Breastfeeding women in academia: Pursuing tenure track versus "mommy" track

Academic Article


  • Breastfeeding is a reproductive right for mothers, including women in the workforce. Limited postpartum leave, reliance on expressing milk at work, and lack of access to lactation rooms pose challenges for working mothers. Specific to mothers in academia, the heavy demands of teaching, sustaining research, and attending meetings and conferences pose additional challenges. Many female academicians delay childbearing due to pressures to attain tenure as early as possible. Women who leave academic careers often do so in the early career period, which coincides with the childbearing years. Lack of support for these mothers is a social-justice issue that warrants close examination and a realignment of priorities to facilitate and ensure breastfeeding success. The following are recommendations for developing a network of support for breastfeeding mothers: (a) Improved and standardized family leave policies, (b) inclusive workplace infrastructure, (c) flexibility in work schedule and structure, (d) equal opportunity to advance on the tenure track, (e) establishment of onsite daycares, (f) supportive policies clearly communicated and enforced, and (g) change in attitude and culture.
  • Published In

  • Clinical Lactation  Journal
  • Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Ladores S; Debiasi L; Currie E
  • Start Page

  • 11
  • End Page

  • 16
  • Volume

  • 10
  • Issue

  • 1