Economics of work and breastfeeding

 Baby feet_Image: Bridget Coila (Flickr)

Project leader(s)

Working while breastfeeding: Best practice strategies for workplaces and childcare centres (ARC Linkage Project)

The Australian National University (ANU) is leading a research partnership with Flinders University, University of New South Wales (UNSW), and the Australian Breastfeeding Association (ABA), to examine ‘breastfeeding friendly’ practices in workplaces and childcare services, and what is needed to help employed mothers continue breastfeeding. The study is being supported by a prestigious Australian Research Council (ARC) Linkage Project grant.

Further information about this project is available in this flyer.

Project Updates

  • Smith J.P., E. McIntyre, L. Craig, S. Javanparast, L. Strazdins and K. Mortensen, (2013) ‘Workplace support, breastfeeding and health’, Family Matters Vol. 93:58-73.
  • J.P Smith, S. Javanparast, E. McIntyre, L. Craig, K. Mortensen and C. Koh, ‘Discrimination against breastfeeding mothers in childcare’, Australian Journal of Labour Economics, Vol.16 No.1:65-90. (Abstract)
  • ACT Human Rights Commission and Australian Breastfeeding Association, Human Rights Brochure.
  • Presentation to 12th Australian Institute of Family Studies Conference held in Melbourne on 25-27 July 2012 - Working while breastfeeding: Best practice strategies for workplaces and child care services. Download the slides
  • Presentation to Seminar Program 1 in the ABA Health Professional Seminar Series, March 2012 - Working from Research to Practice: Best Practice Strategies for Workplaces and Childcare Centres (Download the presentation)
  • Presentation to the ABA International Conference ‘Step Up, Reach Out - developing an inclusive breastfeeding society’, National Convention Centre, Canberra, 20-21 October 2011 (Download the presentation)
  • Presentation to ABA Health Professional Seminar Series, March 2011 - Working while Breastfeeding: Best Practice Strategies for Workplaces and Childcare Centres (Download the presentation)
  • Smith, J.P., L.H. Ingham & M.D. Dunstone. 1998. ‘The economic value of breastfeeding in Australia’. NCEPH Working Paper No. 40.
  • Smith J.P. 1997. ‘The economics of breastfeeding’, The Australian Financial Review, July 29, 1997:13.
Cow in field

Are you more valuable as a human or a cow?

13 March 2018

If you are a cow, your milk is measured as part of the GDP. If you are a (human) breastfeeding mother, yours is not.


Dr Julie Smith

Dr Smith is an ARC Future Fellow, and Professor (Associate) at the ANU. She was an ARC Postdoctoral Fellow then...

 Society, safety and health cluster hero

Society, safety and health

The Society, Safety and Health cluster has four research themes:

  • Policy processes and the social determinants of health inequities
  • Governance for health equity
  • Food systems, nutrition and climate change
  • Regulation and governance of health care systems

Updated:  10 August 2017/Responsible Officer:  Director, RegNet/Page Contact:  Director, RegNet