An analysis of mothers in Growing Up in Australia


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Content type
Family Matters article

September 2008

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This article explores the relationship between breastfeeding and employment. A focus is given to the fact that some women do manage to combine employment and breastfeeding—a return to work does not always result in a stop to breastfeeding. The analyses explore which job characteristics are associated with a higher likelihood of continuing to breastfeed, looking at hours of work, flexibility of hours, whether self–employed and occupation group. The paper also compares the breastfeeding rates of women on leave with other women who are back at work, and those not working but not on leave. Other characteristics, including childcare use and maternal education are also examined in terms of their relationship with breastfeeding. The article uses the breastfeeding data from Wave 1 of the Growing Up in Australia study, based on mothers of infants aged four to 12 months.

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Baxter, J. (2008). Breastfeeding, employment and leave: An analysis of mothers in Growing Up in Australia. Family Matters, 80, 17–26.