In an editorial published this week, Marian Knight and Charlie Foster highlight new evidence which provides reassuring information about the safety of physical activity in pregnancy. The evidence suggests that diet and physical activity interventions can help control weight gain.
The UK Chief Medical Officers have recently issued new guidance on physical activity in pregnancy, which has been developed by a collaborative group involving researchers and the design team at the NPEU. The new advice was constructed by the CMO Expert Committee for Physical Activity and Pregnancy, which included midwives, obstetricians, exercise physiologists, GPs, public health consultants, sports medicine experts, exercise professionals, nursing and research scientists. The aim was to produce evidence-based messaging for health professionals to use with the public. The infographic was developed and tested with panels of health professionals and pregnant women before consultation with more than 250 UK-based doctors and midwives.
The infographic, supported by an online FAQ document, highlights that physical activity helps to reduce hypertensive disorders, improve cardiorespiratory fitness, lower gestational weight gain and reduce the risk of gestational diabetes. It recommends 150 minutes of moderate intensity activity each week.
NPEU researchers Charles Opondo, Maggie Redshaw and Maria Quigley have published their findings on a study exploring the association between father involvement in child upbringing and symptoms of depression in the pre-adolescent years.
The study, which looked at data from about 7,500 children in the Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children (ALSPAC), found that emotionally reponsive parenting by fathers was associated with fewer symptoms of depression in their pre-teenage children. It follows from a previous study by the same researchers which found a positive effect of parenting by fathers on behavioural outcomes in their children.
The study was funded by the Department for Health through the Policy Research Programme.
The report shows that the stillbirth rate in the UK has reduced by almost 8% over the period 2013 to 2015. The Government ambition is to halve the rates of stillbirth and neonatal death in England by 2030. These findings indicate that things are moving in the right direction.
Following on from the Listening to Parents study of parental experience of care before, during and after a stillbirth or neonatal death, Maggie Redshaw and Jane Henderson have analysed the data relating to offer and uptake of post-mortem following a stillbirth.
Not all women and their partners were offered a post-mortem, with Black women being significantly less likely to be offered this. Of those who were offered it, the majority of women felt sufficiently informed to make a decision. A third of couples had to wait longer than 12 weeks for the post-mortem results and parents’ anguish about this was the most common theme in the free text comments.
Read about this study, which has been published in PLOS One.
A team of staff and students from NPEU will be participating in the Oxfordshire Science Festival on Saturday 17 June 2017, from 12-5pm. The team will showcase our exhibit, The Wonders of Early Human Life, which focuses on the Unit’s exciting research into the challenges surrounding pregnancy, childbirth and infant feeding. Through a series of fun games and engaging discussions, you will learn how we use research to minimise problems during pregnancy, explore the intricacies of breastfeeding and design clinical trials. If you attend the festival, do stop by our exhibit for some interactive, hands-on learning and loads of fun!
NPEU Senior Researcher, and Head of UKMidSS, Rachel Rowe will be at the 31stICM Triennial Congress in Toronto, Canada from 18-22 June 2017. Rachel will be giving a presentation entitled: Severely obese women admitted to midwifery Units in the UK- the first UK midwifery Study System (UKMidSS) study, a national collaboration between midwives and researchers. Work on birth place settings, which involved Kirstie Coxon, Alison Chisholm and NPEU researchers Reem Malouf, Rachel Rowe and Jennifer Hollowell, will also be shared in a presentation entitled: Birth place preferences, choices and decision-making: A qualitative evidence synthesis using a ‘best fit’ framework approach. If you attend the conference, come and say hello!
NPEU DPhil candidate Deon Simpson will be at the 8thNutrition and Nurture in Infancy and Childhood Conference in Grange-over-Sands from 12-14 June 2017. On day one of the conference, Deon will present findings from her DPhil research on breastfeeding in public in Great Britain, based on analysis of data from the Infant Feeding Survey. If you attend the conference, come and say hello!