Your browser is no longer supported

For the best possible experience using our website we recommend you upgrade to a newer version or another browser.

Your browser appears to have cookies disabled. For the best experience of this website, please enable cookies in your browser

We'll assume we have your consent to use cookies, for example so you won't need to log in each time you visit our site.
Learn more

Five actions could 'cut preterm birth rates by 5%'

  • Comment

New research has suggested that the implementation of five different measures could help to prevent as many as 58,000 premature births per year in countries like the UK.

Preterm birth, before the 37th week of pregnancy, is one of the main causes of death among newborn babies and experts have indicated that a combination of five specific strategies could cut preterm birth rates by 5% on average in 39 high-income countries.

The research was conducted by an international team, including members from charity Save the Children, the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the World Health Organization.

The recommendations include helping women to quit smoking, giving supplements of the hormone progesterone to women with high-risk pregnancies and cutting down on multiple embryo transfers during In-Vitro Fertilisation procedures.

Experts also advocate the elimination of early caesarean deliveries and inductions of labour unless it is totally medically necessary, while they say a stitching procedure to close the womb entrance and stop it opening too early (cervical cerclage) should be used on high-risk women.

Children born early can have breathing problems, anaemia, mental impairment and be susceptible to infection but the advice, which is published in The Lancet, suggests that 58,000 babies could be prevented from being born too early every year by 2015.

  • Comment

Have your say

You must sign in to make a comment

Please remember that the submission of any material is governed by our Terms and Conditions and by submitting material you confirm your agreement to these Terms and Conditions. Links may be included in your comments but HTML is not permitted.

Related Jobs