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Pregnant women who work 'have lighter babies'

Expectant mothers who work up to their due date are likely to have babies with a lower birth weight according to researchers from Essex.

Women who worked after they were eight months pregnant had babies around half a pound lighter than those who stopped work between six and eight months.

Working mothers 'have lighter babies' Credit: Katie Collins/PA Wire/Press Association Images

The University of Essex research - which drew on data from three studies - found the effect of continuing to work during the late stages of pregnancy was equal to that of smoking while pregnant.

It is thought babies with low birth weights are at higher risks of poor health and slow development.