Saturday, 9 January 2010

Reducing infant mortality and improving the health of babies

A powerful video on  Reducing infant mortality and improving the health of babies from film maker and writer Debbie Takikawa

Reducing Infant Mortality from Debby Takikawa on Vimeo.

The risk of premature birth is discussed in  Report: 13 million babies worldwide born premature
and 1 million premature babies die each year

"The preterm birth rate in the USA is especially high: 12.7% of all babies are born early, according to the March of Dimes. That rate has increased 36% in the past 25 years, partly because of an increase in elective cesarean section, an increase in older mothers and the growing use of assisted reproduction, which increases the risk of twins, triples and higher-order multiple births, the report says. Most of the increase in the USA is in "late preterm" babies, born at 34 to 36 weeks of pregnancy, the report says."

The Role of Environmental Hazards in Premature Birth is being more closely examined, because, as Jennifer Howse states in her position statement preceding the conference report

" Not long ago, discourse on preterm birth was nearly always centered on the role of the mother. Increasingly, however, environmental hazards are being recognized as contributors to the devastating and costly problem of preterm birth"
The words reportedly attributed to Nicholas Fisk, director of the University of Queensland Centre for Clinical Research in Australia bear close investigation and consideration.

"Instead of focusing on acute preterm labor, researchers might help more women by identifying underlying problems, such as inflammation, that develop early in the pregnancy"

These emerging insights into the role of environmental toxins in premature birth and other disruptions to the whole process are providing a clarion call for the wholehearted support of all childbearing women by community and government structures to reduce stressors so that inflammatory processes are not switched on.

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