Almost all new moms can relate to that pang of guilt we feel each time we’re racing to pick up our infant from childcare after yet another long day at work. “Is my baby spending more time bonding with the daycare provider than with me?” we ask ourselves.

New mothers can breathe a sigh of relief, if only momentarily. A new Columbia University study on the consequences of mothers returning to work concludes that children with working moms don’t necessarily suffer developmental setbacks as previously thought, reports the Washington Post.

Previous research has leaned toward the idea that first-year maternal employment was detrimental to a child’s cognitive development. But now researchers from the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development Study of Early Child Care are saying that the effect of first-year employment is “neutral,” which means that the benefits of working moms (higher income, higher quality child-care) outweigh the negative. But while moms who work full-time during their child’s first year did not have a negative effect on their child’s development, the outcome was often more positive for children whose mothers work only part-time.

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