Though many women believe that a long maternity leave and lots of rest are essential to the process of bringing a baby home, recent studies have shown that returning to work shortly after the change may in fact be better for a woman’s health. The research implies that working women have better physical and psychological health than stay-at-home moms.
According to specialists from the University of Akron and Penn State University, women involved in both careers and family lives have been found to have higher energy levels and mobility, as well as confidence and contentment. They are also less likely to go through depression.
The study states that the results are especially accurate among first-time parents. The financial independence and social interaction at the workplace reduce stress, sadness and worry, experts explain.
Adrianne Frech, lead researcher and professor, said:
“Work is good for your health, both mentally and physically. It gives women a sense of purpose, self-efficacy, control and autonomy. They have a place where they are an expert on something, and they’re paid a wage.”
The study’s results reveal that 28% of unemployed mothers consider themselves depressed, while only 17% of working mothers feel similarly. Housewives are apparently more likely to be overweight, and women with inconsistent job situations were found to be the unhealthiest.
“Struggling to hold on to a job or being in constant job-search mode wears on their health, especially mentally, but also physically,” Frech explained. “It is harder to enter the workforce if you don’t have a solid work history. Don’t give up on work and education.”
She encouraged women to establish a stable work history before starting a family, so that they can easily return to the lifestyle later on.