Occupational Hazard Exposures and Depressive Symptoms of Pregnant Workers

J Occup Environ Med. 2018 Mar;60(3):e134-e138. doi: 10.1097/JOM.0000000000001255.


Objectives: The aim of this study was to explore the prevalence of exposure to occupational hazards and depressive mood with associated underlying risk factors among pregnant workers.

Methods: Women at 12 weeks of gestation (n = 172) were recruited during regular prenatal screening. Data were obtained via questionnaires that explored job details and Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale.

Results: The most commonly encountered hazard was prolonged standing. The majority of women reported that the workplace provided no information on the safety or rights of pregnant women, but those exposed to at least four hazards had more access to such services (P < 0.05). Thirteen percent may have suffered from depressive symptomatology. Higher-level work-related burnout, lower job control, and reduced workplace support were significantly associated with possible antenatal depressive symptoms.

Conclusion: Pregnant workers are exposed to substantial levels of occupational hazards and may experience depressive symptoms; thus, their work conditions require monitoring and improvement.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Burnout, Professional / psychology
  • Depression / epidemiology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Occupational Exposure*
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy Trimester, First
  • Prevalence
  • Professional Autonomy
  • Psychiatric Status Rating Scales
  • Risk Factors
  • Social Support
  • Standing Position
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Workplace / organization & administration
  • Young Adult