Migrant women adopt unhealthy habits from natives : Study

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London, Apr 11 (UNI) The longer women spend in the UK, the more likely they are to adopt unhealthy maternal health behaviour, says a new study.

Women migrants tend to pick up unhealthy habits like smoking during pregnancy, from native Britons. They also tend to give up breastfeeding more quickly than they would have in their home countries, revealed a study published in the British Medical Journal.

The study conducted among more than eight thousand mothers about their behaviour during and after pregnancy, found that women belonging to ethnic minority groups looked after their health and that of their babies better than their british counterparts. They were also more likely to breast feed their babies.

However, when the researchers examined the results of first and second-generation immigrants, it was found that for every additional five years spent in the UK, migrant women were 32 per cent more likely to smoke and drink during pergnancy and five per cent less likely to breastfeed their babies.

''Foreign-born women who move to Europe or the US from developing countries with historically lower levels of smoking and alcohol consumption continue to be less likely to smoke and drink after migration,'' Krista Perreira, a health policy expert at the University of North Carolina, said in an editorial accompanying the study.

But more time in the host country where there is easier access to alcohol and tobacco results in their greater use during pregnancy, she observed.

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