June 25, 2009 --Women with high levels of job strain early in pregnancy may be more likely than other women to have an underweight baby. Dutch researchers found that women who reported high levels of job strain and high stress during the first trimester tended to give birth to smaller babies. These effects appeared stronger when combined with a work week of 32 hours or more.
Research suggests that high levels of stress hormones can impair fetal growth, particularly in the first trimester.
The study is in the American Journal of Public Health.