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BIS. Boletim do Instituto de Saúde (Impresso)

versão impressa ISSN 1518-1812


VENANCIO, Sonia Isoyama; REA, Marina Ferreira  e  SALDIVA, Silvia Regina Dias Médici. Maternity leave and its influence on exclusive breastfeeding. BIS, Bol. Inst. Saúde (Impr.) [online]. 2010, vol.12, n.3, pp. 287-292. ISSN 1518-1812.

Background: Breastfeeding is a right that society should guarantee to all women and children, including those with a paid employment. The labor legislation for maternity protection might be important to practice exclusive breastfeeding (EBF) for six months after birth, as recommended by the World Health Organization and the Brazilian Minister of Health.  Objective: to analyze the relationship between the maternity leave and EBF prevalence in infants below six months. Methods: A survey on infant feeding was carried out in 77 municipalities of São Paulo State, during the 2008 National Children Vaccination Day, using a standard simple questionnaire and analytical procedures.  Results: Among 15,315 children below six months analyzed, 37.2% were EBF. According to current mothers´ employment, it was found more infants EBF from mothers with maternity leave (54.6%) compared to those that declared be employed but without be entitled to maternity leave (25.6%). Mother’s education did not modify those results. Conclusions: Providing opportunities to women, particularly in paid job, to keep their infants together during the first months of life is another children’s right to be respected; actions to protect exclusive breastfeeding for 6 months including the right to paid maternity leave is essential to achieve this practice.

Palavras-chave : Breastfeeding; reproductive rights; maternity leave; working women.

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