Greener spaces, bigger babies

Mothers living in areas with more vegetation birth heavier babies

Babies born to mothers living in areas with plenty of plant life are heavier and have slightly larger heads, a new study finds.

Between 2003 and 2008, researchers in Spain examined 2,393 pregnant women, and generated an index of “greenness” up to 500 meters around each woman’s home using satellite images, according to Environmental Health News.

On average, babies born to moms living in areas with more plant cover had head circumferences .05 to .07 inches larger and weighed 1.5 ounces more than babies whose mothers lived in areas with less vegetation. Low birth weights are commonly associated with short- and long-term health complications, while head size is an indicator of brain size and IQ.

The study is one of the first to link green spaces to pregnancy outcomes, but is one of many suggesting proximity to plant life improves human health.