A recent study published in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health analyzed birth certificate data for babies born in Washington state between 2007 and 2014 to mothers aged 18 or older. 30,000 women who moved within the first three months of pregnancy were selected randomly and compared with 120,000 women who had not moved.
The women who moved where likely to be younger, less educated, and have lower levels of household income. This group was also more likely to be unmarried and to have smoked during pregnancy. The group of women who moved within the first trimester of pregnancy were associated with a 37% heightened risk of low birthweight and a 42% heightened risk of premature birth compared with women who had not moved within the first trimester.
Researchers did not pinpoint a cause for the results noting that whether the impact is from the stress of moving or the stressful situations that lead to a move, expecting mothers should be educated on the potential risks of making a move during pregnancy.
Julia C Bond, Amanda L Mancenido, Divya M Patil, Seth S Rowley, Jack Goldberg, Alyson J Littman. Residence change during the first trimester of pregnancy and adverse birth outcomes. Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health, 2019; jech-2018-211937 DOI: 10.1136/jech-2018-211937