Standing Around A Lot While Pregnant May Determine Your Baby’s Head Size — That’s All

By  | 

pregnantPregnancy on the job carries its own unique array of issues to contend with, especially for those ladies working blue collar jobs. But for mommies whose occupation requires lots of standing while pregnant, like hairdressing, teaching, childcare, sales — especially on all that maternity leave that they’re not getting — the impacts may manifest in your baby’s cranium.

Msnbc reports that a Netherlands study of 4,600 mothers between 2002 and 2006 determined that women who stood “long hours” ultimately birthed babies on average with heads about 3% smaller — or 1 cm less in circumference. Researchers also determined that working more than 25 hours a week when expecting can produce babies who weight five to seven ounces smaller, and determine fetal head growth. Similar studies, the BBC reports, have revealed that hard manual labor can negatively impact baby’s birth weight and increase early delivery. However, none of the ladies involved in this current study (which didn’t involve hard manual labor) were found to be anymore at risk for pre-term or underweight babies (weighing under 5.5 lbs). Health of the baby was also not affected by mere standing, but scientists aren’t quite sure what this look into fetal development means for that tiny baby brain:

Tim Overton from the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists said: “It is very difficult to say if the finding in this study is clinically significant. To see if head size has an affect on the babies’ neuro development you would have to follow them for many years as they grow up…But there is no evidence that this is significant in the long-term health of these babies.”

Although this research has so far yielded harmless results, the concern for expectant mothers on the job merits pause. In the States, we have yet to truly secure full accommodation for pregnant women in certain workplaces, which includes keeping mommies-to-be off their feet from time to time.

(photo: Monkey Business Images/ Shutterstock)