As if having a new baby to deal with isn’t taxing enough researchers have uncovered a hidden cost in early-years baby-care.
Women who opt for the ‘free’ option of breastfeeding their newborns for six months or longer apparently see their incomes take a steep drop, according to the study published in the American Sociological Review.
Analysts studied data from 1,313 first-time mothers who gave birth in their late 20s or 30s and determined that the income drop was prevalent throughout.
Earnings: Some women struggle to juggle working life with breast feeding and see a drop in their incomes as a result (posed by models)
It remained low for up to five years after the babies were born, often hovering at around $5,000-per-year less than before the birth of their children.
Women who opted to feed their babies on formula did not experience the same drop in their earnings.
Lead author: Phyllis L.F. Rippeyoung said inspiration for the study came from personal experience
Lead author of the study, Phyllis L.F. Rippeyoung, an assistant professor of sociology and coordinator of women’s and gender studies at Acadia University in Nova Scotia, said inspiration for the study came from her own experience of struggling to multi-task between work-life and breast-feeding.
‘I thought that it was weird that they were saying it was free,' she told MSNBC.
'I was a grad student at the time driving back and forth between teaching and classes, and my milk was drying up since I couldn’t drive and pump at the same time.
‘It was a very difficult thing, but I had to stop breast-feeding. If I’d continued I couldn’t have worked at the same time.’
A drop in working hours contributed to the women's income slump, the report found, adding that companies offering on-site day care could help to eliminate the issue.
'If there were more ways in which women could combine breast-feeding with working you’d see less of this earnings decline,’ Rippeyoung said.
Creche: Rippeyoung wants to see more employers offering day care services to help new mothers
‘If there’s going to be a push for women to breast-feed then we need to take into account all of the costs.
'And the responsibility for raising the children shouldn’t be solely borne by women
Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2136140/Women-breastfeed-babies-lose-earnings-FIVE-years-giving-birth.html#ixzz1tGMS2IXD