A team of researchers at the March of Dimes Prematurity Research Center, Ohio studied the data of 3485 Nordic women and their babies. They found that maternal height affects the babies environment in the womb, having a direct effect on the length of the pregnancy. They also mentioned an increased risk of preterm birth.
However, there have been no known direct causes and results—so short and sweet mom shouldn’t fear thinking of an unavoidable early delivery.
The reasons behind this remain unexplained. However, Louis Muglia, MD, Ph.D., the lead researcher said that it may depend on unknown genes. Other factors that could lead to short-term birth are the mother’s nutrition during her life and her surrounding environment.
The senior vice president for research and global programs Dr. Joe Leigh Simpson, March of Dimes said that his organization’s prime aim is to find out the genes that are responsible for the growth or the baby and the duration of the pregnancy.
Height is a human characteristic, which is determined by specific genes. Dr. Simpson also mentioned that their research also found out that a woman’s height can determine the length of pregnancy, which is independent of the genes she passes on to the fetus that decide the baby’s size.
However, height could be just one of the many factors that determine the gestational age. Ensuring that other factors determining the health of pregnancy are taken care of, the risks associated with preterm birth can be significantly reduced.