Maternal Employment, Breastfeeding, and Health: Evidence from Maternity Leave Mandates
48 Pages Posted: 27 Jun 2007 Last revised: 16 Jul 2010
Date Written: June 2007
Public health agencies around the world have renewed efforts to increase the incidence and duration of breastfeeding. Maternity leave mandates present an economic policy that could help achieve these goals. We study their efficacy focusing on a significant increase in maternity leave mandates in Canada. We find very large increases in mothers' time away from work post-birth and in the attainment of critical breastfeeding duration thresholds. However, we find little impact on the self-reported indicators of maternal and child health captured in our data.
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