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Working after eight months of pregnancy is as harmful for babies as smoking, according to a recent study by the University of Essex (UK). The researchers looked at data about 31,000 women from three major studies, two conducted in the UK and one in the U.S. They found that women who continued working until the late stages of their pregnancy gave birth to babies 0.5 lb lighter on average than babies born to women who stopped working between six and eight months. This was especially true for pregnant women older than 24.
One of the authors of the study, Marco Francesconi, pointed to the many health problems low birth weight is associated with. "We know low birth weight is a predictor of many things that happen later, including lower chances of completing school successfully, lower wages and higher mortality," he said. "We need to think seriously about parental leave, because –– as this study suggests –– the possible benefits of taking leave flexibly before the birth could be quite high."
What do you think about the results of this study?