Based on a survey of a nationally representative sample of new mothers, this study compares the incidence and duration of breast-feeding among mothers who were employed full-time outside the home with those not employed. Results indicated that the same proportion of mothers (55%) who were employed full-time as those not employed reported breast-feeding their infants in the hospital. Working full-time seemed to have a substantial impact on breast-feeding duration. Only 10% of full-time employed mothers breast-fed their infants at 6 months of age compared with 24% of those not employed. Analyses of breast-feeding by demographic characteristics indicated that in-hospital breast-feeding was relatively high among mothers who were not working outside the home and who were 30 years of age and older, in high family income groups, college educated, white, and living in the Mountain or Pacific region of the United States. Breast-feeding patterns among white and black mothers showed that a relatively high incidence of in-hospital breast-feeding was reported by black mothers who returned to work full time. Many more blacks than whites who were working full time were in those demographic subgroups that reported the highest incidence of breast-feeding: mothers who were 25 years of age and older, in highincome groups, and college educated. Ways to increase the level of breast-feeding among employed mothers are outlined.
- Received March 14, 1988.
- Accepted May 9, 1988.
- Copyright © 1989 by the American Academy of Pediatrics