Outcome of pregnancy in relation to irregular and inconvenient work schedules

Br J Ind Med. 1989 Jun;46(6):393-8. doi: 10.1136/oem.46.6.393.


The relation between irregular and inconvenient working hours and the outcome of pregnancy was studied among women employed at a hospital in Sweden some time between 1980 and 1984. A questionnaire was distributed to 807 women; 81% replied. The pregnancies were divided into six groups with respect to work schedules during pregnancy. A slightly, but not significantly, increased risk of miscarriage was found in women who worked irregular hours or rotating shifts compared with women who worked only during the day (RR = 1.44, 95% confidence interval 0.83-2.51). Infants of non-smoking mothers who worked irregular hours had significantly lower birth weights than infants of non-smoking women working day time only. This difference was largest at birth order 2+. Similar results were found for infants of this birth order whose non-smoking mothers worked evenings or rotating shift.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Abortion, Spontaneous / etiology*
  • Coffee / adverse effects
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infant, Low Birth Weight
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Personnel, Hospital
  • Pregnancy
  • Risk Factors
  • Smoking / adverse effects
  • Sweden
  • Women*
  • Women, Working*
  • Work Schedule Tolerance*
  • Work*


  • Coffee