Determinants of the Intention to Pump Breast Milk on a University Campus

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Abstract

Introduction: The number of young mothers in the workforce and in schools of higher education has steadily increased. In order to maintain a breastfeeding relationship with their children, these mothers need to pump or express breast milk multiple times a day while at work or school. This study examines the factors associated with the intention to pump breast milk at one university campus. Methods: Between January and February 2015, an online survey invitation was sent out to all female employees and students at one university. The survey, based on the Theory of Planned Behavior, assessed intentions to pump breast milk on campus. The intention to pump breast milk was examined between employees and students separately. Within these 2 groups, behavioral performers (women who pump or have pumped breast milk while on campus) were compared to nonperformers. Using multiple regression analysis, the most influential predictors of the intention to pump (ie, attitudes, subjective norm, perceived behavioral control, and underlying beliefs) were identified. Results: A total of 218 women participated in the study (62 employees and 156 students, a 71.7% survey completion rate). Among university employees, the most influential factor that predicted pumping intention among performers was attitude toward pumping (β = 0.36, P =.03). Among student performers, the most influential factor to predict pumping intention was the subjective norm (β = 0.31, P =.02). For student nonperformers, perceived behavioral control (β = 0.54, P <.001) was the most influential factor. Important determinants of the intention to pump on campus included relieving discomfort from engorgement, availability of milk storage, experiencing other people's approval of pumping breast milk, and the inconvenience of carrying pump equipment. Discussion: Continued efforts are needed to create a supportive culture for breastfeeding in the campus community as well as to provide pump loan and milk storage options for both employee and student mothers.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)563-570
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Midwifery and Women's Health
Volume61
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Sep 2016

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Keywords

  • Theory of Planned Behavior
  • breastfeeding
  • lactation
  • pumping breast milk
  • working women

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