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Demography. 1999 May;36(2):157-71.

Is there competition between breast-feeding and maternal employment?

Author information

1
Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition, Food and Drug Administration, Washington, DC 20204, USA.

Abstract

Theory suggests that the decision to return to employment after childbirth and the decision to breast-feed may be jointly determined. We estimate models of simultaneous equations for two different aspects of the relationship between maternal employment and breast-feeding using 1993-1994 data from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration's Infant Feeding Practices Study. We first explore the simultaneous duration of breast-feeding and work leave following childbirth. We find that the duration of leave from work significantly affects the duration of breast-feeding, but the effect of breast-feeding on work leave is insignificant. We also estimate models of the daily hours of work and breast-feedings at infant ages 3 months and 6 months postpartum. At both times, the intensity of work effort significantly affects the intensity of breast-feeding, but the reverse is generally not found. Competition clearly exists between work and breast-feeding for many women in our sample.

PMID:
10332608
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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