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The majority of today's mothers choose to breastfeed their babies, but they still face numerous obstacles that keep them from breastfeeding as long as experts recommend, according to the Playtex M.O.M. Mother's Own Milk Survey.
More workplace support, such as providing dedicated lactation rooms, may lengthen the amount of time mothers breastfeed. The M.O.M. Survey, sponsored by Playtex Products, Inc., explored the breastfeeding attitudes and behaviors of 300 mothers across the United States.
Work and the Breastfeeding Mom
While the survey reveals that women are combining work and breastfeeding, returning to work is still a major breastfeeding hurdle for many women. "The M.O.M. Survey found that 49 percent of the breastfeeding working mothers' companies are supporting breastfeeding mothers in the workplace by providing them with a private place to express milk," said Brenda Liistro, Vice President of Marketing, Infant Care Division, Playtex Products, Inc. "And only 15 percent of their companies provided a dedicated lactation room for this. Almost 30 percent of breastfeeding working mothers had to use places such as the ladies room to express milk."
According to the survey, 50 percent of the breastfeeding mothers returned to work when their babies were less than three months old. "Perhaps reflecting the challenges of expressing milk at work, the survey shows that only 34 percent of breastfeeding working mothers exclusively gave their babies breast milk after they returned to work," said Liistro. "We might see more mothers breastfeeding longer if there were more comfortable, desirable places to express milk. Think of how uncomfortable and awkward, and not to mention unsanitary, it is for a woman to express milk in the ladies room."