Stay-at-home moms may have been right all along when their maternal instincts told them they're the best caretakers for their children.
A new study from N.C. State University concludes that children of mothers who work outside the home have a significantly higher risk of health problems and accidents and injuries.
The study found that kids of working moms have a 200 percent increase in the risk of xperiencing overnight hospitalizations, asthma episodes and injuries or poisonings.
Parenting is an intensely emotional subject that leads to feelings of guilt, inadequacy and -- just as often -- a sense of superiority among parents, particularly among moms who handle the bulk of child-rearing duties.
Dr. Melinda Morrill, the N.C. State economics professor who authored the study, warned against making sweeping judgments against moms who work outside the home.
"But, it is important that we are aware of the costs and benfits associated with a mother's decision to work," Morrill said in a statement.
Morrill's research runs counter to previous studies that have shown that children of working moms have better health. Those studies have said that kids of working moms benefit from increased income, from better health insurance options and from a boost in the mother's self-esteem.
Morrill's research looked at 89,000 kids age 7 to 17, examining 20 years of data from the federal National Health Interview Survey.
Morrill's paper is to be published in the Journal of Health Economics.