Breastfeeding Increases Wage Gap According to Experts


Research conducted by the Chicago Tribune shows that women in the workplace are experiencing increased discrimination and wage loss because of breastfeeding. Women have been speaking out about this issue due to the implementation of pods for women to breastfeed in and the accommodation of men’s discomfort over women’s comfort. NPR producer Alexis Diao states that there is an “intense pressure” to prove that women are working at the same level as they were before childbirth and breastfeeding. The “unforgiving culture” in the workplace causes a big increase in the wage gap for women bearing children. An incompatibility with breastfeeding and maternal responsibility is hindering women’s chances to succeed in the workplace after choosing to have a family. Past studies have shown that women who breastfed their children less or not at all experienced a smaller wage loss than those women who breastfed frequently.

Discussion Question

How can we implement educational literature in workplaces to normalize breastfeeding?

Further Reading

An article from Women’s Health highlights what employers need to do to create a more comfortable work environment for breastfeeding women here.

Action Item

Reach out to coworkers to have an open conversation about their personal experiences with breastfeeding in the workplace.

Read more on Chicago Tribune/ Image: Chicago Tribune