Longer Maternity Leave Means Longer Time Breastfeeding Photo: Veer / The Bump
It’s tricky enough to be a working mom, and being a breastfeeding working mom can be quite a challenge. But a new study published in Pediatrics suggests that taking a longer maternity leave could be just what a mom needs to choose to breastfeed for longer. (The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends at least a full year!) In the study, researchers analyzed data of about 6,150 moms who worked in the 12 months after their babies were born. They found that about 64.6 percent of moms who only took one to six weeks’ maternity leave decided to breastfeed their babies, while 73.3 percent of moms who took seven to 12 weeks did, and 74.2 percent of moms who took more than 13 weeks did. At three months, the differences were even more drastic, with only 18.3 percent of the moms who took one to six weeks off predominantly breastfeeding their babies, while 23.9 percent of the seven to 12 weekers and 33.9 percent of the 13 or more weekers did. At six months (when most babies are eating solid foods, in addition to breast milk or formula), researchers still found that the longer the maternity leave, the higher the percentage of moms who were still doing some breastfeeding.
Did you continue breastfeeding after you went back to work? How did you stay motivated to continue?
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