Evaluation of Occupational Factors on Continuation of Breastfeeding and Formula Initiation in Employed Mothers

  •  Mahshid Ahmadi    
  •  Seyyed Mohammad Moosavi    


Background and Objective: During recent decades, women have been increasingly involved in social activities. Despite the fact that mothers prefer to breastfeed, their return to work is associated with a reduction in breastfeeding frequency and duration. The present study evaluates the impact of occupational factors on continuation of breastfeeding and formula initiation in employed mothers with infants aged 6-12 months in Bandar-Abbas, Iran in 2010.

Method and Materials: This is a descriptive-analytic study on employed mothers with infants aged 6-12 months referring to healthcare centers of Bandar-Abbas in 2010. Data were collected through a questionnaire dealing with work-related factors in mothers’ workplace.

Findings: Out of 212 mothers who responded, 52.38% used formula to feed their children, and 27.36% had discontinued breastfeeding. The rate of formula use was significantly higher in mothers who had less than 6 months of maternity leave, those who did not have a suitable nursery or place to milk themselves and preserve the milk in their workplace, those working more than 6 hours per day, and those who could not take a breastfeeding break.

Conclusion: It is essential to identify and support breastfeeding employed women. The employers should provide facilities such as nurseries, a suitable physical space for milking, as well as the equipment necessary for milk preservation. Also, such mothers should be granted breastfeeding breaks to feed their child or milk their breasts.

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