Pregnancy And Perinatal Care

Pregnancy And Perinatal Care

The Pregnancy and Perinatal Care team is developing and implementing strategies to improve outcomes for pregnant women, young babies and families with an emphasis on addressing inequity.

The team has a strong translational focus which is reflected in its commitment to evidence synthesis and the conduct of systematic and guideline development for pregnancy and the perinatal period.

The program includes leadership of the ongoing development of the National Pregnancy Guidelines and the Australian and New Zealand satellite of the Pregnancy and Childbirth Group of the Cochrane Collaboration. Implementation of effective strategies is a high priority as seen in the team’s work around prevention of stillbirth and preterm birth, including with omega-3 supplementation.

Members of the Pregnancy and Perinatal Care Program, led by Associate Professor Alice Rumbold, are working with Lifeblood Milk – an initiative of The Australian Red Cross which launched South Australia’s first milk bank in September 2018. The team is investigating the benefits of donor human milk for preterm infants. The milk bank was established in partnership with the Women's and Children’s Hospital and Flinders Medical Centre in response to demand for pasteurized donated breast milk.

The team’s randomised controlled trial – The GIFT trial - seeks to discover whether giving donor milk instead of formula, when there is not enough mother’s own milk available, reduces the time it takes for babies to reach full milk feeds, reduces episodes of feed intolerance and helps the transition to being fed at the breast. The trial will also measure if donor milk affects the number of days babies stay in hospital and their overall growth.

Through lead investigator Associate Professor Philippa Middleton, the Pregnancy and Perinatal Care program is playing a key role in the Stillbirth Centre of Research Excellence (CRE). The CRE will continue for a further five years to build on the achievements of the first Stillbirth CRE, rapidly translating new research into maternity care with the aim of reducing stillbirth rates by 20% in Australia by 2025. SAHMRI is the SA node in the national collaboration.

The Pregnancy and Perinatal Care team also collaborates with the Aboriginal Communities Health Research Alliance across several studies designed to improve maternal and child outcomes for Aboriginal families.

In Adelaide and Port Augusta, this program is co-producing and piloting culturally relevant bundles of care including the adaptation of the Baby Buddy phone app. This co-design work with communities will focus on key messages to prevent stillbirth and how health services and systems can improve care for women at high risk of stillbirth.