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.
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.
Janine Sim-Jones | EurekAlert!
Innovative genetic tests for children with developmental disorders and epilepsy
11.07.2018 | Christian-Albrechts-Universität zu Kiel
Oxygen loss in the coastal Baltic Sea is “unprecedentedly severe”
05.07.2018 | European Geosciences Union
A new manufacturing technique uses a process similar to newspaper printing to form smoother and more flexible metals for making ultrafast electronic devices.
The low-cost process, developed by Purdue University researchers, combines tools already used in industry for manufacturing metals on a large scale, but uses...
For the first time ever, scientists have determined the cosmic origin of highest-energy neutrinos. A research group led by IceCube scientist Elisa Resconi, spokesperson of the Collaborative Research Center SFB1258 at the Technical University of Munich (TUM), provides an important piece of evidence that the particles detected by the IceCube neutrino telescope at the South Pole originate from a galaxy four billion light-years away from Earth.
To rule out other origins with certainty, the team led by neutrino physicist Elisa Resconi from the Technical University of Munich and multi-wavelength...
For the first time a team of researchers have discovered two different phases of magnetic skyrmions in a single material. Physicists of the Technical Universities of Munich and Dresden and the University of Cologne can now better study and understand the properties of these magnetic structures, which are important for both basic research and applications.
Whirlpools are an everyday experience in a bath tub: When the water is drained a circular vortex is formed. Typically, such whirls are rather stable. Similar...
Physicists working with Roland Wester at the University of Innsbruck have investigated if and how chemical reactions can be influenced by targeted vibrational excitation of the reactants. They were able to demonstrate that excitation with a laser beam does not affect the efficiency of a chemical exchange reaction and that the excited molecular group acts only as a spectator in the reaction.
A frequently used reaction in organic chemistry is nucleophilic substitution. It plays, for example, an important role in in the synthesis of new chemical...
Optical spectroscopy allows investigating the energy structure and dynamic properties of complex quantum systems. Researchers from the University of Würzburg present two new approaches of coherent two-dimensional spectroscopy.
"Put an excitation into the system and observe how it evolves." According to physicist Professor Tobias Brixner, this is the credo of optical spectroscopy....
13.07.2018 | Event News
12.07.2018 | Event News
03.07.2018 | Event News
20.07.2018 | Power and Electrical Engineering
20.07.2018 | Information Technology
20.07.2018 | Materials Sciences