Support for breastfeeding
Breast-feeding results in lower infant and child mortality, with studies finding a
1.5- to 5-fold lower relative risk of mortality among breast-fed children.
Breast-fed children have lower rates of gastrointestinal infections, respiratory tract
infections, meningitis, and other infections. A higher fatality rate from diarrhea
has been documented among bottle-fed children in the U.S., Canada, and the
United Kingdom, as well as in developing countries.
In countries with poor sanitation and very low average family incomes, the
protective effect of breast-feeding continues after infancy.
Paid leave is widely supported internationally. The Universal Declaration of
Human Rights was accepted by all UN member states and the International
Covenant on Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights by 155 nations. These
protocols call on states to guarantee workers "reasonable limitations of working
hours and periodic holidays with pay."
Work hours and availability of leave markedly affect parental involvement
Parental involvement is critical to children's educational, developmental and
health outcomes. When parents are involved in their children's education,
children achieve more in elementary school, junior high school and high school.
Parental involvement is particularly important for children who are at risk
educationally, including children living in poverty and children with learning
Yet, one out of two low-income working parents in the U.S. faced barriers to
becoming involved in their children's education. Thirty-nine percent faced
barriers to participating in school meetings, school trips, or school events.
Eighteen percent of the low-income parents interviewed had little or no time with
their children during the week.
U.S. poor working parents are more likely than better-off families to have three
weeks or more a year of illness burden to manage. And, low-income working
parents are less likely than middle-income parents to have the paid leave from
work or the flexibility at work needed to address the educational, developmental,
and health needs of their children during the workday.