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Professor Jenny Kurinczuk feted by the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists

Professor Jenny Kurinczuk has been named an Honorary Fellow of the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists at the RCOG's January 2019 Members' Admissions Ceremony. The honorary fellowship was awarded in recognition of her contribution to maternal and perinatal health.

Jenny is Professor of Perinatal Epidemiology and Director of the NPEU since 2011. Her research looks into causes, consequences and surgical treatments for congenital anomalies, and surveillance of near-miss maternal morbidity.

Congratulations to Jenny on this prestigious award!

Increasing trend in breastfeeding initiation hides sociodemographic inequalities between groups of mothers

New research has concluded that changes in the sociodemographic characteristics of women who become mothers in Great Britain (GB), and not improvement in breastfeeding practices, may be responsible for the increasing trend in breastfeeding initiation in GB since the 1980s. This is one of few studies globally to examine the relationship between increasing breastfeeding trends and sociodemographic changes in the population that may have resulted from decades of social and health policy reforms. The study used data from the 1985, 1990, 1995, 2000, 2005 and 2010 UK Infant Feeding Surveys, which included population-based samples of 7,000-12,000 women.

The findings showed that while the proportion of mothers who initiated breastfeeding increased from  64% in 1985 to 81% in 2010, there was also a considerable increase in the proportion of first-time mothers who were 30 or older, had higher education and higher-skilled occupations, were cohabiting with a partner, were of BME origin, and did not smoke in pregnancy. In each survey year, these same groups of mothers were significantly more likely to initiate breastfeeding than mothers who were younger, had lower education and lower-skilled occupations, were single, were of white ethnicity, and smoked during pregnancy. The findings suggest that more targeted interventions are necessary to support these latter groups of mothers with unmet needs. The study was conducted by Deon Simpson, and NPEU researchers Maria Quigley, Jenny Kurinczuk and Claire Carson, and can be read in full in PLoS ONE

40 years of the NPEU – Full Version

Following on from the recent 40th Anniversary trailer, used during the celebration day, please see the complete podcast, containing the full interviews of our past and present directors.

NPEU 40th Celebration Podcast

Direct link to MP4


New Priority Setting Partnership in Diabetes and Pregnancy Research

We are proud to announce on World Diabetes Day the support of the Diabetes Research & Wellness Foundation (DRWF) and the Nuffield Department of Population Health, University of Oxford, funding awards to identify the priorities for research in diabetes and pregnancy. A new James Lind Alliance Priority Setting Partnership (JLA PSP) has been established by Dr Goher Ayman and Professor Marian Knight, in collaboration with Diabetes UK, the JDRF, clinical specialists, and people who have lived experience of diabetes and pregnancy. This work will help direct research towards areas where little is known, and there is great need, in the care of women and their families whose lives are impacted by diabetes and pregnancy. (DRWF award ref: SCA/PP/12/19)

This initiative is the direct result of the involvement of our Diabetes in Pregnancy PPI group of women with lived experience of diabetes in pregnancy. Their support has already helped to secure funding for another project to understand why women may experience the life-threatnening condition of diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA) in pregnancy. This important project, led by Professor Marian Knight uses the UK Obstetric Surveillance System (UKOSS) and confidential case enquiry, and is funded by an NIHR Research for Patient Benefit grant (NIHR RfPB ref: PB-PG-0817-20004).

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