Pregnant women working night shifts at increased risk of miscarriage, says study

Pregnant women who work night shifts might be at a higher risk of having a miscarriage than other pregnant women.

According to a study, at eight weeks of pregnancy, women who had worked two or more night shifts during the previous week had a 32 percent increased risk of miscarriage compared with women who did not.

The research was conducted on 22,744 pregnant Danish women, and it tracked their work schedules and hospital admissions for miscarriage using government databases.

However, working just one night shift a week did not significantly increase the risk.

The study took into account factors like maternal age, previous miscarriages, smoking, socioeconomic status, body mass index, etc. 

Dr. Luise Moelenberg Begtrup, the lead author said that this is an observational study that does not prove causality and that it has to be replicated in other studies and in other populations.

Why does it happen?

That is unknown however irregular sleep might affect the production of the hormone melatonin, which is thought to play a role in maintaining optimal function of the placenta.

Dr. Begtrup said, ''We are not recommending that you should avoid night shifts entirely.''

She continued, ''But organising them properly is important. Our data was very strong, and my recommendation at this time would be only one night shift a week for pregnant women.”

Something that should be taken into account for those expecting a baby.