By Robert Preidt
FRIDAY, October 26, 2018 (HealthDay News) – Paid leave for new moms may increase breastfeeding rates, but especially among women with higher incomes, a new study claims.
The United States is the only developed country that does not offer paid leave for new parents at the national level. But four states offer paid leave, and the study focused on two of the first to do so. California and New Jersey introduced six weeks of partially paid leave for new parents in 2004 and 2009, respectively.
California pays up to 55 percent of a parent's salary, while New Jersey covers 67 percent of a parent's salary.
University of California, San Francisco researchers analyzed data from the two states and found that paid family leave helped to increase breastfeeding rates, but rates rose most in women with higher incomes who could afford more free time to take the work.
The findings suggest that women in states that have paid family leave moderately prolong breast-feeding in infancy, which is a critical window of development, "said Dr. Rita Hamad, lead author of the study Community Medicine at the UCSF.
"Remarkably, breastfeeding is changing especially among women with higher social status, a group that is more likely to use partially paid leave," Hamad said in a university news release.
"This Policies offer new parents only a fraction of their regular salary, so low-income parents may have less time to free themselves, "she said.
" Providing fully-paid vacation opportunities could benefit low-income mothers and fathers' support Being with their newborns, Hamad added.
Two other states have introduced paid family leave, including Rhode Island (201
The study was published on October 25 in the American Journal of Public Health .