Pregnant mums who are stressed out at work could be at a higher risk of giving birth to a low weight child, according to new research.
Experts at the University College Dublin, Ireland and INSERM in France found that there was a significant connection between high physical work demands and low birth weight.
The also discovered that pregnant women who work on a casual basis are more likely to have a preterm birth.
Co-author of the study Dr Isabelle Niedhammer, said: “Our prospective research analysed a large number of occupational exposures and linked them with adverse pregnancy outcomes (low birth weight, preterm delivery, and small-for-gestational age).
“This study underlines that more attention should be given to women’s working conditions during pregnancy, and effort should be intensified towards reducing exposure to physical work demands, shift work and long working hours for pregnant women.”
She added that “special attention” should also be given pregnant women in casual work.
The research has been published in BJOG: An International Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology.