Challenges of working mothers: balancing motherhood and profession

Prajakta G. Kadale, Aastha N. Pandey, Swati S. Raje


Background: Females contribute to 48.5% of population of India. Shouldering dual responsibilities of house and work can eventually take toll on women’s physical and mental health. The work and family commitments are likely to be influenced by parity, duration of breastfeeding, work environment and social support. This study is conducted to assess the stress levels among working professional mothers and their associated risk factors.

Methods: It was a cross sectional study conducted in working professional mothers of India. Data was collected using structured questionnaire and perceived stress scale (PSS-4) for assessing stress. The form was made available on internet so as to approach wide spectrum of professionally working mothers.

Results: Moderate to severe stress was perceived by 63.04% women. Severity of stress increases with shift duties (p=0.05), lack of family support (p=0.08) and inability to exclusively breastfeed child for 6 months (p=0.09). Only 1/3rd (31.88%) working mothers could exclusively breastfeed their child for 6 months. Exclusive breastfeeding was more observed in mothers with higher socio-economic status (OR=2.39) and also among those who had shift duties (OR=5.23).

Conclusions: In spite of family support for childrearing, most of the professional working mothers are experiencing perceived stress. Work environment flexibility and efficient social support to reduce stress is recommended.


Working professional mothers, Perceived stress, Breastfeeding, Childrearing

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