Breastfeeding at risk when moms return to work early

April 30, 2008

Mothers who return to work on either a part-time or casual basis after their babies are 3 months old may be nearly as likely to stop breastfeeding as mothers who return to work on a full-time basis, findings suggest.

Mothers who return to work on either a part-time or casual basis after their babies are 3 months old may be nearly as likely to stop breastfeeding as mothers who return to work on a full-time basis, findings suggest.

The study, published in the May Acta Paediatrica, examined breastfeeding rates among nearly 3,700 mothers and their 6-month-old babies. The researchers also found that mothers who returned to full-time work when their babies were 3 months old or younger were two times more likely to have stopped breastfeeding by the time their babies were 6 months old, compared with unemployed moms.

Also in comparison with unemployed mothers, those who returned to full-time work when their babies were between 3 and 6 months old were three times more likely to have stopped breastfeeding by the time their babies were 6 months old.

The investigators stated that their findings showed early postnatal unemployment was a significant risk factor for ending breastfeeding early in their study population.