On-the-Job Moms: Returning to Work and Breastfeeding Duration

Rachel T. Kimbro, Princeton University

This paper uses data from the Fragile Families and Child Wellbeing Study to test the effects of work on breastfeeding duration. The diversity of the sample and its focus on low-income women provides a unique opportunity to examine work and breastfeeding. Discrete-time logit models are employed to test the timing of the return to work and weaning, and to evaluate the differential effects of job characteristics. The timing of the return to work and the timing of weaning are closely connected, indicating that working women are having a hard time combining work and breastfeeding. Working full-time, working in an administrative position, and having a less flexible job all decrease the duration of breastfeeding, while more flexible jobs allow a longer duration, indicating that with the right workplace circumstances, combining work and breastfeeding is possible.

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Presented in Session 137: Health Behaviors