Breastfeeding at work study: Can you help?

Research to improve support for mothers who return to work and continue breastfeeding is seeking volunteers from the teaching profession.

Federation has been approached for assistance with a study by Western Sydney University examining organisational support for and experiences of women who return to work and continue breastfeeding.

The results may also inform Federation’s strategies for any future interaction with the Department of Education over guidelines for working teachers who are breastfeeding.

Phase one of the study is focused on interviewing women in female-dominated professions such as teaching and nursing/midwifery.

The second phase of the study will include surveying women from other workplaces and professions. The interviews will be conducted in April/May and the survey will be opened in July 2019.

The research is being conducted by Dr Elaine Burns, senior lecturer School of Nursing and Midwifery, Associate Professor Susanne Gannon and Dr Sky Hugman from Western Sydney University.

They are seeking to identify enablers and barriers for women who wish to return to work and the study aims to develop strategies to make workplaces “enabling” environments for breastfeeding women.

The research may assist Federation in the long term, with ensuring the Department maintains its commitment to supporting women who return to work and continue breastfeeding, particularly because Determination 3 – Lactation Breaks and the Departmental Guidelines: Breastfeeding and Lactation Breaks in Schools – has not been revised or updated since it was issued in 2011.

Participation in this study is completely voluntary and confidential.

If you are interested in taking part, please contact Dr Elaine Burns by phone on (02) 9685 9818 or email [email protected].