Maternal and Infant Conditions
Seeking the best start for the beginning of Life
Why is it a problem?
Why is it a problem?
Stillbirth and fetal growth restriction in New Zealand
In New Zealand, around 3000 pregnancies are affected by fetal growth restriction each year. Pregnancies with fetal growth restriction have a high risk of ending in stillbirth (the loss of the unborn baby after 20 weeks of pregnancy or during birth). Babies who survive fetal growth restriction have an increased risk of neurodevelopmental delay – which is a delay in developing skills necessary to achieve developmental ‘milestones’, such as walking or talking. These babies also have an increased risk of developing cardiovascular diseases and metabolic diseases later in life. But researchers are
working on solutions
By the numbers — Cure Kids researchers helping reduce infant mortality
Supported by Cure Kids, Dr Christine McIntosh and her University of Auckland research team, developed the ‘Safe
Sleep Calculator’. The calculator allows healthcare staff to give individually tailored advice to protect against deaths in babies, and to target help to the 19% of babies at the highest risk from SUDI (sudden unexpected death in infants).
The advice and support given to parents and whanau includes breastfeeding advice, sleeping advice for the baby, and support on how to reduce exposure to smoking, drugs, and alcohol. And the impact? On average, one infant death will be prevented for every 310 families given this personalised and intensive support — an amazing intervention.
Did you know?Each year, in New Zealand 3000 pregnancies are affected by fetal growth restriction
WHAT ARE WE DOING TO HELP?
A potential treatment for fetal growth restriction
Babies affected by fetal growth restriction carry an increased risk of stillbirth, as well as an increased risk for significant health issues later in life. But researchers from the University of Auckland are working to better understand fetal growth restriction and are testing new drugs on placental cells from human placentas donated to the study. Led by Associate Professor Jo James, the researchers hope to not only better understand the causes of fetal growth restriction, but hopefully offer a potential treatment.
Reducing brain injury in babies
When the blood flow that carries oxygen and nutrients to a baby is severely restricted during birth, there is a significant risk of death — or survival, but with a major disability. Known as perinatal “hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy”, or HIE, this is one of the most serious and life-threatening types of infant brain damage that can occur during childbirth. Currently, the only treatment for babies born with this condition involves cooling of the baby’s brain or body (called therapeutic hypothermia) — but this doesn’t fully protect every baby (most babies, just not enough). So a team of Auckland researchers are testing a growth hormone to see if it can further improve the recovery of a newborn’s brain after this treatment.
‘Sleep on side’ advice during pregnancy – a successful campaign to reduce still birth
We have supported a programme of research which has provided the evidence for the ‘Sleep on Side – Stillbirth Prevention Campaign’ since 2007, enabling New Zealand researchers to lead the way with these internationally significant findings. Recent results from a survey of pregnant women in the 3rd trimester showed that 86% of women had received sleep-onside advice. Also, women sleeping on their back was reduced from 3.9% in the previous nationwide study to 1.8% (i.e. two thirds of women who were supine sleeping changed to sleep on their side based on the advice). The survey of healthcare professionals found that 77% were aware of the risk associated with a sleeping-on-their-back position and late stillbirth. A great result.
5 Active Maternal and Infant Conditions projects
Is C-type natriuretic peptide a maternal marker of fetal growth restriction and hypoxaemia?Awarded $49,118Maternal and Infant Conditions
Growing pains: a potential treatment for fetal growth restrictionAwarded $110,000Maternal and Infant Conditions
Reducing brain injury in babiesAwarded $110,000Maternal and Infant Conditions
Risk assessment and targeted care for infants at risk of sudden infant deathAwarded $101,505Maternal and Infant Conditions
Monitoring mortality and risk factors for SUDIAwarded $98,120Maternal and Infant Conditions
Help fund our big research.
Every cent helps, no matter how small.
We are currently supporting over $16 million of child health research projects.Learn more
Preterm Health4 Active projects$861.5K
Childhood Cancers4 Active projects$3.2M
Maternal and Infant Conditions5 Active projects$995.2K
Rheumatic Heart Disease1 Active project$3.2M
Childhood Development and Learning Difficulties8 Active projects$1.6M
Neurological and Neurodevelopmental Disorders2 Active projects$1.1M
Obesity, Growth Disorders & Nutrition5 Active projects$1.4M
Mental Illnesses and Disorders10 Active projects$2.9M
Oral and Dental Disease2 Active projects$151K
Genetic Conditions and Rare Disorders5 Active projects$1.5M
Respiratory Conditions3 Active projects$735.8K
Infectious Disease1 Active project$100K
Gastrointestinal Conditions1 Active project$450K