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Family leave after childbirth and the health of new mothers

Pinka Chatterji; Sara Markowitz

"In the United States, almost a third of new mothers who worked during pregnancy return to work within three months of childbirth. Current public policies in the U.S. do not support long periods of family leave after childbirth, although some states are starting to change this. As such, it is vital... Full description

Year of Publication: 2008
Authors: Chatterji, Pinka; Markowitz, Sara
Publisher: Cambridge, Mass. : National Bureau of Economic Research
Physical Description: 37 S.
Series: NBER working paper series ; 14156
Language: English
Subjects: Mutterschutz | Maternity protection | Familienpolitik | Family policy | Lohnersatzleistungen | Earnings replacement benefits | Mütter | Mothers | Gesundheit | Health | USA | United States | 2001
Genres: Arbeitspapier
Working Paper
Graue Literatur
Non-commercial literature
Type of Publication: Book / Working Paper
Title record from database: ECONIS - Online Catalogue of the ZBW
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Summary: "In the United States, almost a third of new mothers who worked during pregnancy return to work within three months of childbirth. Current public policies in the U.S. do not support long periods of family leave after childbirth, although some states are starting to change this. As such, it is vital to understand how length of family leave during the first year after childbirth affects families' health and wellbeing. The purpose of this paper is to examine the association between family leave length, which includes leave taking by mothers and fathers, and behavioral and physical health outcomes among new mothers. Using data from the Early Childhood Longitudinal Study - Birth Cohort, we examine measures of depression, overall health status, and substance use. We use a standard OLS as well as an instrumental variables approach with county-level employment conditions and state-level maternity leave policies as identifying instruments. The results suggest that longer maternity leave from work, both paid and un-paid, is associated with declines in depressive symptoms, a reduction in the likelihood of severe depression, and an improvement in overall maternal health. We also find that having a spouse that did not take any paternal leave after childbirth is associated with higher levels of maternal depressive symptoms. We do not find, however, that length of paternal leave is associated with overall maternal health, and we find only mixed evidence that leave length after childbirth affects maternal alcohol use and smoking"--National Bureau of Economic Research web site
Physical Description: 37 S.