Workplace Supports for Breastfeeding in South Africa

Commissioned by the University of Cape Town

CEEDR conducted a study on ‘Workplace Supports for Breastfeeding in South Africa’, in collaboration with (and commissioned by) the University of Cape Town. Breastfeeding-friendly workplaces are needed for economic, health and social development, especially in many African developing countries.  Although the health benefits of breastfeeding for both mother and child are widely recognised, research shows that the return to work is a major barrier to optimal breastfeeding, particularly for low income and informal economy workers. Despite high breastfeeding initiation rates, South Africa still has one of the lowest inclusive breastfeeding rates at six month in the world. Workplace support is thus critical to the continuation of breastfeeding among women employees, but breastfeeding tends to be treated as a private matter. The research addresses the current gap in research on breastfeeding support at work in South Africa and raises awareness of how different types of workplaces can support mothers’ breastfeeding practices through low-cost interventions.

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