Would you have more money in the bank right now if you hadn’t chosen to breastfeed?
According to this Motherlode post, by K.J. DellAntonia, women who breastfeed for six-months or more earn significantly less in the first five years of their child’s life than those who breastfeed less than six months or not at all.
The words, “the first five years of their child’s life,” give challenge to the oft-cited argument that breastfeeding is a short-term sacrifice. One of DellAntonia’s sources is this Miller McCune article.
“Now researchers have zeroed in on an economic cost of following the pediatrician’s advice: women who breast-feed for six months or more suffer more severe and more prolonged earnings losses than mothers who breastfeed for a shorter amount of time, or not at all,” writes Tom Jacobs for Miller-McCune.”
My initial response to this was, honestly, “Who cares? Are we really going to nickle and dime our choices in how we raise our children? Is that XX dollars more we might have earned had we not been “held back” by breastfeeding our children really important in the bigger picture?”
But that response, I realize is completely self centered. Because not every woman is in the position to “not care” about XX dollars. Just because my circumstances allowed me to follow my instincts, come what may, doesn’t mean everyone is in my same shoes.
“The cause of this gap is clear enough: “Long-duration breastfeeders are more likely to be non-employed in the years following childbirth, and they work fewer hours when they are employed.” This may reflect a shift in priorities — or a lack of options.”
While my own choice to quit my “secure” job felt like free choice at the time, the article makes a good point regarding just how harsh the realities of going back to work with a newborn baby can be. Harsh enough that some women may feel like there is no choice at all.
As DellAntonia eloquently argues, if the American Academy of Pediatrics is going ton continue to push the six-months of exclusive breastfeeding and breastfeeding for 12-months or more agenda, then far more support than exists today for working mothers of all socioeconomic backgrounds needs to be implemented.
Bottom line, women shouldn’t have to choose between breastfeeding their children or their careers.
Have you felt the hidden costs of breastfeeding your children? Has the decision to breastfeed, long term, affected your career decisions or outlook?
For some moms,breastfeeding hurts more than our wallets.
Read more from source:“babycenter-com-baby”