Iowa Study Examines Breastfeeding Versus Formula Feeding and Finds Hidden Costs
A study co-authored by professors from University of Iowa and Acadia University documents unrecognized costs in breastfeeding.
Many people see breastfeeding as both ideal food for infants and secondly, it is also free.
A new study co-authored by professors Phyllis Rippeyoung, of Acadia University, and Mary Noonan, of University of Iowa, set out to examine just how "free," free is.
Specifically, the professors looked at how breastfeeding compared to formula feeding affects post-birth earnings.
They found, using data from the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth, that mothers who breastfeed for six months or longer "suffer more severe and more prolonged earnings losses than do mothers who breastfeed for shorter durations or not at all."
You might say, "Well, duh."
In many workplaces, it would be a challenge for mothers with newborns to return to work and continue breastfeeding.
The study raises interesting questions about choice, whether they be self-guided or dictated by circumstances, which is echoed in the New York Times article.
Is it worth breastfeeding if you must sacrifice your ability to earn? Does the value of bonding with your child through breastfeeding trump any potential earnings loss? And, where do single parents fit in?