Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Even Part-time Work Can Have A Negative Effect On Breastfeeding Rates, Says New Study

Date:
April 29, 2008
Source:
University of Melbourne
Summary:
Part-time and casual work among new mothers has almost as big a negative impact on breastfeeding rates as returning to work full-time, says a new study. While previous studies have shown that women who return to full-time work are far less likely to be breastfeeding at six months, the new study is the first to show dramatically reduced breastfeeding rates in those who return on a part-time or casual basis.

Part-time and casual work among new mothers has almost as big a negative impact on breastfeeding rates as returning to work full-time, says a new study led by the University of Melbourne. While previous studies have shown that women who return to full-time work are far less likely to be breastfeeding at six months, the new Australian study is the first to show dramatically reduced breastfeeding rates in those who return on a part-time or casual basis.

The paper, to be published in the May issue of Acta Paediatrica, says a lack of paid maternity leave and low workplace support for breastfeeding are interfering with the establishment of breastfeeding among Australian women.

Lead researcher Amanda Cooklin, from the University of Melbourne's Key Centre for Women's Health, and colleagues Susan Donath (Murdoch Children's Research Institute and University of Melbourne) and Lisa Amir (La Trobe University) analysed the breastfeeding rates among almost 3700 mothers and babies at six months after the birth.

They found:

  • Mothers who returned to work full-time within three months of birth were twice as likely to have stopped breastfeeding by the time their baby was six months, than those who were not employed;
  • Mothers who returned to work full time between three and six months of birth were three times as likely to have stopped breastfeeding by the time their baby was six months than non-employed women.
  • Women who returned to work on either a part-time or casual basis after three months were almost as likely to have stopped breastfeeding as those who worked full-time.

Ms Cooklin said study results showed that early postnatal employment was a significant risk factor for an early end to breastfeeding in Australian infants.

Ms Cooklin said the findings in relation to part-time and casual work were surprising.

Previous studies in the US had found mothers who worked part-time had similar breastfeeding patterns to those who were not employed. "In Australia however, a reduced working week does not contribute to mothers' ability to maintain breastfeeding for six months,'' Ms Cooklin said.

"Part-time employment is almost as much of a risk factor as full-time employment for an early end to breastfeeding."

Ms Cooklin said a lack of privacy, fatigue, inflexible work schedules and unsupportive employers and colleagues prevented many employed women from maintaining breastfeeding.

"Given that the provision of workplace support for breastfeeding remains a matter for individual negotiation, it's not surprising that a return to work spells the end of breastfeeding for many women."

Ms Cooklin said lack of paid maternity leave was also affecting breastfeeding rates. "Many women return to work sooner than they would like for financial reasons and this interferes with the establishment of breastfeeding,'' she said.

The World Health Organisation recommends exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months of life. However, only half of Australian infants receive any breast milk by six months and very few of these infants are exclusively breastfed.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Melbourne. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University of Melbourne. "Even Part-time Work Can Have A Negative Effect On Breastfeeding Rates, Says New Study." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 29 April 2008. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/04/080428090707.htm>.
University of Melbourne. (2008, April 29). Even Part-time Work Can Have A Negative Effect On Breastfeeding Rates, Says New Study. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 2, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/04/080428090707.htm
University of Melbourne. "Even Part-time Work Can Have A Negative Effect On Breastfeeding Rates, Says New Study." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/04/080428090707.htm (accessed September 2, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Get on Your Bike! London Cycling Popularity Soars Despite Danger

Get on Your Bike! London Cycling Popularity Soars Despite Danger

AFP (Sep. 1, 2014) Wedged between buses, lorries and cars, cycling in London isn't for the faint hearted. Nevertheless the number of people choosing to bike in the British capital has doubled over the past 15 years. Duration: 02:27 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Can You Train Your Brain To Eat Healthy?

Can You Train Your Brain To Eat Healthy?

Newsy (Sep. 1, 2014) New research says if you condition yourself to eat healthy foods, eventually you'll crave them instead of junk food. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
We've Got Mites Living In Our Faces And So Do You

We've Got Mites Living In Our Faces And So Do You

Newsy (Aug. 30, 2014) A new study suggests 100 percent of adult humans (those over 18 years of age) have Demodex mites living in their faces. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Liberia Continues Fight Against Ebola

Liberia Continues Fight Against Ebola

AFP (Aug. 30, 2014) Authorities in Liberia try to stem the spread of the Ebola epidemic by raising awareness and setting up sanitation units for people to wash their hands. Duration: 00:41 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins