The ‘Pumpgate’ Incident: Stigma against Lactating Mothers in the U.S. WorkplaceWomen and Health
- Breastfeeding and health,
- Pumping breastmilk at work,
- Breastfeeding stigma,
- Mother-friendly workplace
AbstractStudies conclude that breastfeeding for six months is associated with better lifelong health for mother and child. Mothers in the U.S. returning to work after maternity leave report difficulty with the need to take frequent breaks to pump breastmilk so many stop breastfeeding. Factors discouraging pumping breastmilk in the workplace motivated a content analysis of public comments posted in response to a legal deposition that occurred in January of 2011 in which an attorney who was a new mother was challenged about taking a break to pump breastmilk. A total of 899 public comments posted on Yahoo in 2015-2016 in response to this earlier incident were analyzed for content. Of these, only 336 mentioned breastfeeding. Overall, 148 comments showed support for breastfeeding or pumping breastmilk at work, while 182 comments showed moderate to strong disapproval (6 unclassified). The majority of disapproving comments were critical of pumping breastmilk in the workplace. Implications of these findings for the duration of breastfeeding after returning to work are discussed.
DOI of Published Version10.1080/03630242.2017.1306608
PublisherTaylor and Francis
RightsCopyright © 2017 Taylor and Francis.
Citation InformationMary Bresnahan, Jie Zhuang, Jennifer Anderson, Yi Zhu, et al.. "The ‘Pumpgate’ Incident: Stigma against Lactating Mothers in the U.S. Workplace" Women and Health (2017)
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/jenn-anderson/29/