• What is the value of ultrasound soft tissue measurements in the prediction of abnormal fetal growth?

      Farah, N; Stuart, B; Donnelly, V; Rafferty, G; Turner, M; UCD School of Medicine and Medical Science, Coombe Women and Infants University, Hospital, Dublin 8, Ireland. nadine.farah@ucd.ie (2012-02-01)
      Abnormal fetal growth increases the complications of pregnancy not only for the baby but also for the mother. Growth abnormalities also have lifelong consequences. These babies are at increased risk of insulin resistance, diabetes and hypertension later in life. It is important to identify these babies antenatally to optimise their clinical care. Although used extensively antenatally to monitor fetal growth, ultrasound has its limitations. Despite the use of more than 50 different formulae to estimate fetal weight, their performance has been poor at the extremes of fetal weight. Over the past 20 years there has been emerging interest in studying fetal soft tissue measurements to improve detection of growth abnormalities. This review paper outlines the value of soft tissue measurements in identifying fetal growth abnormalities, in estimating fetal weight and in managing diabetes mellitus in pregnancy.
    • What models of maternity care do pregnant women in Ireland want?

      Byrne, C; Kennedy, C; O'Dwyer, V; Farah, N; Kennelly, M; Turner, M J; UCD Centre for Human Reproduction, Coombe Women and Infants University Hospital, , Cork St, Dublin 8 (2012-02-01)
      The introduction of new models of care in the Irish maternity services has been recommended by both advocacy groups and strategic reports. Yet there is a dearth of information about what models of care pregnant women want. We surveyed women in early pregnancy who were attending a large Dublin maternity hospital. Demographic and clinical details were recorded from the hospital chart. Of the 501 women, 351 (70%) (352 (70.3%) of women wanted shared antenatal care between their family doctor and either a hospital doctor or midwife. 228 (45.5%) preferred to have their baby delivered in a doctor-led unit, while 215 (42.9%) preferred a midwifery-led unit. Of those 215 (42.9%), 118 (55%) met criteria for suitability. There was minimal demand (1.6%) for home births. Choice was influenced by whether the woman was attending for private care or not. Safety is the most important factor for women when choosing the type of maternity care they want. Pregnant women want a wide range of choices when it comes to models of maternity care. Their choice is strongly influenced by safety considerations, and will be determined in part by risk assessment.
    • What models of maternity care do pregnant women in Ireland want?

      Byrne, C; Kennedy, Cormac; O'Dwyer, V (Irish Medical Journal, 2011-06)
    • WITHDRAWN: Active versus expectant management in the third stage of labour.

      Prendiville, Walter J P; Elbourne, Diana; McDonald, Susan J; Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Coombe Lying-In Hospital, Dolphin's, Barn, Dublin 8, Ireland. (2012-02-01)
      BACKGROUND: Expectant management of the third stage of labour involves allowing the placenta to deliver spontaneously or aiding by gravity or nipple stimulation. Active management involves administration of a prophylactic oxytocic before delivery of the placenta, and usually early cord clamping and cutting, and controlled cord traction of the umbilical cord. OBJECTIVES: The objective of this review was to assess the effects of active versus expectant management on blood loss, post partum haemorrhage and other maternal and perinatal complications of the third stage of labour. SEARCH STRATEGY: We searched the Cochrane Pregnancy and Childbirth Group trials register. SELECTION CRITERIA: Randomised trials comparing active and expectant management of the third stage of labour in women who were expecting a vaginal delivery. DATA COLLECTION AND ANALYSIS: Trial quality was assessed and data were extracted independently by the reviewers. MAIN RESULTS: Five studies were included. Four of the trials were of good quality. Compared to expectant management, active management (in the setting of a maternity hospital) was associated with the following reduced risks: maternal blood loss (weighted mean difference -79.33 millilitres, 95% confidence interval -94.29 to -64.37); post partum haemorrhage of more than 500 millilitres (relative risk 0.38, 95% confidence interval 0.32 to 0.46); prolonged third stage of labour (weighted mean difference -9.77 minutes, 95% confidence interval -10.00 to -9.53). Active management was associated with an increased risk of maternal nausea (relative risk 1.83, 95% confidence interval 1.51 to 2.23), vomiting and raised blood pressure (probably due to the use of ergometrine). No advantages or disadvantages were apparent for the baby. AUTHORS' CONCLUSIONS: Routine 'active management' is superior to 'expectant management' in terms of blood loss, post partum haemorrhage and other serious complications of the third stage of labour. Active management is, however, associated with an increased risk of unpleasant side effects (eg nausea and vomiting), and hypertension, where ergometrine is used. Active management should be the routine management of choice for women expecting to deliver a baby by vaginal delivery in a maternity hospital. The implications are less clear for other settings including domiciliary practice (in developing and industrialised countries).