Like HowStuffWorks on Facebook!

Top 10 Causes of Low Birth Weight Babies


3
Stress

As much as pregnant women may act like heroes, some even working at the office every day right up to delivery, this is a sensitive time for them and their babies.

During pregnancy, women's bodies are pumping 40 to 50 percent more blood than usual -- their hearts working 30 to 50 percent harder -- and they can feel tired and uncomfortable, according to the Cleveland Clinic's Center for Continuing Education.

But the fact is, many pregnant women work for a living, some of them putting in long work hours and standing for extended periods of time. That toiling can put extra stress on a pregnancy, possibly interfering with fetal growth and full-term delivery. Other contributors to pregnancy stress are exposure to harmful chemicals (in factories for example, or while cleaning the house) or lack of emotional support from family and friends.


More to Explore