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Job stress affects baby's birth weight

June 19, 2009 6:40:50 AM PDT
A woman's job stress in early pregnancy can have an impact on the birth weight of her baby.A new study shows that a work week of 32 hours or more and high job strain during the first trimester of pregnancy increased a woman's risk of delivering a low birth weight baby.

Dutch researchers studied responses from 8,266 pregnant women on a questionnaire about employment and working conditions.

Researchers found that a combination of high job stress and a long work week was linked with the greatest birth weight reduction. They conclude that although pregnant women often reduce their work hours in late pregnancy, they should reduce job stress and hours in the early stages as well.

The study appears in the American Journal of Public Health.

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