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Housework While Pregnant Raises Risk of Premature Birth

While it has long been known that exercise is good for a pregnant woman and her unborn child, new research suggests that all exercise is not created equal.  While a brisk walk or some laps in the pool may be just what the doctor ordered, the labor involved in keeping the house clean might best be avoided.  For the sake of the baby, of course. 

Researchers at Erasmus University in Rotterdam say that while work and exercise in general are both good for mom and baby, the boring and often repetitive work involved in keeping house can cause stress for the mom-to-be and result in early birth of her child.

To reach this conclusion, they analyzed the responses of nearly 12,000 women who were asked how much exercise – including housework – they engaged in while pregnant.  The women were also asked about their jobs, the weight of their babies when born and the date of delivery in relation to their expected due date.

What they found was that those who had boring jobs and/or did lots of housework every day were 25% more likely to give birth at least three weeks early.

Other interesting tidbits:

  • Women who worked night shifts had heavier babies
  • Sedentary moms were more likely to have underweight babies
  • Strenuous exercise did no harm to mom or baby

Technically, a baby isn’t considered premature unless the birth comes more than three weeks early.  But we see no reason to take any chances.  For the sake of your unborn child, put that mop down and get outside and have some fun.

Image: NobleWorks

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