Background: The potential impact of employment on maternal health, particularly in relation to gestational hypertension and pre-eclampsia, has been subject to research. However, there is limited evidence on associations between shift work and long working hours on the incidence of these conditions.
Aims: To evaluate potential associations between maternal shift work and long working hours during pregnancy and gestational hypertension or pre-eclampsia.
Methods: Multistage stratified systematic sampling was used to recruit 24 200 post-partum women from the Taiwan national birth registration database in 2005. Subjects underwent home interview 6 months after their deliveries by structured questionnaire to obtain characteristics of maternal employment and potential confounders. Diagnosis of gestational hypertension and pre-eclampsia was obtained from the birth registration.
Results: There was no association between employment status and gestational hypertension or pre-eclampsia. Also, no significant association between gestational hypertension or pre-eclampsia and maternal shift work or long working hours during pregnancy was found in all or primiparous women.
Conclusions: There was no convincing evidence that maternal shift work or long working hours had a higher risk of gestational hypertension or pre-eclampsia. However, further research is warranted to confirm these negative findings.