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Women's Health Channel
Reported December 13, 2013

Length of Maternity Leave Linked to Postpartum Depression

(Ivanhoe Newswire) – The longer maternity leave given to pregnant women, the more protected they are from experiencing postpartum depression.

According to research from the University of Maryland, women who go back to work sooner than six months after birth have a higher risk of developing postpartum depression, a condition which affects 13 percent of all mothers.  Researchers followed more than 800 mothers during the first year after birth, where the risk for postpartum depression is at its highest.  They found women who returned to work had significantly higher postpartum depression scores compared to those women still on leave. In a recent report, the United States was one of three nations out of 181 which does not provide paid maternity leave, the others are Papua New Guinea and Swaziland.

For more information, go to: http://www.umdrightnow.umd.edu/news/longer-maternity-leave-lowers-risk-postpartum-depression

SOURCE: Journal of Health Politics, Policy and Law, December 2013

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