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The healthiest children grow up with their mothers, who were long in the decree

Last reviewed by: Aleksey Portnov , medical expert, on 30.05.2018
09 June 2017, 09:00

The mother's continued maternity leave lowers the infant mortality rate by almost 15%, and also helps to strengthen the health of all family members.

These results were obtained by researchers from McGill University in Canada and the American University of California (Los Angeles), after conducting experiments in twenty different countries.

All scientists, without exception, who were involved in the research, confirm the fact that the duration of the decree has a cardinal effect on the health and quality of life of the younger generation.

As indicated in the information press release, leave to care for the child (especially if the period of the decree is paid) reduces the likelihood of stress development in the child and parents, gives the opportunity to lengthen the period of breastfeeding, helps to take care of the baby's health more carefully.

By law, in almost 200 countries around the world, parental leave is guaranteed and paid in full. However, in reality many mothers try to get to work "early" - and this depends on many reasons. Equally important is the level of social development in the country.

The most high-quality maternity leave is offered to women in Canada and many European countries. However, there are also such countries as Guinea, Suriname, where young mothers are deprived of any rights or guarantees. By the way, in the United States, too, there is no statutory provision for a funded maternity leave.

"In carrying out our research, we focused our attention on low and middle income countries. But in countries with a well-developed economy there are also certain problems, and they can radically influence the future of new generations. For example, with regard to the United States, we would recommend that this country pay attention to world practice and initiate the introduction of paid maternity leave for mothers or fathers, "said Professor Jodi Heimann of UCLA.

The periodical Plos Medicine published a full report on the experiment, which analyzed data on 300 thousand children from twenty world states. These children were born between 2000 and 2008.

The experiment showed that for the time under study, the rate of infant, neonatal and postnatal mortality was approximately 55, 31 and 23 cases per thousand surviving infants. At the same time, during each additional month of the decree, infant mortality fell by almost 15%.

The results of the experiments give an occasion to make the appropriate assumption: a long paid decree guaranteeing the mother's return to her former job allows the young mother to devote more time to herself and the baby, to monitor the health of the family. In addition, the long period of the decree increases the chances of full compliance with the child's vaccination schedules, as well as timely consultation of the doctor in case of illness.

"The most healthy children were registered in countries where the paid decree by law lasts more than 12 weeks," summarizes Dr. Arjit Nandi (McGill University).

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