If you’re pregnant, stay put. New research has highlighted health dangers linked to moving house during early pregnancy…

If you’re thinking of moving before starting a family, do it before you fall pregnant.

Research from the University of Washington found that moving house during the first three months of pregnancy is linked to a heightened risk of premature birth and low birth weight and a slightly higher risk of a smaller-than-expected-sized baby.

The study included 150 000 pregnant women

Researchers analysed birth certificate data for babies born in the Washington state between 2007 and 2014 to mothers who were 18 or older.

They randomly selected 30 000 women who had moved during the first three months of pregnancy (the first trimester) and compared them with 120 000 randomly selected women of the same birth year, but who hadn’t moved during early pregnancy.

WIN a R 2,000 Woolworths Voucher

Subscribe to our Free Daily All4Women Newsletter to enter

After taking account of potentially influential factors, a house move during the first three months of pregnancy was associated with a 37% heightened risk of low birth weight and a 42% heightened risk of premature birth compared with those who didn’t move during this period.

A house move in the first trimester was also associated with a slightly increased risk of giving birth to a smaller-than-expected-sized baby.

The stress of moving house

As an observational study, researchers can’t establish cause but interruptions to health care, the physical strain of moving, disruptions to social support systems, and a biological stress reaction may all be possible triggers.

“I don’t think we have enough information to make any specific recommendations about moving during pregnancy at this point, but I’m hopeful that our study will draw attention to moving as a risk factor worth investigating in more detail,” says Julia Bond, the lead author of the study.

Source: University of Washington via www.sciencedaily.com

While All4Women endeavours to ensure health articles are based on scientific research, health articles should not be considered as a replacement for professional medical advice. Should you have concerns related to this content, it is advised that you discuss them with your personal healthcare provider.