JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) - Working late into pregnancy could be just as dangerous as smoking while pregnant, according to a recent study.
A study published in the Journal of Labor Economics shows women who worked past eight months of pregnancy delivered babies who weighed a half a pound less than women who stopped working between six and eight months.
Researchers collected data from previous studies that suggested gestating babies grow slower in the wombs of pregnant women who smoke.
Emily McGee, a mother of three and six-year-old boys, discovered May 18 she is pregnant for the third time.
McGee said she worked within days of her first two deliveries.
"I worked until two days prior to delivery with my first, and until one day prior to delivery with my second."
McGee is reluctant to agree with the study.
"Both of my children have been healthy, and a lot of moms don't have the option. You have to work until right before."
"I think the study definitely has some limitations when you look at it," said Dr. Joe Sams, Emily's OBGYN.
Dr. Sams said low birth weights are relative to each mom and each pregnancy.
"It all depends on how far along you are in your gestational age, also again with your medical history, Mom and Dad's size, so there's a lot of factors that really determine what is low birth weight for an infant."
He encourages his patients to stay reasonably active throughout their pregnancies, unless their doctors say otherwise.
"As long as they're getting adequate nutrition and adequate hydration, taking their prenatal vitamins, and doing the things that you're just supposed to do, they should be fine," he said.
"At this point, there's really no contraindications to working all the way up to their due date if they want to."
He believes it is good idea for moms to keep busy, and remember to consider needed to take off after the baby is born.
"Just to keep them active and keep them going and keeps their minds off of being pregnant towards the end when sometimes it gets a little long and hard," he said. "A lot of patients want to have that time off after baby's here instead taking so much time off before so I definitely would encourage any patient to be sure to have that discussion with their employer before they look take a lot of time off."
Emily McGee plans to work as long as possible.
"I will work up until the day I deliver if I can."
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