Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)



First Advisor

Carol Buck-Rolland

Second Advisor

Jamie L. Abaied


Despite substantial evidence that breastfeeding is the optimal way to feed the healthy, full-term infant, data show that, although most mothers in the United States start out breastfeeding their infants, there are often barriers to continued breastfeeding beyond the first few weeks or months. Among the reasons cited are lack of support and the need to return to full or part time paid employment. As a result of the Surgeon General's 2011 Call to Action to Support Breastfeeding, many initiatives have been implemented on national, state, and local levels to improve support for breastfeeding in the workplace. The purpose of this study was to investigate mothers' perceptions of workplace breastfeeding support. The study surveyed a convenience sample of 44 women employed by a 562-bed academic and university medical center in Northern New England who had a baby less than two years ago. The Employee Perceptions of Breastfeeding Support Questionnaire was used to collect mothers' perceptions about organization support, manager support, co-worker support, time considerations, and the physical environment of the worksite breastfeeding or pumping facilities. Descriptive statistics revealed that mothers had favorable perceptions of support for breastfeeding in their workplace. Similar studies with different types of employers or with hospitals in different areas of the United States may have different results. Adapting breastfeeding accommodations and support in the workplace in ways that facilitate increased initiation and duration of breastfeeding is an important step toward achieving Healthy People 2020 goals.



Number of Pages

166 p.