Maternal fetal medicine for cramping
MEDICINE FOR CRAMPED PERSONS: The mother’s role in fetal medicine has a powerful impact on how a baby is delivered, with a baby’s ability to heal and thrive affected by maternal health, a new study finds.
The study, published Monday in the journal Current Biology, shows that the health and survival of the fetus and mother’s health are significantly affected by the amount of maternal antibodies in a baby.
The researchers, from the University of Sydney, found that mothers with maternal antibodies had higher survival rates and infant survival rates.
The results suggest that maternal antibodies can help babies survive a serious and potentially fatal complication, said the study’s senior author, Michael G. McBride, professor of maternal medicine at the University’s School of Health Sciences and a researcher at the Centre for Neuroendocrinology at Sydney University.
“Maternal antibodies have an important role in preventing maternal illness and in preventing pregnancy complications, but in terms of maternal health outcomes, the effect of maternal immunity is very important,” he said.
“There are many more variables that influence fetal health than maternal antibodies, but maternal antibodies seem to be one of them.”
The researchers found that maternal immune antibodies had a protective effect against fetal heart and respiratory diseases.
But there was little evidence that maternal immunity was protective against the complications of congenital heart defects or the other major causes of fetal death, such as fetal death from head injuries and maternal deaths.
For example, the study found that the protective effect of mothers’ maternal antibodies against congenital congenital defects was largely mediated by maternal antibodies from women with a high-risk pregnancy history.
These women had a higher risk of having their babies born with a birth defect.
“We found that high maternal antibodies were associated with better maternal outcomes in terms the survival of infants, the survival rate of the babies and the survival rates of the mothers,” McBride said.
The effect of the maternal antibodies was also observed in a large, well-controlled population of pregnant women, with mothers from both groups sharing the same maternal antibody levels.
This could help explain why maternal antibodies are linked to better fetal health outcomes than mothers who don’t have antibodies at all.
“It’s interesting that there is an association between maternal antibodies and fetal survival,” McBean said.
This study was funded by the Australian Research Council and the Australian Medical Research Council.
This article first appeared on The Conversation.