Does the Length of Maternity Leave Affect Maternal Health?

  title={Does the Length of Maternity Leave Affect Maternal Health?},
  author={Pinka Chatterji and Sara Markowitz},
  journal={NBER Working Paper Series},
The objective of this paper is to investigate the impact of the length of maternity leave on maternal health in a sample of working mothers. Two measures of depression and a measure of overall health are used to represent maternal health. Ordinary Least Squares models provide baseline estimates, and instrumental variables models account for the potential endogeneity of the return-to-work decision. The findings suggest that returning to work later may reduce the number or frequency of depressive… 

Length of maternity leave and health of mother and child – a review

The new policy in Switzerland extends maternity leave for a considerable number of women to 14 weeks, with this prolongation, fewer depressive symptoms and longer breastfeeding duration can be expected, while benefits regarding other health outcomes would warrant longer leaves.


The evidence suggests that longer maternity leave increases postpartum depression diagnosis mainly by increasing diagnosis as opposed to worsening mental health.

The Impact of Paid Maternity Leave on Maternal Health.

The reform improved a range of maternal health outcomes, including BMI, blood pressure, pain, and mental health, and it increased health-promoting behaviors, such as exercise and not smoking, and the effects were larger for first-time and low-resource mothers and women who would have taken little unpaid leave in the absence of the reform.

Family Leave after Childbirth and the Health of New Mothers

Examination of the association between family leave length, which includes leave taking by mothers and fathers, and behavioral and physical health outcomes among new mothers finds that longer maternity leave from work is associated with declines in depressive symptoms, a reduction in the likelihood of severe depression, and an improvement in overall maternal health.

Family leave after childbirth and the mental health of new mothers.

Findings suggest that post-partum health services that target mothers' mental and physical health, and its effects on infants, may be useful and suggest that longer leave after childbirth may improve the health of new mothers.

The Effect of Expanding Paid Maternity Leave on Maternal Health: Evidence From the United States Air Force & Army

The main finding is that expanding maternity leave significantly decreased the likelihood of postpartum depression diagnosis, and evidence that expanding leave reduced mothers' pain and health care utilization is provided, although these results are somewhat sensitive to specification choice.

The Long-Run Effect of Maternity Leave Benefits on Mental Health: Evidence from European Countries

Findings suggest that a more generous maternity leave during the birth of a first child is associated with a reduced score of 0.38 points in the Euro-D depressive symptom scale in old age.

The Effect of Paid Maternity Leave on Maternal Health and Parental Health Involvement within the United States

If a paid maternity leave policy directly impacts maternal health and parents’ abilities to engage in health maintenance for their infants, by comparing policies and health outcomes across the United States is examined.



Time off work and the postpartum health of employed women.

Findings suggest employed women experience problems in well-being at approximately seven months postpartum, andVariables associated with improved health include: longer maternity leaves, fewer prenatal mental health symptoms, fewer concurrent physical symptoms, more sleep, increased social support, increased job satisfaction, less physical exertion on the job, fewer infant symptoms, and less difficulty arranging child care.

Maternity Leave And Women's Mental Health

In multiple regression analyses, length of leave interacted significantly with marital concerns when predicting depression; women who took a short leave and were high on marital concerns had the highest depression scores.

Parental Leave and Child Health

  • C. Ruhm
  • Medicine, Psychology
    Journal of health economics
  • 2000

Predictors of health in new mothers.

Women's postpartum maternity benefits and work experience.

Return to work after delivery was related to several demographic, occupational, and social factors and was associated with health problems and concerns about child care, according to a majority of new mothers returning to work.

The relationship of women's postpartum mental health to employment, childbirth, and social support.

In this select group of women, postpartum mental health was found to be least favorable 1 month after delivery and related to factors associated with employment, recent delivery, and level of social support.

Does Early Maternal Employment Harm Child Development? An Analysis of the Potential Benefits of Leave Taking

More mothers engage in marketplace work today than ever before, with over 33% returning to work by the time their child is 3 months old. This article identifies the effects of maternal marketplace

Demographic consequences of maternal-leave programs in industrial countries: evidence from fixed-effects models.

The extension of maternal leave programs, measured in terms of duration of paid leave, is shown to reduce infant mortality, to raise rates of labor force participation for women in the prime childbearing ages, and to increase birth rates, and the findings suggest that maternalLeave programs can facilitate some increases in women's labor force Participation without incurring the reductions in fertility.

Infant health care use and maternal depression.

OBJECTIVE To determine whether women who frequently bring their neonates for problem-oriented primary care visits or emergency department visits are at elevated risk of having depressive symptoms.

Prevalence, persistence, and correlates of depressive symptoms in a national sample of mothers of toddlers.

Elevated depressive symptoms are common in mothers of toddlers and given the potential magnitude of need, a systematic clinical and public health approach may be required.