Health Equity

1,000 Days
Funder: 1,000 Days 
Project Time Period: 2018-2020

Project Category: Health/Advocacy/Formative Evaluation

About 1,000 Days: 1,000 Days is the leading nonprofit organization working in the U.S. and around the world to improve nutrition and ensure women and children have the healthiest first 1,000 days.

The Work: MAI conducted a prospective longitudinal case study design following a sample of low-wage working women from their third trimester through the infant’s first six months of life. This case study and its findings expanded upon the body of research about how leave policies influence the well-being of low-wage mothers and their infants; explored the barriers and facilitators to good health and well-being among low-wage working women and their infants; and gave voice to women navigating low-wage employment and new motherhood by making connections between their challenges and the need for equitable leave policies.

What We Learned: Our sample included 20 women who worked in five states that did not require workers to have access to paid leave and for employers within those states who did not offer it. Our findings support prior research showing that the lack of paid maternity leave for low-wage working women causes disruptions in women’s connections to the labor force and their employers, leading to financial hardships, career disruptions, and physical and mental health issues.

  • MAI produced an internal report for 1,000 Days. Linked here is 1,000 Days external-facing report.