Why you should take maternity leave before 8 months

When I was pregnant, my plan was to work until the last possible moment – my maternity leave was due to start three days before my due date. I nearly got there; my babs was two weeks early. So I worked to around the eight and half month mark.

Apparently, this is not the best idea.

A new study by the University of Essex reveals that working after the eight month pregnancy mark is not good for the baby. In fact, it’s “almost as bad as smoking” while pregnant.

The Guardian reports that “Women who worked after they were eight months pregnant had babies on average around 230g (0.5lb) lighter than those who stopped work between six and eight months.”

So, the deal is that mums who work (and smoke) when pregnant have babies that grow more slowly in utero.

And babies with lower birth weights often have consequent health issues that manifest later in life, like lower chances of completing school successfully, lower wages and higher mortality – according to past studies.

Interestingly, babies with mums under the age of 24 were not affected by them continuing to work, but in older mothers the effect was more significant.

I can’t remember what my baby girl’s birth weight was. All I know is that I adore her, and she is certainly the most intelligent, beautiful, brilliant girl in the world! Fact.

Source: Guardian.co.uk – “Work after eight months of pregnancy is as harmful as smoking, study finds”