Physical and Organizational Job Stressors in Pregnancy and Associations With Primary Cesarean Deliveries

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Abstract

Objective:

The aim of this study was to assess the relationship between exposure to physical and organizational job stressors during pregnancy and cesarean delivery.

Methods:

We sampled 580 employed women in California who participated in a nested population-based case–control study of birth outcomes. Adjusted multivariate regression analyses estimated associations between heavy lifting, frequent bending, high noise, extreme temperature, prolonged standing and organizational stressors (shift work, inflexible schedules, effort-reward ratio), and primary cesarean (vs vaginal) delivery, controlling for covariates.

Results:

Women occupationally exposed had higher odds of cesarean. Those exposed to daily manual lifting more than 15 pounds [adjusted odds ratio = 2.54; 95% confidence interval (95% CI) 1.21 to 5.32] and at least four physical job stressors (adjusted odds ratio = 3.49; 95% CI 1.21 to 10.09) had significantly elevated odds of cesarean delivery. Exposed morbid women experienced greater risk; risk was lower among those with schedule flexibility.

Conclusion:

Associations were found between modifiable exposure to physical job stressors during pregnancy and cesarean delivery.

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