Could something as simple as a tape measure help to save 600 babies a year?
Experts believe that up to 600 babies could be saved each year with the aid of a measuring tape and a chart. Britain has one of the highest stillbirth rates in the developed world; there are over 3000 pregnancies affected annually. The women affected are delivered early but researchers found this didn’t increase the mortality among the babies born prematurely. The largest risk factor was foetal growth restriction which is the term used for babies who are ‘small for their dates’.
The problem is caused by the placenta being unable to get an adequate supply of nutrients to the baby. Unfortunately this condition often goes unrecognised in pregnancies and increases the risk of stillbirth by eight-fold. The study was conducted by Professor Jason Gardosi and his colleagues from West Midlands Perinatal Institute Birmingham and released in the British Medical Journal.