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Working is better for mothers’ health

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There is a direct correlation between the health of mothers and whether they work during their children’s early years, a study has found.

Mothers who return to work after the birth of their child or children tend to be healthier than those who stay at home to care for the little one, according to research carried out by the University of North Carolina.

A major study, researchers interviewed and continued to monitor 1,300 women over the course of ten years in order to establish these significant results.

One of the major findings was that mothers who worked part-time were less likely to experience depression than their counterparts, who did not return to the office after giving birth.

This is particularly interesting as another study published recently by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development found that mental health issues in the workplace are on the rise.

Despite this there was no quantifiable difference between mothers who worked part and fulltime in terms of depression and overall health, meaning that a happy medium could be the best option for both mother and child.

Prof Cheryl Buehler, lead author and professor of human development and family studies, at the University of North Carolina, America, said: “In many cases the wellbeing of moms working part time was no different from moms working fulltime.”

The mothers themselves said that working helped them to support the family and meant they were able to be better parents.

Unsurprisingly mothers who worked part-time were able to be more involved in their children’s school life, but not any more so than stay at home mothers.

Prof Marion O’Brien, co-author of the study and professor of human development and family studies, said: “Since part-time work seems to contribute to the strength and wellbeing of families, it would be beneficial to employers if they provide fringe benefits, at least proportionally, to part-time employees as well as offer them career ladders through training and promotion.”

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