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OBJECTIVE: To assess breastfeeding support provided to urban working doctor mothers at their workplace.
METHODS: This cross-sectional study was carried out among four tertiary level urban hospitals of Pakistan, between January-June 2017. Through random sampling, 215 working female doctors who were breastfeeding (3-24 months) were included. Data was collected using structured questionnaire based upon “World Alliance for Breastfeeding in Action” guidelines. The data was analyzed using SPSS software version 24. Breastfeeding facilities at workplaces were taken as outcome variables.
RESULTS: Among non-physical facilities, 89% of the doctor mothers received at least 03 months fully paid maternity-leave, 15% received enough breastfeeding breaks, and almost 12% of the mothers were offered flexible-job and information with regards to breastfeeding support options at workplace (hospitals). Regarding physical facilities, breastfeeding corner and onsite nursery for childcare was accessible to 5% and 2.3% of doctor mothers. However, none of the hospitals supported mothers with refrigerator for storing mother's milk and breast milk pump. Additionally, statistically significant difference (<0.001) was observed by type of employer (government or private) breastfeeding breaks, lactation corner, and fully paid maternity leave.
CONCLUSION: Enabling and supportive environment to working doctor mothers for breastfeeding at workplaces was missing in majority of the healthcare facilities. Female doctors having positive practical experience with solutions can be instrumental for their patients (working mother) in preventing early weaning.
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