Maternal employment during the early postpartum period: Effects on initiation and continuation of breast-feeding

A. C. Gielen*, R. R. Faden, P. O'Campo, C. H. Brown, D. M. Paige

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

125 Scopus citations

Abstract

This study sought to determine whether and to what extent maternal employment in the early postpartum period is associated with the initiation and continuation of breast-feeding in a heterogeneous, urban population. A panel of women were interviewed twice during the first 3 months postpartum. In analyses adjusted for maternal demographic characteristics, there was no association between planning to be employed within the first 6 months postpartum and initiation of breast-feeding. However, actually being employed was significantly associated with cessation of breast-feeding as early as 2 or 3 months postpartum, even after adjustment for maternal demographic variables. Less than one half of mothers who were employed were still breast-feeding at the second postpartum interview, whereas two thirds of those who were not employed were still breast-feeding. Among employed mothers, working no more than 20 hours per week appeared to be protective for continued breast-feeding.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)298-305
Number of pages8
JournalPediatrics
Volume87
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jan 1 1991

Keywords

  • breast-feeding
  • demographic factors
  • ethnicity
  • lactation
  • maternal employment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health

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