Research into pregnancy complications is vital, says health charity

In advance of Baby Loss Awareness Day, marked this Friday, 15th October, the children’s health charity Action Medical Research is highlighting the importance of research into pregnancy complications and finding the best ways to care for sick and vulnerable babies.

Grants exceeding £800,000 have already been awarded to top researchers investigating ways to tackle premature births and vulnerable babies.

Major successes so far include:

  • helping introduce ultrasound scanning in pregnancy
  • discovering the importance of taking folic acid before and during pregnancy to prevent spina bifida
  • developing an infra-red scanner to help minimise the risk of brain damage in babies
  • developing a state-of-the-art fetal heart rate monitor to make pregnancy safer for babies at risk
  • showing that cooling babies can minimise brain damage in some newborn babies deprived of oxygen at birth, reducing the risk of death and severe disability.

In August we reported on the use of high-tech surveillance techniques in the prevention of stillbirth cases.

Yolande Harley, Deputy Director of Research, said: “Action Medical Research has a proud history of funding research that has benefited thousands of babies and their families. We are also funding ongoing projects which highlight our determination to tackle premature birth, including research which hopes to ultimately lead to developing treatments that will enable doctors to prevent or stop early birth.”