RCM comments on house moving in pregnancy and link to premature birth research

on 30 July 2019 Premature Birth Low Birthweight Stress Pregnancy

Research to be published yesterday says that moving house during the first three months of pregnancy is linked to a heightened risk of premature birth and low birthweight. The research to be published in the Journal of Epidemiology & Community Health also says that there is a slightly higher risk of a smaller than expected size baby.

Commenting on the research Birte Harlev-Lam, Executive Director for Professional Leadership at the Royal College of Midwives, said: "Moving house can be a stressful experience and there is some evidence that stress in early pregnancy can have a negative impact on the woman and her pregnancy.

'We would advise pregnant women who are moving house to avoid any heavy lifting and to take regular rests and to discuss it with their midwife who will offer support and advice. Try to plan the move as much as possible to reduce the stress we all know it can cause. Midwives will be able to help here with advice around techniques to reduce stress and can signpost women to additional support if needed.

'If the move means having to use another maternity service we would also advise the woman to discuss the move with her midwife. Plans can then be put into place to transfer her maternity care to another service so that she gets seamless care between the two maternity services. "

For information on the research please contact the BMJ media relations team. 

Note to editors

The RCM is the only trade union and professional association dedicated to serving midwifery and the whole midwifery team. We provide workplace advice and support, professional and clinical guidance and information, and learning opportunities with our broad range of events, conferences and online resources. For more information visit the RCM website at https://www.rcm.org.uk/.