Study: Breastfeeding moms earn less money

Published On: Apr 27 2012 12:52:32 PM EDT
Updated On: Apr 27 2012 05:37:12 PM EDT

Women who choose to breastfeed for longer than six months, as recommended by the American Academy of Pediatricians, face real economic consequences for up to five years afterward, they say.

A study of more than 1,300 new moms over a 13-year-period found that women who breastfed for six months or longer earn significantly less money than those who do not.

About the study

The findings, published in the American Sociological Review, lead the study’s authors Phyllis Rippeyoung and Mary Noonan to conclude that breastfeeding is not free, as many proponents of the practice argue it is.

Women who choose to breastfeed for longer than six months, as recommended by the American Academy of Pediatricians, face real economic consequences for up to five years afterward, they say.

What breastfeeding advocates are saying

Breastfeeding advocates say women are being shortchanged in the workplace. Kim Updegrove with Mother's Milk says women who work are forced to breastfeed less.

"And if she is not breastfeeding her child 100% of the time, then her child is less capable of fighting off things like colds and the flu virus."


Updegrove says that ends up costing the women and their employers in the long run because often times those mothers have to stay home and miss work to care for sick kids.


Updegrove says maternity leave is often too short and is not breastfeeding friendly.


"It's ironic that we make mothers go back to work so early because we are then actually penalizing them because they'll miss more work."

She says professional women with babies have it easier than women who hold blue collar jobs when it comes to child care.

"Executives have the freedom to say 'I intended to start my day at 8 a.m. but my daughter is having a very fussy morning and I am not going to make it in until 9 a.m.'"

You may also be interested in:

Read: What makes breast-feeding better?

Read: Bill would excuse nursing mothers from jury duty

Read: SMART Bus Disciplines 2 In Breast-Feeding Rider Flap


Comments

The views expressed below are not those of Click On Detroit, WDIV, or its affiliated companies. By clicking on "Post," you acknowledge that you have read the Terms of Service and your comment is in compliance with such terms. Readers, please help keep this discussion respectful and on topic by flagging comments that are offensive or inappropriate (hover over the commenter's name and you'll see the flag option appear on right side of that line). And remember, respect goes both ways: Tolerance of others' opinions is important in a free discourse. If you're easily offended by strong opinions, you might skip reading comments entirely.

blog comments powered by Disqus