University of Lynchburg DMSc Doctoral Project Assignment Repository

University of Lynchburg DMSc Doctoral Project Assignment Repository


Family Medicine


Dr. Nancy Reid, MHA, DHSc, PA-C, DFAAPA


Breastfeeding has incredible health benefits for both mothers and infants. Yet, many mothers do not meet current World Health Organization (WHO) and the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommendations. One significant barrier to successful breastfeeding outcomes is the need for a mother to return to work. Unfortunately, the United States (U.S.) lacks a federal law that requires employers to provide paid maternity leave. While some states have implemented policies for paid leave, access to this benefit is often inequitable, particularly for minority groups. This is a significant issue because breastfeeding is one of the most cost-effective public health interventions, preventing disease in mothers and infants and reducing healthcare costs. California and New Jersey are two states that have implemented policies for paid maternity leave, and research shows positive outcomes on breastfeeding duration and initiation. Implementing a federal policy for paid maternity leave in the U.S. would bring enormous benefits to individuals and the nation. Therefore, it is essential that we prioritize the support of paid maternity leave policies in the U.S. and ensure that every mother has access to this crucial benefit.


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