Pregnant women affected by long commutes, study finds

Being pregnant comes with its cons and pros. It is a life-changing event where women nourish another life inside her body, but it comes with a lot of bodily and hormonal changes. Last but not least, maternal stress drives pregnant women crazy.
According to the new study published last month by researchers at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and Lehigh University, long hours of commute may affect pregnancy in a negative way making their coming child face the worst scenarios.
The long-distance commute is defined by Census as 50 miles travel to work and it can fatal for pregnant women. It may affect the fetus and other outcomes like low birth weight, the occurrence of C-section or intrauterine growth restriction or when the baby does not reach normal size.
According to the study, an extra 10 miles in the commute distance for pregnant women increases the probability of low birth weight and intrauterine growth restriction by 0.9 and 0.6 percent respectively.
Long commutes are also related to “poor use of prenatal care” and “maternal stress”. These two main factors cause missed doctor’s appointments and late treatments.
The study was conducted upon New Jersey women. In the study, 15 percent women with long commutes didn’t have their first prenatal checkup on time and in fact, it was very late into the pregnancy as late as their third trimester, when they went for a prenatal checkup.
A long commute is the main factor of stress in pregnant women, according to the study.
Male fetuses are on the rough road than female fetuses when it comes to pregnancy stress, many studies have found that.
Maternal stress in pregnant women can affect a child’s mental state, especially in a female child, a recent study says.

Many pregnant women cannot avoid a long commute but they can surely do certain things to avoid repercussions.

Doctor. Joanna Stone, director of maternal-fetal medicine at Mt. Sinai Hospital in New York City recommends women to take the safest and most comfortable way of commute whether it is a bus, train or car.
Meditation methods will be very useful to de-stress pregnant women, according to the doctor.

Finally, she urges pregnant women to take time for themselves, to know what is right for the child.

“You need to take some time for yourself,” she said.
“Our study has important implications for public policy proposals that consider expanding maternity leave to cover the prenatal period, which is particularly relevant in the context of the United States,” the authors wrote. “Even today, compared with other high-income industrialized countries, the United States is ranked last on every measure of family-friendly policies.”

About the author

Vibhuti Kushwaha

Vibhuti Kushwaha has been writing for a long time. She enjoys writing about health and tech stuff. Her educational background of computer science helps her to write deeply about technology. She writes engaging and valuable health related articles.

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