Working while pregnant could be as bad as smoking for your unborn child!

A recent study out of Great Britain has found that the effects of working late into your pregnancy could be as bad as smoking. Which, for those of us who worked well into our third trimesters, is pretty terrifying news.

The research was conducted through England's University of Essex and drew data from three major studies, UK's Guardian reports. The study found that working into the eighth month of pregnancy was equal to smoking while pregnant--the babies belonging to the women who worked and to those who smoked grew more slowly.  

Great, one more thing for us working moms worry about…


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One of the authors of the study, economist Marco Francesconi, said of the findings:

"We know low birth weight is a predictor of many things that happen later, including lower chances of completing school successfully, lower wages and higher mortality."

Now I know the study only links slower weight gain with all those negative factors and thus concludes that working is not good (and if you were as stressed at work as I was during my last months of pregnancy, you could see why this is true), but the findings are a sobering reality.

I always thought my high level of activity during pregnancy was beneficial to both me and my unborn baby. Heck, I was working pretty much until right before my son was born--the only reason I wasn't at my office the day I went into labor was because it was Sunday. 

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It's just one more validation of the "Why-Women-Can't-Have-It-All" rhetoric. If we have to worry about now harming our babies because we're trying to earn a living and continue with our careers, then why work to begin with? Then again, maybe it will be an incentive for employers in the United States to allow more maternity leave, both before and after birth--a concept that's not alien to most of the civilized world!

Image via Thinkstock

Topics: childbirth  high-risk pregnancy  dangers