Samantha Watts, Social Work
"Examining the Barriers and Facilitators to Breastfeed in the Workplace: Impact
of Women in Low Income Occupations"
Faculty Mentor: Dr. Tiffancy Baffour
Expected Graduation Date: Spring 2009
Previous research has shown that breast feeding children during infancy confers significant health and economic benefits to mothers, employers and the wider society in general. The proposed study will examine the barriers and facilitators that women experience to breastfeeding in the workplace. Qualitative interviews will be collected from seven mothers who have breastfed while working in low wage administrative or service jobs in the Baltimore area. A content analysis will be conducted to ascertain key themes from the transcribed interview data. Information gathered by this research has potential implications for improving public health policy by providing the basis for the development and implementation of more effective breast feeding promotions and social support interventions. Moreover, since low income and single mothers typically have little choice about returning to work immediately after giving birth, the benefits realized by this study will directly target those most impacted by health disparities and support health equity for this vulnerable and underserved segment of the population.