One Preterm Delivery Means Next Baby Will Be Small
Research has found that women who deliver their first baby early are more likely to have a subsequent baby also small for its gestational age, even if carried to term
The study, Prior Preterm Birth in First Pregnancy and Risk of Small-for-Gestational-Age Birth in Second Pregnancy: A Population-Based Study, will be presented at the Society for Maternal-Fetal Medicine's annual meeting, The Pregnancy Meeting , in Dallas, Texas.
While there is much research that shows mothers who deliver their first babies early are more likely to have subsequent babies early, this study sought to determine whether mothers whose first babies are delivered early are more likely to have second babies that are small for their gestational age when the second pregnancy is carried to term.
"Obstetricians should know that mothers who deliver prematurely are more likely to have smaller babies in the subsequent full term pregnancy," said Jen Jen Chang, Ph.D., assistant professor at the department of epidemiology at the Saint Louis University School of Public Health and the study's lead author. "They should closely monitor fetal weight and fetal growth in mothers who have delivered early, even if the mothers are receiving treatments to prevent them from giving birth prematurely again."
Chang and his colleagues looked at the Missouri state birth certificate records of 197,556 women who were pregnant between 1989 and 2005. They included women younger than 45 who gave birth between 20 and 44 weeks of gestation. These women had "normal" pregnancies that were without medical complications such as hypertension, preeclampsia, diabetes or renal disease. The resulting babies were not breach births and did not have birth defects.
The findings indicate that if a mother delivered her first baby prematurely her second one is more likely to be small for gestational age, even if that baby arrived at the normal time (between 37 and 44 weeks of gestation) and the pregnancy was normal and uncomplicated.
In addition to Chang, the study was conducted by Lung-Chang Chien, Washington University in St. Louis, Siteman Cancer Center, St. Louis, Mo.; and George Macones, Washington University in St. Louis, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, St. Louis, Mo.
A copy of the abstract is available at http://www.smfmnewsroom.org/annual-meeting/2011-meeting-abstracts/. For interviews please contact Vicki Bendure at Vicki@bendurepr.com, 540-687-3360 (office) or 202-374-9259 (cell), or Jacqueline Boggess at email@example.com, 540-687-5399 (office) or 202-738-3054 (cell).
The Society for Maternal-Fetal Medicine (est. 1977) is a non-profit membership group for obstetricians/gynecologists who have additional formal education and training in maternal-fetal medicine. The society is devoted to reducing high-risk pregnancy complications by providing continuing education to its 2,000 members on the latest pregnancy assessment and treatment methods. It also serves as an advocate for improving public policy, and expanding research funding and opportunities for maternal-fetal medicine.
The group hosts an annual scientific meeting in which new ideas and research in the area of maternal-fetal medicine are unveiled and discussed. For more information, visit www.smfm.org or www.facebook.com/SocietyforMaternalFetalMedicine.
Original article: http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2012-02/sfmm-sfp_1020312.php