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Type: Journal article
Title: Balancing breastfeeding and paid employment: a project targeting employers, women and workplaces
Author: McIntyre, E.
Pisaniello, D.
Gun, R.
Sanders, C.
Frith, D.
Citation: Health Promotion International, 2002; 17(3):215-222
Publisher: Oxford Univ Press
Issue Date: 2002
ISSN: 0957-4824
Statement of
Ellen McIntyre, Dino Pisaniello, Richie Gun, Carola Sanders and David Frith
Abstract: Since breastfeeding is acknowledged as the best nutrition for young babies, it needs to be protected, supported and promoted. This includes enabling mothers to continue breastfeeding even when they return to work. This paper describes a project that promotes balancing breastfeeding and paid work through the development, distribution, promotion and evaluation of suitable materials to workplaces, employers and women in Australia. Information provided in a workplace kit was based on previous successful strategies from published works in refereed journals and in consultation with employers, employees and other key people. Information for employees was further summarized and translated into Arabic, Chinese, Turkish, Spanish and Vietnamese. Over 50000 information kits were distributed Australia-wide using a database that comprised contact details of medium to large workplaces plus employee and employer organizations, with preference given to workplaces that employed women of childbearing age and women from diverse cultural backgrounds. The translated material was also distributed to migrant resource centres and working women’s centres around Australia. Promotion of the project was extensive, resulting in 20 newspaper articles, 17 radio interviews or news items, and articles in 18 newsletters and professional journals and three magazines. The project was also promoted at three conferences and one seminar. Evaluation (directed at employers) focused primarily on the distribution and content of the information kit, since the evaluation was conducted soon after distribution. The evaluation survey was sent to 1571 valid contacts (808 e-mail addresses, 1360 fax numbers). The response rate was 12.8% (n = 202). Seventy per cent of responding businesses rated the information kit as excellent. Over half anticipated the kit would be useful in their organization, while over two-thirds agreed that the kit provided sufficient information and suitable solutions to support balancing breastfeeding and work in their organization. While this project has achieved its objectives, further work is required to assist organizations to develop and implement policies and procedures for balancing breastfeeding and work, so that breastfeeding mothers who are returning to work can continue to breastfeed as long as they and their baby require it.
Keywords: Breastfeeding; employers; paid work; women
Description: © Oxford University Press 2002
RMID: 0020020131
DOI: 10.1093/heapro/17.3.215
Appears in Collections:Public Health publications

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