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Does Returning to Work After Childbirth Affect Breastfeeding Practices?

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  • Pinka Chatterji

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  • Kevin Frick

Abstract

This study examines the effect of the timing and intensity of returning to work after childbirth on the probability of initiating breastfeeding and the number of weeks of breastfeeding. Data come from the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth (NLSY79). Baseline probit models and family-level fixed effects models indicate that returning to work within 3 months is associated with a reduction in the probability that the mother will initiate breastfeeding by 16–18%. Among those mothers who initiate breastfeeding, returning to work within 3 months is associated with a reduction in the length of breastfeeding of 4–5 weeks. We find less consistent evidence that working at least 35 h per week (among mothers who return to work within 3 months) detracts from breastfeeding. Future research is needed on understanding how employers can design policies and workplaces that support breastfeeding. Copyright Springer Science+Business Media, Inc. 2005

Suggested Citation

  • Pinka Chatterji & Kevin Frick, 2005. "Does Returning to Work After Childbirth Affect Breastfeeding Practices?," Review of Economics of the Household, Springer, vol. 3(3), pages 315-335, September.
  • Handle: RePEc:kap:reveho:v:3:y:2005:i:3:p:315-335 DOI: 10.1007/s11150-005-3460-4
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Resul Cesur & Joseph J. Sabia & Inas Rashad Kelly & Muzhe Yang, 2017. "The effect of breastfeeding on young adult wages: new evidence from the add health," Review of Economics of the Household, Springer, vol. 15(1), pages 25-51, March.
    2. Miki Kobayashi & Emiko Usui, 2017. "Breastfeeding practices and parental employment in Japan," Review of Economics of the Household, Springer, vol. 15(2), pages 579-596, June.
    3. Anita Kottwitz & Anja Oppermann & C. Katharina Spiess, 2016. "Parental leave benefits and breastfeeding in Germany: effects of the 2007 reform," Review of Economics of the Household, Springer, vol. 14(4), pages 859-890, December.
    4. Thuan Q. Thai & Mikko Myrskylä, 2012. "Rainfall shocks, parental behavior and breastfeeding: evidence from rural Vietnam," MPIDR Working Papers WP-2012-009, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany.
    5. Baker, Michael & Milligan, Kevin, 2008. "Maternal employment, breastfeeding, and health: Evidence from maternity leave mandates," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 27(4), pages 871-887, July.
    6. Bidisha Mandal & Brian Roe & Sara Fein, 2014. "Work and breastfeeding decisions are jointly determined for higher socioeconomic status US mothers," Review of Economics of the Household, Springer, vol. 12(2), pages 237-257, June.
    7. Rachel Gordon & Robert Kaestner & Sanders Korenman, 2007. "The effects of maternal employment on child injuries and infectious disease," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 44(2), pages 307-333, May.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    breastfeeding; maternal employment; maternity leave; 112;

    JEL classification:

    • I1 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health

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