On the basis of the data drawn from two major UK studies and one significant US study, a new research by the University of Essex researchers has found that working in late stages of pregnancy can have as bad an effect as smoking while pregnant.
According to the findings of the research, babies born to women who work up to their due date of delivery are more likely to have a lower birth rate as compared to those born to women who quit their jobs earlier.
Speaking in more specific terms, on an average, the birth weight of babies born to women who continue working into their ninth month of pregnancy is approximately half a pound lower than that of babies born to mothers who stop working between six and eight months of pregnancy.
The researchers - economists Prof Francesconi, Emilia Del Bono and John Ermisch - also found that the under-24 expectant women who continued working during late stages of pregnancy were less likely to give birth to babies with low birth weights in comparison to their counterparts who were older in age.
The new research - published in the July edition of the Journal of Labour Economics - underscores that lower birth weight of babies can create future risks; with earlier studies having already shown that the chances of poor health and slow development in these babies are quite high, as is the likelihood of them suffering from a number of problems later in life.
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