Pregnant women who move are more likely to have a premature baby (stock)

Pregnant women who move during their first trimester are 42% more likely to have a premature baby, study finds

  • Moving early in pregnancy also increases the risk of a low birth weight by 37%
  • True after justification of age, income and smoking
  • Stress early in pregnancy has been associated with more damage than stress later

Pregnant women who move during their first trimester are 42 percent more likely to have a premature baby, research suggests.

A study of more than 140,000 women also found that relocating during the first months of pregnancy increases the risk of having a low birth weight by 37 percent.

Moving can be stressful, the scientists at the University of Washington, Seattle noted.

Previous research suggests that feeling frazzled early in pregnancy causes more harm to an unborn baby than if his mother struggled to cope later.


The physical burden of moving along with disruptions in health care upon arrival in a new area may also be to blame, the researchers wrote.

Pregnant women who move are more likely to have a premature baby (stock)

Pregnant women who move are more likely to have a premature baby (stock)

& # 39; Important life transitions &, like having children, often encourage people to move, the researchers wrote in the British Medical Journal.

Studies have shown that 11 to 25 percent of women move during pregnancy.

Moving often as a child has been associated with poor health, but less was known about whether this leads to pregnancy complications.

To find out more, the researchers analyzed the birth certificates of babies born in Washington State between 2007 and 2014.


They randomly selected 28,011 women who moved during their first trimester.

These were compared with 112,451 women who gave birth in the same year but had not moved.

The results showed that 9.1 percent of women who moved during pregnancy had a premature birth, versus 6.4 percent of those who did not move.

Of those who moved in the first trimester, 6.4 percent gave birth to a baby with a low birth weight – compared to the 4.5 percent who stayed in the same house.


About 10 percent of all pregnancies worldwide result in premature birth – defined as giving birth before 37 weeks.


When this happens, not all organs of the baby, including the heart and lungs, are developed. They can also be underweight and smaller.

Tommy & # 39; s, a charity in the UK, says this may mean that preemies are not ready for life outside the womb.

Premature birth is, according to figures, the leading cause of neonatal death in the US and the UK.

Babies born early cause about 1500 deaths in the UK every year. In the US, 17 percent of infant mortality is the result of premature birth and complications.

Babies born prematurely are often taken to neonatal intensive care units, where they are cared for 24 hours a day.


What are the chances of survival?

  • Less than 22 weeks is almost zero chance of survival
  • 22 weeks is around 10%
  • 24 weeks is around 60%
  • 27 weeks is around 89%
  • 31 weeks is around 95%
  • 34 weeks corresponds to a baby born on full term

This remained the case after other risk factors, such as age, education, income and smoking, were justified.

The results also showed that relocating increased the risk of a small baby by nine percent.

However, this was not statistically significant after other factors were taken into account.

& # 39; The negative impact of moving (may be) caused by the stress of the move itself, stressful situations that lead to a move or disruption of care due to the move & # 39 ;, the researchers wrote.


& # 39; Asking patients to relocate and use this as an opportunity to advise patients on stress-reducing techniques and continuity of care can be useful. & # 39;

The researchers emphasize that they have not looked at the reason for the move, or that the women have entered a more or less prosperous area, both of which can affect the health of pregnancy.

& # 39; Despite these limitations, our results provide important insights into movement during pregnancy & # 39 ;, they wrote.

Dr. Nadja Reissland, professor of psychology at the University of Durham, who was not involved in the study, said: “This seems like an interesting study and the main finding seems to be related to what is generally known about stress in the first trimester.

& # 39; Stress can be mourning, natural disasters, money worries and natural relocation is another stress factor.

& # 39; The message you need to get from this research is to reduce or avoid stressful scenarios if you have control over them yourself.

& # 39; However, women should not worry if they have to move, because the increased risk of damage to their unborn child is very small. & # 39;

Dr. Reissland can also be useful to compare women who were forced to relocate with those who volunteered.

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