Unit News

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Breastfeeding in Public Abstract to be Presented at the 8th Nutrition and Nurture in Infancy and Childhood Conference

NPEU DPhil candidate Deon Simpson will be at the 8th Nutrition 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! 

NPEU Athena SWAN Silver Award renewed!

The National Perinatal Epidemiology Unit is pleased and proud to announce the successful renewal of their Athena SWAN Silver Award. 

Maria Quigley who leads the Athena SWAN team said, “We are delighted to receive our second silver award.  We believe that this is a reflection of many good policies and practices that have been embedded in our Unit for many years, and which have been formalised and enhanced as part of the Athena SWAN process.”

Rachel Rowe who is the Deputy Lead said, “This renewal of our Athena SWAN Silver Award is a testament to the commitment of all our staff to the Athena SWAN principles, ensuring that the NPEU is an inclusive place to work where everyone’s contribution is recognised and valued, and where people are supported to achieve their potential."

Read more about our Athena SWAN activities and about Working in the NPEU.

Unplanned pregnancy and subsequent psychological distress in partnered women

Woman reading positive result on home pregnancy test

In the UK, around 40% of new mothers report that their pregnancy was unplanned. A higher proportion of unplanned pregnancies occur among women in their 20s and 30s than among teenagers, and more often among women who are in a stable, cohabiting or married partnerships. There is limited research exploring the impact of unplanned motherhood on the subsequent wellbeing of partnered women, but new research from NPEU has recently been published in BMC Pregnancy and Childbirth.

The research, which was conducted by Katherine Barton, an MSc Global Health student at the University of Oxford, and NPEU researchers Claire Carson, Maria Quigley and Maggie Redshaw, analysed over 12,000 partnered women whose children are enrolled in the UK Millennium Cohort Study. They found that unplanned motherhood was associated with increased risk of psychological distress at 9 months postpartum, particularly among women who felt unhappy or ambivalent about their pregnancy at the start. They concluded that, while the quality of the partner relationship is an important factor in maternal wellbeing, neither relationship quality nor wider social support explained the observed association. Read the published research in full.

Very preterm children show some catch-up in verbal skills at age 11 despite poorer memory

Children who are born very preterm (before 32 weeks gestation) have an increased risk of cognitive impairment compared with their full term peers. However, it is unclear whether these risks remain as the child gets older.

New research from Alyssa Fitzpatrick and Jennifer Carter and Maria Quigley suggests that by the time the children reach age 11, they still have a higher risk of impaired working memory, but they do not have a higher risk of verbal delay, indicating a possible catch-up effect. The results are based on more than 11,000 children in the Millennium Cohort Study.

Read more about this study in Pediatrics.

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