shutterstock_17269807Good morning and please enjoy a nice cup of guilt along with your breakfast, especially if you are headed into work this morning. A new study conducted in Barcelona, Spain, reported by the Atlantic says that moms who work less have healthier babies, because they eat better, smoke less, sleep longer, and spend more time walking in the Mediterranean sun and stopping at farmers markets along the way.

Libertad González, an associate professor at the Universitat Pompeu Fabra,recently examined the health of registered newborns in Spain from 1981 to 2010, and she cross-referenced the data with the unemployment rate in each of the country’s provinces at the time. With each 10 percent increase in unemployment, she found, the neonatal death rate dropped by 7 percent, and the percent of babies with low birth weights decreased by 3 percent. The reason? During recessions, mothers consistently reported being in better health, and they exhibited healthier behaviors.

 

I suppose this makes sense in some ways, but aren’t working moms who find themselves unemployed stressed out due to the new loss of income and health insurance associated with losing a job or not being able to find a job? The article states that this study from Spain meshes with a study conducted in the US that showed American babies born in periods of high unemployment had fewer birth defects, were more likely to weigh a healthy amount, and were less likely to die. The article does state that these positive results are due to temporary dips in income, and that long term unemployment is generally terrible for people.

So maybe just spend your entire pregnancy relaxing and then you can go back to work.

We all know how amazingly unfeasible it is for the majority of pregnant women who work to be able to do this, so I think we can just stick this study on the same pile that will probably claim in a month that women who don’t work during pregnancy give birth to babies with their own set of health problems.

My own hypothesis from reading all these various studies on pregnant women and the health of their babies is that they can’t win no matter what they do.

(Image: Mona Makela/shuttestock)