Pregnancy Stress Affects Baby Weight

Stress at work on early stages of pregnancy increases the risk of the infant’s low birth weight.

Dutch researchers have analyzed the answers of 8,266 women to the questions about their working conditions. The results have shown that the working week which lasts 32 hours or more and is characterized by considerable working load in the first trimester of pregnancy has a negative effect on the birth weight. The combination of stress at work with the duration of a working week is connected with the reduced fetal weight and the increased risk of birth of children with malnutrition.

Many women try to reduce their working time and working load closer to the end of pregnancy. However, these studies demonstrate that it is much more beneficial to have partial working load during the first trimester of child-bearing.

It is also worth reminding of the dangers of night shift work. The research shows that because of sleepless nights a female body produces less melatonin, the substance that suppresses the function of sexual glands and helps prevent breast cancer. Back in 2001, the scientists from Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Centre (USA) noted that women who work at night face the 60% higher risk of breast cancer.

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