One of the battles in the breastfeeding-vs.-formula war is that breastfeeding saves money.
New research may change that argument forever.
A study published in the American Sociological Review followed over 1,000 first-time mothers in their late 20s and 30s and found that the incomes of long-term breastfeeders (six months or more) dropped considerably and remained low for another five years.
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Five years after their first babies were born, these women were making about $5,000 per year less than they were before having their children.
The study’s author points out that one of the reasons for the income decrease is reduced work hours, but also that many workplaces don’t make accommodations for breastfeeding mothers.
Over on Babble, they add that the current American laws require employers to offer time and space for pumping, but that pumping sessions can be unpaid if they don’t coincide with already-scheduled breaks.
So, neither option is free. From now on, the battle of breastfeeding or not breastfeeding will have to be a comparison of the immediate cost we can see (formula) and the cost we can’t (long-term wage deflation).
We’ll leave it up to you: Which is the lesser evil?