Saturday Open Thread

April 28, 2012

It’s the weekend, y’all!

I found this article fascinating: one of the many oft-stated benefits of breastfeeding is that it’s “free.” But some researchers set out to discover whether or not that was actually true. They found that women who breast feed for six months or longer experience a noticeable drop in income, to the tune of $5,000 less per year than they were earning before the birth of their children. This drop is still in place five years later.

The reasons? One big factor is a reduction in hours. And the solutions?

One thing that could help is if more companies offered on-site day care and allowed women time to visit their babies during working hours, she said.


“If there’s going to be a push for women to breast-feed then we need to take into account all of the costs,” Rippeyoung said. “And the responsibility for raising the children shouldn’t be solely borne by women.”

After giving birth to my first child, I had to go back to work full-time out of financial necessity. But I was lucky: my workplace had on-site daycare and a cushy lactation room. Still, it took quite a bit of effort to nurse her until she was weaned at 14 months.

After my second child our financial situation was stronger, and my new workplace had no on-site daycare. When I returned to work I negotiated a reduced schedule (30 hours per week) in part so I could spend more time with my son and continue nursing. I ended up quitting when he was almost one year old, but I’m aware that the vast majority of working moms don’t have that same choice.

What say you? What was your experience?

And what are you up to this weekend? Chat away!