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Low birth weights increase

27th March 2007

Britain has the ‘worst rate of low birth weight than every country in western Europe, except Greece’ says an expert.

Premature Baby

According to Louise Bamfield, who carried out a report into UK birth weights for the Fabian Society, 24,000 babies a year would have enhanced life chances if Britain improved its maternity and obstetric services which Ms Bamfield currently describes as a "scar on the national conscience". Her report calls for a fairer distribution of services to all women and better financial support for those at risk of delivering a tiny baby.

The report found that 78 out of every 1,000 babies born last year weighed less than 5lb 8oz (2.5kg) which represented over 50,000 infants. 18 years ago only 67 babies in every 1,000 were deemed to have a dangerously low birth weight. Older women and teenagers are more likely to have a low birth weight baby as are women of Indian, Pakistani and Bangladeshi origin says the report. A low-birth weight can lead to a variety of problems; disability, diabetes, heart disease, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) and depression have all been linked to a dangerously low birth weight which can, in some instances, lead to death.

The report concludes that more work is needed to cut teenage pregnancy rates as well as offering better support to women who feel they need to delay having children due to fears over financial insecurity. Constitutional Affairs minister Harriet Harman responded to the report by saying the government needed to make bolder policies to build a fairer society. "The Fabian Society's evidence on inequalities at birth must be studied carefully by government and the Labour party," she said.

 

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charles linskaill

Tuesday 3rd April 2007 @ 1:08

The point here seems to be no-one cares about "HavingaBaby" these days!
Fertility issues would tell you all this and Speaks Volumes!
Society has grown "cold" to new life! its a case of "dont cry wolf" when things go wrong!
Anyone wanting to have a baby and those that are pregnant should get all the help in this world! Not only from Government but by all of us but its not to be!
Greed and the "I want a housing develoment" gets priority!
Thats ok but when you're dead all the money in the world won't count. "NEW LIFE WILL" so start making all women wanting or having a baby "TOP PRIORITY". Do you think that the "low birth weights" aren't a warning! The increasing Fertility problems need to be addressed!

Edward Hutchinson

Wednesday 11th April 2007 @ 16:36

This Assessment of dietary vitamin D requirements during pregnancy http://www.ajcn.org/cgi/content/full/79/5/717 shows the current level of UK supplementation offered isn't adequate given the level of low UK Vitamin D status identified in this recent research http://www.ajcn.org/cgi/content/abstract/85/3/860
If we fortified milk with Cholecalciferol Vit D3 it would be a start, but we also need to raise the Vit D3 RDA to a level that matches our daily usage, see Heaney http://www.ajcn.org/cgi/content/full/77/1/204 and raise the Toxic Uppper Limit to that set out in this Risk Assessment for Vitamin D3.
http://www.ajcn.org/cgi/content/full/85/1/6


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