Beth H. Olson, PhD
PhD, Nutrition
Associate Professor, Nutritional Sciences
University of Wisconsin, Madison

An overarching goal of Dr. Olson’s research is to understand workplace support for breastfeeding employees, and use this to develop tools and supports companies can use to tailor and therefore better implement breastfeeding support programs in their companies.  She has developed three instruments to assess the workplace climate for breastfeeding support: (1) A survey of policies and practices available to breastfeeding mothers which would provide support, (2) A survey of a manager’s attitudes towards providing breastfeeding support, and (3) a survey of a pregnant or new mother employee’s perceptions of breastfeeding support in her workplace.  Dr. Olson has also used these instruments in a sample of companies to begin to determine characteristics of companies and job situations most relevant in establishing a breastfeeding supportive environment.  She is using this most recent data to establish a framework to look at the implementation climate for supporting breastfeeding in organizations, and how breastfeeding programs can be effectively delivered and sustained over time.