Working in late stages of pregnancy bad as smoking – Study

Mail Online 28 July 2012
Expectant mothers who work up to their due date are likely to have babies with a lower birth weight, creating risks for the future. A study has found that the effect of continuing to work during the late stages of pregnancy was equal to that of smoking while pregnant. Women who worked into their ninth month of pregnancy had babies on average around half a pound lighter than those who stopped work between six and eight months. The University of Essex research drew on data from three major studies, two in the UK and one in the US. Past research has shown babies with low birth weights are at higher risks of poor health and slow development, and may suffer from multiple problems later in life….

One of the authors, Professor Marco Francesconi, said the Government should consider incentives for employers to offer more flexible maternity leave.