Giving women longer maternity leave increases the likelihood that they'll meet the recommended six-month breastfeeding target, says a Canadian study that examined the impact of lengthening maternity leave entitlements from six months to one year.
The study was published Tuesday by the US National Bureau of Economic Research, CBC News reported.
In most of Canada's provinces, job-protected maternity leave entitlements were increased from six months to one year, as of January 1, 2001.
The study found that the proportion of eligible mothers who breastfed their children for at least six months increased from 20 percent to 28 percent, and breastfeeding was prolonged by an average of one month, CBC News reported.
Both Health Canada and the World Health Organization recommend that mothers breastfeed their babies for six months.
"For public health officials aiming to increase breastfeeding duration, it appears the labour market policy may prove an effective way of achieving breastfeeding goals," concluded the University of Toronto and University of British Columbia researchers. – (HealthDayNews)
You and maternity leave