Cot death mothers have complication risks in subsequent pregnancies

Cot death mothers have complication risks in subsequent pregnancies

If a woman has had a baby who died from cot death (SIDS) she is much more likely to have complications in subsequent pregnancies. Her next baby is also at five times higher than normal risk of dying from cot death. This is according to a new study carried out at Cambridge University, UK.

You can read about this study in the latest issue of THE LANCET. Professor Gordon Smith and team examined information on 258,000 mothers and their infants. They carefully studied data on women who had lost two consecutive infants to cot death (1985-2001).

This study may partly explain why recurrent cot deaths happen, say the researchers.

(Cot Death = Sudden Infant Death Syndrome or SIDS).

The researchers found that mothers who had lost a baby to cot death were significantly more likely to give birth prematurely. They were also much more likely to have babies with developmental problems.

Babies who die from cot death are more likely to have been born premature. Why this may raise the risk for the baby is not clear. Most likely, say the researchers, other factors also play a role.

The researchers said mothers who are smokers, don't a supporting partner, and are poor, are more likely to have babies who die from SIDS. These factors also contribute to a higher probability of there being complications during pregnancy.

The highest number of cot deaths happen when the baby is three months old.

The possible contributory factors may be listed as follows:

-- Mother smokes during pregnancy

-- Baby sleeps in a smoky environment

-- Poverty

-- Wrong sleeping position (it is better to sleep the baby on his/her back)

-- Poor environment in the womb

-- Premature birth

-- Possible genetic factors

The study was funded by the Foundation for the Study of Infant Deaths (FSID), UK.


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Section Issues On Medicine: Medical practice