Scans could aid delivery decisions

April 16, 2012

Scientists are using MRI scans to see if they can determine when best to deliver babies that are not growing as fast as they should in the womb.

The University study aims to see if changes to the placenta can indicate when babies that are not growing as fast as they should need to be delivered.

These babies should be delivered to improve their .

If a decision is made to wait so that these babies can have more time to develop in the there is a greater risk of still birth.

But if these babies are delivered too soon there is a risk that they may have not grown in the womb enough to survive after they are born.

Currently, seventeen babies are stillborn or die soon after birth each day in the UK.

The study is trying to find markers to indicate when the placenta - a baby's life support system in the womb - is failing to work.

This would then guide doctors as to when best to deliver the baby.

The study involves using a technique called .

This technique can identify proteins expressed by the that could indicate whether it is working properly or not.

"If we find that the baby is small we either watch and wait or we deliver the baby. If we watch and wait too long, the baby can die before it is born. If we deliver the baby too early, not only is it small, but it has the additional complications of prematurity. If we have a woman with a baby who is small we don't have any treatment at the moment, short of delivering the baby. Delivering the baby at the right time is very important, said Dr. Fiona Denison, Senior lecturer in maternal and fetal medicine.

The study, which has received funding from the charities Action Medical Research and Tommy's will involve 50 women recruited over a 30-month period.

Explore further: Study finds prior preterm delivery indicates subsequent baby will be small even if carried to term

Related Stories

Study finds prior preterm delivery indicates subsequent baby will be small even if carried to term

February 9, 2012
In a study to be presented today at the Society for Maternal-Fetal Medicine's annual meeting, The Pregnancy Meeting, in Dallas, Texas, researchers will report findings that indicate that women who deliver their first baby ...

New research shows C-section not always best for babies

February 9, 2012
The widely-held assumption that a cesarean delivery has no health risks for the baby is being challenged today by new research that found the procedure did not help some preterm babies who were small for gestational age, ...

Baby A or Baby B? Packard Children's policy tracks twins’ identities from womb to birth

April 11, 2011
(PhysOrg.com) -- The trouble sounds drawn from a Shakespearean plot: Twins’ identities get mixed up; confusion ensues.

Recommended for you

Women exposed to smoke while in womb more likely to miscarry

July 13, 2017
Women exposed to cigarette smoke while in their mothers' wombs are more likely to experience miscarriage as adults, according to new research from the University of Aberdeen.

Lack of a hormone in pregnant mice linked to preeclampsia

June 30, 2017
(Medical Xpress)—A team of researchers from Singapore, the Netherlands and Turkey has isolated a hormone in pregnant mice that appears to be associated with preeclampsia—a pregnancy-related condition characterized by ...

Aspirin reduces risk of pre-eclampsia in pregnant women

June 28, 2017
Taking a low-dose aspirin before bed can reduce the risk of pre-eclampsia, which can cause premature birth and, in extreme cases, maternal and foetal death.

The biology of uterine fluid: How it informs the fetus of mom's world

June 22, 2017
A developing fetus bathes in a mixture of cellular secretions and proteins unique to its mother's uterus. Before fertilization, the pH of uterine fluid helps create a conducive environment for sperm migration, and afterward, ...

New clues in puzzle over pre-eclampsia and cholesterol regulation

June 21, 2017
Scientists studying a mystery link between the dangerous pregnancy complication pre-eclampsia and an increased risk of heart disease in later life for both mother and child have uncovered important new clues.

Are maternal hormones different when carrying a boy or a girl?

June 15, 2017
With advances in prenatal testing it's now possible to find out whether a pregnancy will result in a male or female baby as early as eight weeks' gestation.

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.