Study Examines Differences in Maternity Leave Duration

According to a study led by Rada K. Dagher, an assistant professor of health services administration at the University of Maryland School of Public Health, women who had unintended pregnancies tend to take shorter maternity leaves than women whose pregnancy was planned.

Dr. Dagher says, “We know that it’s better for women to take time off after childbirth to take care of their physical and mental health.” Her earlier research has concluded that a total of six months maternity leave is best for mother and child.

“Compared to mothers with an intended pregnancy, mothers with an unintended pregnancy are not as emotionally and financially prepared and are less likely to receive paid maternity leave, suggesting that economic reasons may have forced them to return to paid work sooner,” Dagher explains. “Returning to work soon after childbirth may not be good for these women or for their children.”

The study, “Maternal Depression, Pregnancy Intention, and Return to Paid Work After Childbirth,” was published in the May-June 2014 edition of the journal Women’s Health Issues. It may be accessed here.

Filed Under: Research/Study


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