Breastfeeding Outcomes from an Employee Lactation Program

Monday, 18 November 2013: 10:40 AM

Diane L. Spatz, PhD, RN-BC, FAAN
Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, Philadelphia, PA
Gabriela KIm, BSN
University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA

Learning Objective 1: The learner will be able to understand the Affordable Care Act provisions for lactation accommodations

Learning Objective 2: The learner will be able to describe a successful employee lactation program and its outcomes

Background:  The World Health Organization recommends exclusive breastfeeding for the first 6 months with continued breastfeeding for 2 years or more. The Affordable Care Act (ACA) mandates that women be given time and space that is not a bathroom to be able to express milk while working.  However, few companies are taking the lead in ensuring that the law is implemented.   The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) implemented a policy that pre-dated the ACA.  The CHOP policy also provides for specific break times (For example, 3 thirty minute pumping breaks in a 12 hour shift).  In addition, CHOP employees have access to personal use pumps at manufacturer cost, over 15 pumping rooms, prenatal lactation classes, and access to lactation resources.

Research Aims:  The aim of this research was to document breastfeeding initiation and duration in CHOP employees, as well as the breastfeeding exclusivity of CHOP employees.  CHOP breastfeeding outcomes were also compared to national data from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) 2012.

Methods: A prospective, descriptive study was performed on 545 female employees at CHOP who filed for maternity leave from 2007-2011.  This survey was distributed electronically via email and a 2 month window was given to complete the survey (July-August 2012).    

Results: Employees at CHOP have significantly higher breastfeeding initiation (94.5% as compared to national CDC average of 76.9%, p < 0.0001).  CHOP employees have a significantly higher breastfeeding rate at 6 months (78.6% compared to CDC data of 47.2%, p <0.0001).  In addition 32.4% of CHOP employees breastfed for one full year compared to CDC data of 2.5% (p = 0.003).

Conclusions:  Women can exceed national goals for breastfeeding given appropriate workplace support. Stonger national policy and regulations are recommended.