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Are Working Mothers Healthier Than Stay-At-Home Moms?

One of the most popular pieces I posted last year dealt with the myth that children raised by stay-at-home mothers were better developed socially and more intelligent than those cared for by working moms. Apparently, all that juggling working mothers do to make deadlines at the office and pick up their children at day care by 5 may be beneficial to their own long-term health too.

British researchers tracked the health of some 1,400 mothers, including 40 percent who worked full-time and 11 percent who stayed at home, intermittently from ages 26-54. By age 54, women who were married with children and had worked enjoyed better health than patients who didn't achieve these goals.

Only 23 percent of working mothers were obese, compared to 38 percent of the stay-at-home variety. The trick, according to researchers, is achieving a better balance of work and family responsibilities. That combination of roles, while stressful at times, leads to better health for the long term.

Whether you're a working mother or one who chooses to stay at home, always remember to make time for breastfeeding your baby. There's no better food on this planet for a baby than human breast milk.

Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health, Vol. 60, No. 6, June 2006: 484-489

Scientific American.com May 15, 2006

Scotsman.com May 15, 2006

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