Study: Full-Time Work Cuts Down Breastfeeding Time for New Mothers


Full-time working affects breastfeeding time in new mothers, a research shows.

Researchers found that mothers who plan to breastfeed for at least three months but resume full-time work are less likely to meet their breastfeeding goals. However, the team also found that the new mothers who part-time had no problems with breastfeeding time.

New mothers are recommended to breastfeed their babies for at least six months.

For the study, researchers examined 1,172 mothers. They assessed the breastfeeding time these mothers gave their babies. The results showed that 28.8 percent of all participants who intended to breastfeed for three months were unable to meet their goal.

Researchers also found that mothers who resumed working full time before six weeks were 2.25 times less likely to meet their goals. Mothers who returned to work full-time between six weeks and three months were 1.82 times less likely to meet their three-month breast-feeding goal

"Support for a mother's delayed return to paid employment, or return at part-time hours, may help more mothers achieve their breastfeeding intentions," researchers Kelsey Mirkovic, Cria Perrine, Kelley Scanlon, and Laurence Grummer-Strawn wrote in the study. "This may increase breastfeeding rates and have important public health implications for US mothers and infants."

According to a report by Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the breastfeeding rates in the United States rose to 77 percent in 2013. And nearly half of breast-feeding mothers continue to do so for six months.

The report also showed that the mothers who were still breast-feeding at six months increased from 35 percent in 2000 to nearly 45 percent in 2008.

The study 'Maternity Leave Duration and Full-time/Part-time Work Status Are Associated with US Mothers' Ability to Meet Breastfeeding Intentions,' appears in the Journal of Human Lactation.