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Breast-feeding Hurts Mom’s Earnings, Study Finds

By Linda Carroll, msnbc.com

Along with a list of breast-feeding’s health benefits for mothers and children, pediatricians often tout an added bonus — unlike formula, breast milk is free.
Not so fast, researchers say.  Breast-feeding comes with a cost to new moms that is often overlooked, according to a new study published in the American Sociological Review. The study looked at data from 1,313 first-time mothers in the U.S. who were in their late 20s or 30s when they gave birth.
Women’s incomes dropped precipitously when they choose to breast-feed for six months or longer — and they remained low some five years after the babies were born, says the study’s lead author, Phyllis L.F. Rippeyoung, an assistant professor of sociology and coordinator of women’s and genderstudies at Acadia University in Nova Scotia. 
Rippeyoung’s interest in the hidden costs of breast-feeding was sparked…

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