Post-term babies have problems too

baby belly

Lots of press and research focuses on premature babies, their survival rates and the condition of their lives based on developmental challenges. New study takes a look at post term babies, babies born after 42 weeks of gestation and researchers suggest their outcome may be just as challenging. They are more likely to have behavioral and emotional problems and more likely to be diagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).

“Post-term children have a considerably higher risk of clinically relevant problem behavior and are more than twice as likely as term born children to have clinical ADHD. Further research is needed in order to determine the causes of post-term birth and to minimize the long-term consequences. It is also important that further research is carried out in order to demonstrate a causal relation between post-term birth and behavioral problems and longer follow ups would also be advantageous,” said lead author Hanan El Marroun.

For children who are born after 42 weeks of pregnancy, they were almost 50% more likely to experience behavioral and emotional problems in early childhood and to have ADHD.

The study looked at 5,145 babies born in the Netherlands. They enrolled mothers expecting to give birth between April 2002 and January 2006. They measured gestational age by ultrasound. At the time of delivery for the babies, 4% were born pre-term and 7% were born post-term.

Researchers warned that while the study eliminated many variables which may contribute to the long term results, they could not eliminate all. There are several factors which could explain the results including risk of perinatal problems known to be associated with larger babies.

Source: MedicalNewsToday, International Journal of Epidemiology


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