BOSTON - The length of maternity leave can have an impact on a baby's nutrition, according to a new study.
Breastfeeding provides numerous health benefits for a newborn baby, including optimal nutrition, improved immunity, and a reduced risk of certain conditions like respiratory infections, asthma, and obesity. And birth parents experience numerous benefits as well, including a lower risk of postpartum depression.
It's recommended that babies breastfeed exclusively for at least the first six months of life. But the length of parental leave can impact how long a baby continues to nurse. Researchers at the Cleveland Clinic reviewed 23 studies and found that the earlier a lactating parent returned to work the less likely they were to meet breastfeeding recommendations.
This association may be even greater among people of color contributing to racial health disparities. Researchers said patients, healthcare workers, and public health officials should advocate for longer paid parental leave.
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