A new Australian study has found that mothers who work less than 20 hours a week are more likely to breastfeed their babies for at least six months, the minimum amount of time recommended.
Researchers looked at data on 2,300 mothers who worked both before and after they had a child. The findings were that about 60 percent of mothers working 19 or less hours a week were still breastfeeding at least some of the time at the six month mark.
By contrast, only 47 percent of mothers working 20 to 34 hours a week were still breastfeeding sometimes at the six month mark, and only 39 percent of mothers working 35 or more hours a week did so.
The benefits of breastfeeding should be clarified. Doing such until the baby reaches six months of age can help prevent ear and respiratory infections, allergies, sudden infant death syndrome, childhood obesity, and diabetes on the part of the baby.
Benefits for the mother include a lowered risk of depression, bone deterioration, and of many types of cancer.
The study explicitly excluded women who worked less than one day a week prior to having their baby, along with mothers who never breastfed their infants at any point.
Although the exact reasoning for the results of the study was not provided, it is fairly evident that working less allows mothers to feel more able to provide nurturing care to their children.
This study raises a vital point when it comes to work-life balance, and how a normal workload can be taxing upon new mothers.