Pregnant Women Working 25+ Hours A Week Likely To Have Smaller Babies

Thu, June 28, 2012 11:10am EDT by 1 Comment
Working When Pregnant

A new study says that women standing and working for long hours during pregnancy may slow the fetus’ growth! Eek — does that mean pregnant Kourtney Kardashian should cut down on the workload?

Researchers at the Erasmus Medical Center in the Netherlands analyzed the growth rates of babies from more than 4,600 moms-to-be. They found that women who stood for long periods at work had babies whose heads were 1 centimeter or 3 percent smaller on average. Additionally, women who worked more than 25 hours a week had babies born five to seven ounces lighter.

The explanation? Longer hours reduce the flow of blood to the placenta, limiting the amount of nutrients and oxygen going to the fetus. There was no negative effect of working up to 36 weeks into pregnancy, the researchers found.

The good news is that working long hours and doing physically demanding work while pregnant does not put women at risk for preterm birth or for having babies with a low birth weight. Also, women who work have fewer pregnancy complications than women who are unemployed.

Don’t let the results scare you from working during pregnancy. Dr. Jill Rabin, an obstetrician and gynecologist at the North Shore Long Island Jewish Medical Center, told MSNBC “by all means keep working.”

The report does advise that pregnant women mix it up with sitting, standing and walking in their work day. The doctor said that sitting for prolonged periods may increase the risk of blood clots, and standing for prolonged periods may compromise blood flow to the baby.

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