No matter what you do, you feel guilty. You're a mother after all. But here's great news for working moms who feel guilty about the diminished amount of time they get to spend with their babies.
New research by the Australian Institute of Family Studies shows that babies of mothers who work outside the home get just as many cuddles as those of stay-at-home moms. Not only is the cuddle time equivalent (138 minutes a day), but the amount of time that babies are held, talked to, and read to is also the same.
The researchers found that mothers who worked most of the day were more efficient about creating time with their baby when they were home, and that dads and grandparents in these families help make up for lost mommy time.
Breastfeeding rather than work status had more of an impact on the amount of attention a baby received, according to the study. Breast-fed babies got an extra hour of one-on-one attention every day compared to bottle-fed babies. Breast-fed babies were read to, talked to, or sung to for 27 minutes more per day, and they were also held, cuddled, comforted, or soothed for 32 minutes more per day than bottle-fed babies.
On the downside, breast-fed babies slept 40 minutes less each day than bottle-fed babies and spent five minutes more each day crying than bottle-fed babies.
How soon did you go back to work after having your baby? How did you feel about it? Do the results of this study make you feel differently?