New research comparing fresh and frozen embryo transfer by Shi, Y. et. al. (2018) has found that live birth rates are equivalent between the two types of embryo transfer but that frozen embryo transfer significantly lowers the risk of ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome (OHSS).
In this multi-centre randomised controlled trial, 2157 who were undergoing their first IVF were randomly allocated to receive either fresh or frozen embryo transfer. The live birth rate did not differ significantly between the two groups. However, frozen embryo transfer resulted in significantly lower risk of OHSS than fresh embryo transfer (0.6% vs 2.0% relative risk). The risk of other adverse maternal and neonatal outcomes did not differ significantly between the 2 groups.
For more details you can read the full article in The New England Journal of Medicine.
A study by Julie Hennegan, Jane Henderson and Maggie Redshaw shows increased risk of depression and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)-type symptoms in fathers who held their stillborn babies.
In this study, women were asked at nine months whether their partner had seen and held their stillborn baby after birth, and about their partners' subsequent wellbeing. Almost all fathers, 92%, saw their baby, and 82% held them.
At three months, partners who had held their stillborn babies had more than two-and-a-half times the risk of depression, and nearly twice the risk of PTSD-type symptoms compared to those who had not held their stillborn babies, even when comparing partners of similar characteristics. There was weaker evidence at nine months of a difference in outcomes between fathers who had held their stillborn baby and ones that had not, although a trend towards poorer outcomes remained.
You can read the study in the Journal of Reproductive and Infant Psychology.
Current guidelines support offering ‘low risk’ women a choice of birth setting, including a midwifery unit, at home, or in a hospital labour ward or obstetric unit. But how do women choose between these options and what information do they receive and need in order to make a choice?
Women in our study drew on multiple sources of information when choosing where to give birth; their midwife was not their primary source of information. Women wanted to be able to know what their options were early in pregnancy and to be able to consider, explore and discuss these with their midwife throughout their pregnancy, not at a fixed point in time.
You can read the paper which is published in BMC Pregnancy and Childbirth.
The BUMPES trial has been featured on the MoreTrials website in the ‘Trials that matter’ series. BUMPES was led at the NPEU by Ed Juszczak, Pollyanna Hardy and Oliver Rivero-Arias as part of a multicentre collaborative group. Women who had received an epidural anaesthetic were randomised to either an upright or lying down position in the second stage of labour. The primary outcome of the trial was spontaneous vaginal birth.
Women in the lying down group had significantly better chance of spontaneous vaginal birth, and no disadvantages were apparent on the short or longer term for both mother and baby.
We are delighted to announce that we received two awards at the University of Oxford’s 4th Annual Apprenticeship Awards and Graduation Ceremony. Our very own Katherine Whitcher, Apprentice Software Developer and Tester, took home the Best Poster award for a poster submission illustrating her personal apprenticeship journey in NPEU. Sarah Chamberlain and Andy Kirk both won the Apprenticeship Manager Award. Sarah is NPEU’s Graphic and Multimedia Designer and Andy is the manager for NPEU’s designs, publications and website.
This year’s award ceremony was held on the 7th of December at the Sheldonian Theatre. It brought together apprentices and their family members, among others, to celebrate the continuing successful work of the University’s apprenticeship programme. Further information about the ceremony is available on the University of Oxford website.
The fourth annual Saving Lives, Improving Mothers’ Care report issued by the MBRRACE-UK collaboration is published today 7th December 2017: You can read it on the MBRRACE-UK reports page.
In this, the latest Confidential Enquiry into Maternal Deaths and Morbidity, the MBRRACE-UK collaboration report on the care of 124 women who died during or after pregnancy in the UK and Ireland between 2013 and 2015, and 46 women who had severe illness in this period. In particular the care for women with severe epilepsy and women who had severe mental illness was examined, as well as the care for women who died.
A key finding was that forward planning of care and optimising medication doses for women with physical and mental health problems could make a major difference to women’s risk of complications during and after pregnancy. In particular pregnant women and those who are planning pregnancy who are on medication should not discontinue their treatment without consulting a specialist.