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Stud Fam Plann. 1981 Apr;12(4):184-97.

Breastfeeding and women's work: constraints and opportunities.

Abstract

PIP:

A careful examination of existing studies suggests that work as a cause of declines in breastfeeding has been exaggerated, while insufficient attention has been devoted to making breastfeeding and work more compatible. Formal employment in urban settings, which requires concentrated attention to the job, is the aspect of women's work that is viewed as incompatible with breastfeeding, especially for women whose employment separates them from their infants. Breastfeeding rates for working women do not show that employment and breastfeeding are incompatible. 4 aspects of the relationship between breastfeeding and work which may influence overall trends are considered in greater detail: work as a reason for weaning; the effect of maternity benefits on rates of breastfeeding; the effect of mother's employment status on the nutritional status of her children; and the effect of mother's employment on breastfeeding duration. Some important early writings which contributed to establishment of the belief that maternal employment is a major reason for the worldwide decline in breastfeeding despite the lack of evidence in support of this belief are reviewed. The influence of the assumed connection between maternal employment and breastfeeding on policies designed to promote adequate infant feeding, and the significance of such beliefs to the infant formula industry are discussed. Some suggestions to facilitate breastfeeding by working women are advanced.

PMID:
6755819
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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