journal of Early Childhood
Breast feeding -- Social aspects; Public health -- Social aspects; Family -- Social aspects
BREASTFEEDING IS OF BENEFIT to both infants and mothers (World Health Organization [WHO], 2009). WHO recommends exclusive breastfeeding up to the age of six months and continued breastfeeding up to two years of age. For mothers returning to work or study during the first 12 months of the infants' life, the issue of how to best support breastfeeding becomes paramount. This qualitative study explored early childhood educators' experiences of supporting breastfeeding mothers returning to work or study at a multi-campus Australian university. Five educators from two university-based workplace early childhood centres were interviewed. The findings from the educator interviews were analysed using Rogoff's (2003) cultural-institutional focus of analysis. We found that promotion and support of breastfeeding for working mothers depends upon the inter-related factors of workplace/early childhood centre proximity, flexibility and communication. We argue that the development of mutual trust and confidence between the mother, early childhood centre and workplace are essential for enabling working women to breastfeed for longer.
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