A recent study out of China shows that napping during pregnancy correlated to a healthier birth weight for babies.
Low birth weight, where babies weigh less than 5 ½ pounds at birth can cause complications for children for many years following birth. Even adults who had a low birth weight are at greater risk for diabetes and hypertension. Looking into risk factors for low birth weight is beneficial for all. In the United States 8% of babies are of low birth weight.
10,000 women were studied in China and out of that number 442 had low birth weight babies.
- Taking a nap of 1 hour to 1 ½ hours reduced risk of low birth weight by 29%.
- Napping 5 days or 7 days per week reduced risk by 22%
- Sleep is a vital sign that should be measured.
- Sleep disorders should be treated. Sleep apnea may restrict oxygen flow to the baby. If you have sleep apnea it needs to be treated for the health of the mother and the baby.
Pregnant women should try and nap regularly to reduce low birth weight risk for their unborn child.
- 1A lower birth weight creates risk factors that can lead to difficult conditions as a child and also later in life.
- 2A birth weight of less than five and a half pounds has been associated with hypertension, diabetes and respiratory diseases.
- 3Pregnant women should nap often for at least an hour to help assure their baby is born at a healthy weight.