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Behavior outcomes of breastfeeding-friendly policies among Thai Mothers working in a factory: A descriptive study

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posted on 04.06.2021, 22:32 by Aimon Butudom, Barbara McFarlinBarbara McFarlin, Carrie KlimaCarrie Klima, Diane Spatz, Joan Kennelly, Linda McCrearyLinda McCreary, Crystal PatilCrystal Patil, Mary KoenigMary Koenig
The prevalence of exclusive breastfeeding in Thailand is the lowest in all of Asia. This study aimed to examine if breastfeeding-friendly policies in a factory influenced breastfeeding behaviors among Thai working mothers. Descriptive data was collected from 216 eligible factory-working mothers of children aged 6-12 months. Data collected included the Demographic Characteristic Questionnaire and the Breastfeeding in the Workplace Survey. Questions included: awareness of factory breastfeeding-friendly policies, breastfeeding behaviors, pumping in the workplace, social support for breastfeeding behaviors during work. Data were analyzed by descriptive statistics. The majority of mothers (93.1%) intended to breastfeed with 93.1% also reporting shift work. Most of them rated the factory’s support as excellent and very good. The rate of exclusive breastfeeding declined from 76.9% at one month to 46.3% at three months, then sharply dropped to 16.2% at four months and 7.4% at six months. Reasons for breastfeeding discontinuation included: maternal report of insufficient milk (36%), infant sent to live with grandmother in other areas (31%), and returning to work (12%).
Breastfeeding-friendly policies in factories could improve breastfeeding rates during first three months. However, working mothers may need continued information and resources such as why continued breastfeeding is important, how to maintain sufficient milk supply, on-site child care facilities, and managing family life. Occupational health nurses could provide onsite breastfeeding training and/or intervention programs to improve exclusivity and duration of breastfeeding, instructions on use of breast pumps, and lactation support programs in the workplace, especially for women who work shifts.

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Butudom, A., McFarlin, B., Klima, C., Spatz, D., Kennelly, J., McCreary, L., Patil, C.Koenig, M. D. (2021). Behavior outcomes of breastfeeding-friendly policies among Thai Mothers working in a factory: A descriptive study. Pacific Rim International Journal of Nursing Research, 25(1), 87-101.

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