Can paid parental leave help prevent newborn deaths?

The analysis, which relied on birth and infant death data and used all states other than California as a comparison group, revealed that 6 weeks of paid family leave—which aims to help working parents balance their careers and family responsibilities while also improving the well-being of infants—led to fewer deaths from health-related causes and had larger impacts for infants with married mothers and for infant boys. It reduced the post‐neonatal mortality rate by 0.135.

“Assuming a similar impact for a national 12‐week paid family leave plan in effect in 2020, approximately 972 additional infants could survive to 1 year of age,” said author Feng Chen, Ph.D., an assistant professor at Liaoning University, in China.