Complications in previous pregnancies may affect health of next baby

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Washington, June 29 (ANI): Dutch researchers say that complications early in pregnancy or in previous pregnancies can help predict further risk in current or subsequent pregnancies.

Dr Robbert van Oppenraaij, a medical doctor and PhD student in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology at Erasmus MC University Medical Centre (Rotterdam, The Netherlands), believes that the new findings may help predict more easily which women might need greater care and supervision during pregnancy.

"There were several interesting findings," said the researcher.

"To name two: firstly, we found that after any first trimester complication or event, the risk of preterm or very preterm delivery is increased in the subsequent or ongoing pregnancy.

"Secondly, we found that increased risks of adverse obstetric outcome are, in all cases, related to the severity or recurrence, or both, of the first trimester complication or event," he added.

The researchers have found that a history of one or more miscarriages nearly doubles the risk in an ongoing pregnancy of preterm premature rupture of the membrane that surrounds the baby in the womb.

It also increases the risk of premature or very premature delivery (earlier than 37 or 34 weeks respectively).

If a previous pregnancy had to be terminated for any reason, that may increase the risk of premature rupture of the membrane, premature and very premature delivery in subsequent pregnancies.

"While it is true that most conditions are difficult to prevent, with improved monitoring in high risk pregnancies it is possible to reduce perinatal or postnatal foetal complications," Dr van Oppenraaij added.

For example, in pregnancies with increased risk of preterm or very preterm delivery or intrauterine growth restriction, extra ultrasonic measurement of the cervical length and foetal growth can provide a better prediction of pregnancies at risk and better therapeutic care can be given, such as bed rest, corticosteroids and monitoring of the baby's heart beat.

"Events and complications in early pregnancy are amongst the most common complications in women during their pregnancy and can be extremely distressing for them," van Oppenraaij added.

The findings were presented at 25th annual meeting of the European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology in Amsterdam. (ANI)

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