Action urged on pregnant shift workers
SHIFT work is harmful to mothers-to-be and their unborn babies and new guidelines are needed to ensure pregnant women do not face unnecessary risks, doctors say.
Pregnant women who regularly do shift work are more likely to have overdue births and underweight babies, evidence shows.
The Scottish Council of the British Medical Association will today call for the union to draw up guidelines for pregnant doctors to ensure their work does not put their unborn babies at risk.
They hope a range of employers whose staff work shift patterns – such as emergency service, security, and factory workers – would use the recommendations.
Dr David Reid, deputy chair of the Scottish junior doctors’ committee, said: “There are very few guidelines on this issue but evidence suggests women who work shifts while pregnant can harm themselves and their babies.
“We would like to see restrictions to the amount of time pregnant women work, a maximum of 40 hours. There also have to be limits to the amount of time they spend standing up.”
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