Supporting the Employed Breastfeeding Mother


  • Beverley Zinn CNM, MSN, CNAA

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    • Beverley Zinn earned a BSN and a MSN degree in primary care from West Virginia University and a post master's certificate in nurse midwifery from East Carolina University (ECU). She has been Administrator of Women's Services since 1989 at Pitt County Memorial Hospital, University Health Systems of Eastern Carolina (a 745-bed tertiary care center); she holds a dual appointment with ECU Schools of Nursing and Medicine as a clinical instructor in the Nurse Midwifery Program. She has been a maternal child health nurse in various capacities since 1972. Currently, she is in clinical practice with the ECU faculty at the local health department and in the ECU full scope nurse midwifery practice.

Administrator, Women's Services, PCMH, 2100 Stantonsburg Road, P.O. Box 6028, Greenville, NC 27835–6028.


The number of women in the workforce is continuing to increase and surveys suggest that one-fourth of employed women with a child less than 1 year of age will be concurrently breastfeeding and working for at least 1 month. Combining breastfeeding and employment is a complex process in American society. Women will be seeking practical, sound advice on how to be successful in this combination. This article offers suggestions for promoting its success, describes the preplanning that needs to occur, and provides current lactation recommendations and resources. It also offers information about working with employers, the importance of a support network, decisions that each family must make, the use of breast pumps, milk storage, lactation enhancement including the use of herbs, and practical tips for the mother's working day.