Unconditional cash transfers for breastfeeding women in the Mexican informal workforce: Time for social justice

Proper nutrition during early life is essential to ensure a child's adequate growth, health, and development, preventing morbidity and mortality in the short and long term. Human milk is the optimal food source during the first 6 months of life, it naturally changes its composition in function with the child's growth to fit their needs. However, the prevalence of exclusive breastfeeding (EBF) during the first 6 months of life has been considerably low in Mexico and many low-and middle-income countries (LMICs). Women's employment has been reported as a key determinant for not breastfeeding in different countries, and working women have lower probabilities of ever breastfeeding. This is partly due to inadequate maternity leave legislations, which only covers those in formal employment, as well as inadequate support from family and health services. Current Mexican breastfeeding legislation provides support only to formally working mothers. Women in the informal economy (which includes diverse economic activities, jobs, and workers that are not regulated or protected by the Government), despite representing more than half of the female working force in Mexico and in other LMICs, have long been overlooked by maternity legislation and policies.