Participants needed for new pregnancy study

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Tuesday, 9 September 2008

Researchers at the University of Adelaide and the Women's and Children's Hospital have launched a new study that aims to test the benefits of providing overweight women with help to limit weight gain during pregnancy.

The study, which will include more than 2500 pregnant women, will involve the women being provided with a package of dietary and lifestyle support and advice throughout their pregnancy.

The study will enrol women having pregnancy care at the Women's and Children's Hospital, Lyell McEwin Hospital, the Queen Elizabeth Hospital, and Flinders Medical Centre.

"Obesity is a significant health issue for women during pregnancy and childbirth and there are many associated health risks for both mother and baby," Dr Jodie Dodd, Maternal Fetal Medicine Specialist at the Women's and Children's Hospital, said.

"These include pre-eclampsia, gestational diabetes, the need for the induction of labour, caesarean section and even perinatal death.

"Infants of mothers who are overweight are more likely to be of higher birth weight, require admission to the neonatal intensive care unit, be born preterm, be identified with a congenital anomaly, and to require treatment for jaundice or low blood sugar.

"The costs of this are significant, in terms of both the emotional stress on women and the health of their babies."

Dr Dodd said that while there was significant research into the potential complications associated with obesity during pregnancy and childbirth, there was limited information about the effectiveness of intervention measures.

"If our dietary and lifestyle intervention is shown to be an effective way of reducing the risk of adverse maternal and infant health outcomes, this would be a highly beneficial, cost effective and worthwhile treatment, to reduce the burden of a major cause of maternal, infant and childhood morbidity related to obesity."

Dr Dodd said she hoped that the study could continue to follow the health and progress of the children born, to evaluate any impact on the development of childhood obesity.

The four-year study has been funded by the Australian National Health and Medical Research Council.

Dr Jodie Dodd is also a Senior Lecturer in Obstetrics & Gynaecology at the University of Adelaide and a Neil Hamilton Fairley Clinical Fellow.

To find out more about the study or enrol, call (08) 8161 7657 or email:


Contact Details

Professor Jodie Dodd
Maternal Fetal Medicine Specialist, Robinson Research Institute
School of Paediatrics and Reproductive Health
The University of Adelaide, and Women's & Children's Hospital
Business: +61 8 8161 7619

Charmaine Newton
Communications Consultant
Children, Youth and Women's Health Service
Business: +61 8 8161 7388

Mr David Ellis
Deputy Director, Media and Corporate Relations
External Relations
The University of Adelaide
Business: +61 8 8313 5414
Mobile: +61 (0)421 612 762