Thomas, C. L., Murphy, L. D., Mills, M. J., Zhang, J., Fisher, G. G., & Clancy, R. L. (2021). Employee lactation: A review and recommendations for research, practice, and policy. Human Resource Management Review, 100848.

Recent social justice movements call for an increased focus on workplace diversity, equity, and inclusion. Given the large proportion of working mothers who return to work after having a baby, research about lactation, work, and human resources issues is sorely needed to increase knowledge and understanding of working and lactating mothers’ needs so that they feel welcome, respected, and supported in the workplace. For mothers who feed their baby breastmilk, concurrently managing work responsibilities and lactation demands can be a substantial source of employee stress and can create work-family conflict. Research on workplace lactation across a variety of disciplines has increased over the past decade. As attention to lactation is slowly increasing in the management and organizational behavior literature, synthesizing research from other domains into the organizational and managerial sciences is a critical precursor to facilitating future research in the field as well as translating that research into meaningful action in organizations. We contribute to filling this gap, by reviewing and coalescing research across relevant domains, grounding it in extant theory, and offering a conceptual model suggesting the critical antecedents that facilitate employee lactation behaviors, and the work-related moderators that meaningfully impact those relationships. Finally, we offer recommendations to guide future research both methodologically and substantively so as to advance management theory and research surrounding employee lactation at work, and offer practical implications for organizations as well as for public policy.