A study has now revealed that working in shifts might affect the health of pregnant women. It can cause babies to be born smaller and pregnancy periods to be longer. As per their reports, this effect can materialise right from the beginning of a woman's pregnancy and can also affect the health of their unborn child. When pregnant mothers rotate their working hours between night and day, it impairs their glucose tolerance. This means that these women have poor control over their blood glucose levels.
Dr Kathy Gatford, who is the lead author of the study, stated, “Shift workers are at increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes and obesity, however the impact during pregnancy on maternal metabolism is unknown." She further added, “Shift work is associated with increased risks of chronic disease including diabetes and obesity in epidemiological studies and short term simulated shift work in a controlled laboratory environment impairs metabolic control."
It was found by them that working in shifts altered both maternal metabolic and pregnancy outcomes. Now, the researchers are also focusing on finding out how this could affect the health of the children. The findings of the study indicate that even when women stopped working in shifts after their first trimester, it was still enough to have a negative impact on their pregnancy. This alone can prove that working in shifts can impact pregnant women right from the beginning of their pregnancy. Stay tuned for more updates.