Study: Mothers who breastfeed at work more committed to employers

UCT associate professor Ameeta Jaga says mothers who feel breastfeeding is encouraged in the workplace have a sense of being valued because their companies promote gender equality.


CAPE TOWN - Mothers who breastfeed at work are more committed to their workplaces and have increased productivity, according to a University of Cape Town (UCT) study.

“When mothers feel they can return to work and breastfeed, they are more committed to the organisation. They [mothers] are less likely to leave the organisation in search of another company," said UCT associate professor Ameeta Jaga.

Jaga conducted her research over the past two years and said providing spaces for breastfeeding promoted inclusivity and productivity in the workplace.

She said this did not only benefit mothers, but their babies as well, as they would essentially be healthier.

Women make up about 45% of the country’s labour force.

Jaga also said mothers who felt breastfeeding was encouraged in the workplace had a sense that they were more valued because their companies promoted gender equality.

"If they are able to stay at home until they complete breastfeeding, they would be happier to return to work. Absenteeism decreases and the overall business benefits from a more committed workforce,” said Jaga.

(Edited by Zamangwane Shange)