NSLHD News December 18

Every week counts in the lead up to birth The Kolling Institute’s Women and Babies Research team is calling for a reduction in the number of early births, with the latest research highlighting the benefits of

dignity campaign success Northern Sydney Local Health District is celebrating another successful Christmas with Dignity campaign this holiday season. All items donated by staff have helped homelessness and crisis support charity Dignity put together hundreds of Christmas hampers for some of the most vulnerable people in the community. Collectively NSLHD was able to donate two full vans worth of items comprising of non-perishable food, women’s, men’s and children’s clothing, various toys and presents. The hampers will be donated to people in the community experiencing homelessness during the festive season. Dignity Volunteer and Donations Coordinator Sherin Fishwick said: “There was absolutely no way Dignity would have been able to pull off their Christmas with Dignity campaign this year if it “For every week that a baby is born earlier than 39 weeks, there is a small but significant increase in the risk of the child performing less well in school assessments. “Our research indicates that for every week a baby can remain safely inside birthing as close to 40 weeks as possible. Twenty years ago, the majority of women gave birth at 40 weeks. Today it’s between 38 and 39 weeks and continuing to get earlier. This trend is due to the growing number of planned early births at 36, 37 and 38 weeks, either by induction of labour or by planned caesarean section prior to the onset of labour. Women and Babies Research Director Professor Jonathan Morris said we now have increasing evidence around the benefits to babies when they’re born as close to 40 weeks as possible. “There’s very important development in the last few weeks of pregnancy,” he said. “A baby’s brain for instance increases in weight by 50 per cent in the last four-to- five weeks of pregnancy.

their mother’s womb, their short and long-term health and developmental outcomes improve.” Jonathan acknowledges the circumstances around each birth need to be considered. “Any benefits of prolonging pregnancy need balancing against the small risk of stillbirth which increases with gestational age from two per 10,000 ongoing pregnancies at 35 weeks of gestation up to seven per 10,000 ongoing pregnancies at 40 weeks of gestation. “With new research data now available, we would like to see women offered information around the risk of stillbirth. “It’s important for women and their healthcare providers to be able to make informed decisions based on the latest evidenced-based data and research.” Find out more information here: www. everyweekcounts.com.au

(Left to right) Graduate Trainees Tilly Meehan, Marissa Fuller and Kenzie Rice with the van full of donations

wasn’t for the generosity of the staff in NSLHD. Thank you from the bottom of our hearts.” A huge thank you to all who donated this year – NSLHD Executive Unit, Royal North Shore Hospital, Mona Vale Hospital, Mona Vale Community Health Centre, Brookvale Community Health Centre, Hornsby Hospital and Ryde Hospital.



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