Researchers at the University of Essex, in the UK, have found that babies born to women who kept working during their eighth month of pregnancy tend to weight 230g less than those born to mothers who stopped working. The harm was bigger when the women had lower levels of education, while there was no harm at all when they were younger than 24.
The researchers analyzed two studies made in the UK and one made in the US, comprising more than 30,000 subjects. The results showed that keep working during the eighth month may be as bad as smoking during pregnancy.
‘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,’ says Marco Francesconi, co-author of the study. ‘We need to think seriously about parental leave, because the possible benefits of taking leave flexibly before the birth could be quite high.’
Source: The Guardian
Photo: Ed Yourdon/Flickr
Emilia Del Bono, John Ermisch, & Marco Francesconi (2012). Intrafamily Resource Allocations: A Dynamic Structural Model of Birth Weight Journal of Labor Economics DOI: 10.1086/664831
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