Posts Tagged ‘ working moms ’

Study Reveals ‘Hidden Costs’ of Breastfeeding

Friday, April 27th, 2012

Infant formula may cost money, but breastfeeding is hardly “free,” according to a new study by researchers at the University of Iowa.

The study found that formula-feeders (i.e., mothers who never breastfed), short-duration breastfeeders (i.e., mothers who breastfed for fewer than six months), and long-duration breastfeeders (i.e., mothers who breastfed for six months or longer) all experienced earnings losses after giving birth. However, on average, long-duration breastfeeders experienced much steeper and more prolonged earnings losses than did mothers who breastfed for shorter durations or not at all.

“When people say breastfeeding is free, I think their perspective is that one doesn’t have to buy anything to breastfeed whereas one needs to purchase formula and bottles to formula-feed,” sociologist Phyllis L. F. Rippeyoung said in a press release.

Mary C. Noonan, the study’s co-author, added, “Breastfeeding for six months or longer is only free if a mother’s time is worth absolutely nothing.”

Image: Breastfeeding mother, via Shutterstock.


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Study: Families with Autistic Kids Earn Less

Monday, March 26th, 2012

A new study published in the journal Pediatrics has shown that families with at least one child diagnosed with autism earn 28 percent less than families without an autistic child.  Further, the study found that parents of autistic kids earn 21 percent less than families where a child has a different health limitation. reports on the findings, which largely cite differences in mothers’ incomes as the source of the discrepancy:

The income discrepancy among families with a child with autism is likely due to mothers leaving the workforce and taking lower-paying jobs, said study co-author David Mandell.

These mothers aren’t just staying at home to take care of their children with autism, says Mandell, associate director of the Center for Mental Health Policy and Services Research at the University of Pennsylvania.  They’re on the phone arguing with their insurance company about getting services, going to multiple meetings about school, and shuttling kids from provider after provider.

“It’s not that caring for a child with autism is more difficult per se than caring for a child with cerebral palsy, for example, or intellectual disability,” said Mandell, associate director of the Center for Autism Research at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. “But the service system for kids with autism is not as well defined. There’s not as much appropriate treatment available for these kids.”

Approximately 1 in 110 children in the United States has an autism spectrum disorder.

Image: Financial statement, via Shutterstock.

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Survey: Many Moms Give Themselves ‘Time Outs’ in the Bathroom

Wednesday, December 14th, 2011

Everyone has their own ways of coping with the stresses of modern motherhood, and a new survey commissioned by Ivory, the soap made by consumer products company Procter & Gamble, has found that as many as 66 percent of moms admit to hiding out in the bathroom just to get some quiet time.

The survey, which was based on data collected from 1,000 mothers, reports other findings on what overwhelms moms the most, and how they cope including:

  • 75 percent of moms feel pressure to make every daily experience a “teachable moment” for their children.
  • More than 60 percent of moms said that filling out tax returns is less complicated than their children’s math homework.
  • Moms say they receive parenting advice more than 3 times each week, regardless of whether they’ve asked for it.
  • 83 percent of working moms say they have the harder job; 60 percent of stay-at-home moms say the same.

Image:  Woman relaxing in bathtub, via Shutterstock.


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Study: Working Moms Multi-Task More than Working Dads

Tuesday, December 13th, 2011

In a new study that The Boston Globe has jokingly re-titled “Tell Me About It,” researchers have found that working mothers spend an average of 10 more hours per week multitasking than working fathers.  The study, which was published in the journal American Sociological Review, found that working mothers spend an average of 48.3 hours of multitasking each week, juggling house work, food prep and shopping, and child care, whereas working fathers spend an average of 38.9 hours per week.

The Globe interviewed local working moms who said they were entirely un-shocked by the study’s results–even those who have very participatory and helpful husbands said they find themselves juggling more than their partners:

Karin Sloan, 36, a pulmonary and critical-care physician at Boston Medical Center, and the mother of two young children, also has a husband who is “very helpful,’’ but like the fathers in the study, her husband does one thing at a time, she said. “He’ll make dinner, and while he’s doing that he’s listening to his NPR on the radio. It’s his time to relax.’’

When she’s on dinner duty, Sloan said, she’s also doing laundry, dealing with work e-mails, chatting briefly with friends in an attempt to keep her personal life going, and generally sweating the details. “I’m in charge of the family schedule, which includes keeping the kids clothed and bathed, shopping for food, keeping track of the school schedule, keeping track of the nanny’s schedule, making sure it’s clear what days we may be home late. My husband doesn’t really plan ahead.’’

Image: Busy working mom, via Shutterstock.


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Census Report: Over Half of Working Mothers Get Paid Leave

Friday, November 11th, 2011

A new report based on census data found that 51 percent of working women who had their first child between 2006 and 2008 received some sort of paid leave (maternity, sick, or vacation) from their employers.  This number was up from previous data, with only 42 percent of women receiving similar paid leave between 1996 and 2000.

The report, Maternity Leave and Employment Patterns of First-Time Mothers, 1961-2008, uses census data to follow trends in women’s work experience before and after they have children.  Key findings from the report include:

  • Women are more likely to work while pregnant than they did in the 1960s. Two-thirds (66 percent) of women who had their first birth between 2006 and 2008 worked during pregnancy, compared with 44 percent who had their first birth between 1961 and 1965.
  • Eight out of 10 (82 percent) working women who had their first birth between 2006 and 2008 worked within one month of their child’s birth compared with 73 percent of working women who gave birth to their first child between 1991 and 1995.
  • Older mothers are more likely than younger mothers to work closer to the end of their pregnancies. Sixty-seven percent of mothers 22 and older worked into the last month of their pregnancy, compared with 56 percent of mothers less than age 22.
  • Four out of 10 (42 percent) women received unpaid maternity leave. Both paid and unpaid maternity leave were more likely to be used after birth than before.
  • Twenty-two percent of first time mothers quit their jobs – 16 percent while they were pregnant and another 6 percent by 12 weeks after their child’s birth.
  • Women who worked during their pregnancy are more likely to return to work within three to five months compared with women who did not work before the birth of their first child.
  • Eight out of 10 mothers who worked during their pregnancy returned to work within a year of their child’s birth to the same employer. About seven out of 10 of these women returned to a job at the same pay, skill level and hours worked per week.
  • Two out of 10 mothers switched employers when returning to work. These mothers experienced greater job changes compared with mothers who returned to the same employer. One out of four was employed at a new job that had comparable pay, skill level and hours worked.

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