In the first such study outside high-income countries, researchers have found that lengthening paid maternity leaves by a month results in eight fewer infant deaths per 1000 live births. This quasi-experimental study conducted by scientists at McGill University and the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health examined the effects of changes in the legislated length of paid maternity leave in 20 low- and middle-income countries between 2000 and 2008 on infant death rates. The researchers drew on panel data for approximately 300,000 live births recorded by the Demographic and Health Surveys. The study was published recently in PLOS Medicine; the full article can be accessed here.
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