The London Maternity Clinical Network, NHS England and the Stillbirth and Neonatal death charity (SANDS) has published Gathering feedback from families following the death of their baby: A resource to support professionals in maternity care. Many parents who have experienced bereavement want to offer feedback to ensure lessons are learned and good practice is shared. The Maternity Bereavement Experience Measure questionnaire and supporting resource is designed to seek feedback from bereaved parents where a baby or babies have died during pregnancy or shortly after birth. It should also enable commissioners and providers to collect and understand women’s insight from all communities, cultures and ethnic groups to help explore where local improvements may be needed
The objective of this study was to investigate whether advanced maternal age is associated with preterm birth, irrespective of parity.
The study concluded that advanced maternal age is associated with an increased risk of preterm birth, irrespective of parity, especially very preterm birth. Women aged 35 years and older, expecting their first, second, or third births, should be regarded as a risk group for very preterm birth.
Waldenström U, Cnattingius S, Vixner L, Norman M. Advanced maternal age increases the risk of very preterm birth, irrespective of parity: a population-based register study. BJOG 2017; 124:1235–1244.
Researchers aimed to predict the impact of advising pregnant women to use calcium supplements (1,000 mg/day) on the number of cases of pre-eclampsia prevented and related health care costs. By use of a decision-analytic model, we assessed the expected impact of advising calcium supplementation to either (1) all pregnant women, (2) women at high risk of developing pre-eclampsia, or (3) women with a low dietary calcium intake compared with current care.
The study concluded that advising pregnant women to use calcium supplements can be expected to cause substantial reductions in the incidence of pre-eclampsia as well as related health care costs. It appears most efficient to advise calcium supplementation to all pregnant women, not subgroups only.
Linda J. E. Meertens, Hubertina C. J. Scheepers, Jessica P. M. M. Willemse et al. Should women be advised to use calcium supplements during pregnancy? A decision analysis. Maternal & Child Nutrition 18 JUN 2017 DOI: 10.1111/mcn.12479
This update gives the number and proportion of infants who have been fully, partially or not at all breastfed at 6 to 8 weeks after birth. Public Health England collected the data through an interim reporting system set up to collect health visiting activity data at a local authority resident level. Data was submitted by local authorities on a voluntary basis. Information is presented at local authority of residence, PHE Centre and England level.
MBRRACE-UK has published Perinatal mortality surveillance report: UK perinatal deaths for births from January to December 2015. The report examines rates of stillbirth and neonatal death across the UK for babies born at 24 weeks of gestation or more. It found that in 2015 the stillbirth rate was 3.87 per 1,000 total births, a fall from 4.20 per 1,000 total births in 2013. However this is still high compared to many similar European countries and there remains significant variation across the UK.
“Those Trusts and Health Boards identified with high rates of stillbirth or neonatal death rates should review the quality of the care they provide. Work commissioned by the Healthcare Quality Improvement Partnership is underway to develop a standardised perinatal mortality review tool to support and improve the quality of review of all stillbirths and neonatal deaths within all Trusts and Health Boards in the future”
Dr Brad Manktelow, associate professor at the University of Leicester, who led the statistical analysis
The National Childbirth Trust (NCT) has published The hidden half: bringing postnatal mental illness out of hiding. The Hidden Half campaign surveyed 1,000 women who had recently had a baby and found that half had a mental health or emotional problem postnatally or during pregnancy. Of these, nearly half hadn’t had their problem identified by a health professional and hadn’t received any help or treatment. Many of these new mothers said they were too embarrassed or afraid of judgement to seek help.
The Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists has published Each Baby Counts: 2015 Summary Report. This report provides a detailed analysis of all stillbirths, neonatal deaths and brain injuries that occurred during childbirth in 2015 and identifies the key clinical actions needed to improve the quality of care and prevent future cases. These clinical actions include: improving fetal monitoring; enhancing neonatal care; and reducing human factors by understanding ‘situational awareness’ to ensure the safe management of complex clinical decisions.
Click to read the report here Read the RCOG press release here
RCM press release here