Physically Demanding Work May Lead to Pregnancy Problems
WebMD News Archive
Even a relatively small increase in the risk of preterm birth is important,
Mozurkewich says. "There have been a lot of studies looking at possible
ways of preventing preterm birth and, for the most part, they have come up
empty handed," she says. "[Working conditions] may not be the largest
contributor to preterm birth in the United States, but it is another
Because many conditions can lead to premature labor or delivery, poor growth
of the baby before birth, and high blood pressure, a woman should talk with her
obstetrician or pregnancy specialist about whether special precautions may be
needed in her case.
"Our association suggests that modifying these lifestyle factors on the
job may reduce a woman's risk of preterm birth," Mozurkewich tells WebMD.
"But I would emphasize that liberalizing leave policies may be necessary;
it is very difficult for many women to modify activities on the job. It is much
easier said than done."
- Physically taxing work conditions can increase the risk of a woman having
problems with pregnancy, such as preterm birth, babies that are small for
gestational age, and high blood pressure or preeclampsia.
- Work conditions that were associated with these problems included prolonged
standing, heavy lifting, and shift work, but working long hours did not show an
- Preterm birth can cause major long-term problems in children, so women may
want to consider modifying lifestyle factors on the job and employers may want
to implement better maternity leave policies.