The first 1,000 days between a women’s pregnancy and her child’s second birthday significantly impacts a child’s ability to grow, learn, and thrive and affects a country’s health and prosperity.
Increasingly, law and policy has been recognized as a high-impact and robust approach for accelerating progress in supporting women who are pregnant and lactating, along with infants through their first 24 months. In various jurisdictions, policymakers enact courses of action, regulatory measures, laws and policies, and set funding priorities with direct or indirect effects on providing the essential building blocks for women and children during the 1,000-day window of opportunity. This course focuses on policies, programs and practices across the globe—at the national, tribal, state and local levels—that improve or hinder a mother and child’s ability to thrive. Students will examine the evidence informing these courses of action, along with the historical and contemporary legislative, regulatory and judicial aspects. Topics and themes include maternity and paternity leave policies, breastfeeding relevant policies and practices, dietary guidance, food and nutrition assistance programs, food and nutrition labeling, and other environmental and policy strategies to support maternal and child health.