Posts Tagged ‘ preterm births ’

Back-to-Back Pregnancies May Increase Preterm Labor Risk

Friday, June 6th, 2014

Women who have babies in quick succession–with 18 months or less between pregnancies–may be at higher risk of experiencing preterm labor with their second babies, according to new research published in the journal BJOG: An International Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology.  ScienceDaily.com has more:

The US study, using birth records from the Ohio Department of Health, looked at 454,716 live births from women with two or more pregnancies over a six year period. The researchers looked at the influence of inadequate birth spacing on the duration of the subsequent pregnancy.

The study defined short interpregnancy interval (IPI) as time from the immediate preceding birth to subsequent conception of the next pregnancy. Researchers categorized the women with short IPIs into two groups, IPI less than 12 months and IPI 12-18 months, comparing them to women who were considered to have an optimal IPI of 18 months or more.

Results showed that mothers with shorter IPIs were more likely to give birth prior to 39 weeks gestation when compared to women with optimal birth spacing. Following a short IPI of less than 12 months, 53.3% of women had delivered before 39 weeks, compared to 37.5% of women with an optimal IPI. Birth after the estimated due date (more than 40 weeks) occurred less often in women with short IPI of less than 12 months, 16.9% compared to 23.1% for a normal IPI.

Furthermore the rate of preterm birth before 37 weeks gestation was higher in women who conceived after a short IPI of less than 12 months. They were more than twice as likely to give birth before 37 weeks compared to pregnancies following an optimal IPI (20.1% vs. 7.7% respectively).

The study also looked at racial groups. Figures showed that black mothers more frequently had shorter IPIs compared to non-black mothers (less than 12 months, 3.3% vs. 1.9% and 12-18 months, 13.2% vs. 10.1%).

Moreover, the rate of preterm birth was also higher in black mothers with short IPI of less than 12 months, 26.4% compared to 8.7% for non-black mothers.

While women who conceived following an optimal IPI (18 months or more) had the lowest rates of preterm birth, black women still showed a higher rate of overall preterm births (11.3%) compared to non-black mothers (6.8%), suggesting that maternal ethnicity was also a significant predictor of preterm birth despite optimal birth spacing.

The study’s authors recommended women try for an “optimal” birth spacing of 18 months or longer between pregnancies.

Trying to Conceive: 5 Common Fertility Mistakes
Trying to Conceive: 5 Common Fertility Mistakes
Trying to Conceive: 5 Common Fertility Mistakes

Image: Pregnant woman holding a baby, via Shutterstock

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Poor Pregnancy Diet Linked to Preterm Birth

Tuesday, May 27th, 2014

Women who have a poor diet during pregnancy are 50 percent more likely to have a preterm birth, according to a new study from the University of Adelaide. Women who had diets high in protein and fruit were less likely to have a preterm birth, and those who consistently ate foods high in fat and sugar were at the greatest risk. More from ScienceDaily:

Researchers at the University of Adelaide’s Robinson Research Institute investigated the dietary patterns of more than 300 South Australian women to better understand their eating habits before pregnancy.

It’s the first study of its kind to assess women’s diet prior to conception and its association with outcomes at birth.

The results, published in The Journal of Nutrition, show that women who consistently ate a diet high in protein and fruit prior to becoming pregnant were less likely to have a preterm birth, while those who consistently ate high fat and sugar foods and takeaway were about 50% more likely to have a preterm birth.

“Preterm birth is a leading cause of infant disease and death and occurs in approximately one in 10 pregnancies globally. Anything we can do to better understand the conditions that lead to preterm birth will be important in helping to improve survival and long-term health outcomes for children,” says the lead author of the paper, Dr Jessica Grieger, Posdoctoral Research Fellow with the Robinson Research Institute, based at the Lyell McEwin Hospital.

“In our study, women who ate protein-rich foods including lean meats, fish and chicken, as well as fruit, whole grains and vegetables, had significantly lower risk of preterm birth.

“On the other hand, women who consumed mainly discretionary foods, such as takeaway, potato chips, cakes, biscuits, and other foods high in saturated fat and sugar were more likely to have babies born preterm,” Dr Grieger says.

“It is important to consume a healthy diet before as well as during pregnancy to support the best outcomes for the mum and baby,” Dr Grieger says.

“Diet is an important risk factor that can be modified. It is never too late to make a positive change. We hope our work will help promote a healthy diet before and during pregnancy. This will help to reduce the number of neonatal deaths and improve the overall health of children,” she says.

Pregnant? Record your food cravings and browse pregnancy books.

How to Eat Healthy During Pregnancy: Making a Healthy Dinner
How to Eat Healthy During Pregnancy: Making a Healthy Dinner
How to Eat Healthy During Pregnancy: Making a Healthy Dinner

Image via Shutterstock.

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Healthy Pregnancy Diet Linked to Lower Preterm Labor Risk

Tuesday, March 11th, 2014

Women who eat a healthy diet rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean proteins are fifteen percent less likely to deliver their babies prematurely, according to a new study published by Swedish researchers.

‘Pregnant women have many reasons to choose a healthy diet with lots of vegetables, fruit, whole grain products and some types of fish, but this is the first time we can statistically link healthy eating habits to reduced risk of preterm delivery,’ says Linda Englund-Ögge, researcher at the Sahlgrenska Academy, University of Gothenburg.

Preterm delivery, defined as spontaneous or induced delivery before the end of gestational week 37, can be associated with acute and long-term complications and is a major problem in modern maternity care. Measures to prevent preterm delivery are therefore of high priority.

When asked whether these findings should lead to stricter dietary standards or guidelines for pregnant women, Englund-Ögge said, “No, and it is not harmful to occasionally eat something unhealthy. But our study shows that the dietary recommendations given to pregnant women are important.”

She continued, “Dietary studies can be very complex. Any given food item may contain a wide range of substances and is usually consumed together with other foods. This makes it difficult to find out its exact effects of one single food. We show that there is a statistically established link between a healthy diet and reduced risk of preterm delivery, but our study wasn’t designed to identify any underlying mechanisms.”

Image: Pregnant woman eating, via Shutterstock

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Premature Birth Rate Drops for 5th Consecutive Year

Wednesday, November 14th, 2012

The number of premature births in the United States has dropped to 11.7 percent of all births, the lowest number in a decade, and the 5th consecutive year the number has fallen. This news from the March of Dimes in its annual Premature Birth Rate Report Card. Though the U.S. as a whole earned a “C” grade from the report card, four states–Vermont, Oregon, New Hampshire, and Maine–earned “A” grades for their excellent prenatal health education programs and other measures, including smoking cessation programs, that help reduce preterm birth rates.

The March of Dimes has set a goal of reducing the total number of premature births to 9.6 by the year 2020, as the organization’s president, Dr. Jennifer L. Howse, discusses in this video about the report card:

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