Portsmouth mums-to-be wanted for major new child study

Mums-to-be across Portsmouth are being encouraged to help improve the future of the next generation by taking part in a major new study.

Thursday, 13th October 2016, 1:52 pm
Updated Tuesday, 25th October 2016, 7:14 pm
Thoughtful pregnant woman looks out the window home. Holding a hand on the tummy. Mental health and pregnancy.

Mums-to-be across Portsmouth are being given the chance to help improve the futures of the next generation by taking part in a major new study.

The University of Portsmouth birth cohort study is examining which factors help or hinder children’s development.

It is the first study of its kind in the city.

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The findings will be used to shape local health policies and spending, and help ensure the next generation are given the best possible start in life.

The study is open to pregnant women living in postcode areas PO1-PO8.

Researchers are studying babies born at Queen Alexandra Hospital, the city’s maternity unit and those looked after by midwives at home births.

Mums who agree to take part will be asked about their families, including the foods they eat, how many brothers or sisters the new baby will have, and whether the family face any health problems, including allergies, heart disease and depression.

Senior research fellow Dr Suzannah Helps said: ‘This is an exciting study for the city and will give us a huge amount of information about which factors help a baby grow up healthy.

‘The results are likely to have a really positive and important impact on children’s lives.’

Kate Lees, public health consultant leading on early years at Portsmouth City Council, said: ‘We are delighted Portsmouth is the focus of this study.

‘The information collected from studies like this is invaluable for informing policies that address the real needs of local people.

‘We are very much looking forward to working with researchers at the University to find out more about what impacts on children’s health in the city.’

Gill Walton, director of midwifery at Queen Alexandra Hospital, said: ‘We absolutely support research that is going to help us understand the future needs of the population so that we can provide the best support possible for new families.

‘The data collected in the registry could lead to policies and programmes that can improve a number of things, from maternal and child nutrition to antenatal and post natal care.

‘These are all things which matter greatly and are why we would encourage as many local women as possible to take part in this exciting project.’

Mums-to-be interested in finding out more can speak to their midwife on a routine hospital visit, or email [email protected]