Juggling Work and Breastfeeding: Effects of Maternity Leave and Occupational Characteristics

Sylvia Guendelman, Jessica Lang Kosa, Michelle Pearl, Steve Graham, Julia Goodman, Martin Kharrazi

PEDIATRICS Vol. 123 No. 1 January 2009, pp. e38-e46


OBJECTIVES. Juggling breastfeeding and paid work can challenge breastfeeding success. We examined the relationship between breastfeeding and maternity leave before and after delivery among working mothers in Southern California. California is 1 of only 5 states in the United States providing paid pregnancy leave that can be extended for infant bonding.

PATIENTS AND METHODS. Drawing from a case-control study of preterm birth and low birth weight, 770 full-time working mothers were compared on whether they established breastfeeding in the first month.
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Maternal employment and breastfeeding: results from the longitudinal study of Australian children


Aim: To investigate the effect of maternal postnatal employment on breastfeeding duration in Australia in the first 6 months after birth.

Method: Secondary data analysis of the infant data (2004) from the Longitudinal Study of Australian Children (LSAC). Complete maternal and breastfeeding data were available for 3697 infants. Multivariable logistic regression was used to investigate the effect of timing of resumption of maternal employment and maternal employment status on breastfeeding at 6 months postpartum after adjustment for maternal education, maternal age, maternal smoking during pregnancy and socioeconomic status of the child’s area of residence.

Results: Fewer women employed full-time were breastfeeding their infants at 6 months (39%) than nonemployed women (56%).
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Returning to Work While Breastfeeding

Frances Biagioli

Am Fam Physician 2003;68:2201-8,2215-7.

Mothers who work outside the home initiate breastfeeding at the same rate as mothers who stay at home. However, the breastfeeding continuance rate declines sharply in mothers who return to work. While the work environment may be less than ideal for the breastfeeding mother, obstacles can be overcome. Available breast pump types include manual pumps, battery-powered pumps, electric diaphragm pumps, electric piston pumps, and hospital-grade electric piston pumps. Electric piston pumps may be the most suitable type for mothers who work outside the home for more than 20 hours per week; however, when a mother is highly motivated, any pump type can be successful in any situation.
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