Breastfeeding support on campus is important because of the growing number of women in the workforce and the large numbers of mothers returning to work or school. Mothers are presently the fastest-growing sector of the U.S. labor force. The lack of paid maternity leave in the United States results in approximately 70% of mothers returning to work full time prior to their child’s third birthday. One-third of these mothers return to work within 3 months of giving birth and two-thirds return to work within six months. Working outside the home is related to a shorter duration of breastfeeding. And mothers who know they have to go back to work shortly after their infant is born are less likely to initiate breastfeeding.
Support for breastfeeding on campus includes several types of benefits and services for faculty, students and staff, outlined in the UNC Breastfeeding Policy. For example, the Maternal and Child Health department housed the first of many mothers’ rooms across campus.
The Carolina Global Breastfeeding Institute is dedicated to providing expertise and technical assistance to the campus community at large to make sure that a range of services are provided to breastfeeding mothers. Click here to learn more about how CGBI is working with the University to provide a more Breastfeeding-Friendly campus.