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Better Birth Outcomes In Areas With Low Armed Conflict | BabyGaga

According to new research, areas with are linked to more . The study was undertaken by a team from the Universidad Nacional de Colombia in Bogotá, Colombia, and its findings were recently published in the journal .

The researchers focused on how pregnancy and childbirth were affected following the ceasefire reached in in July 2015, which put a stop to conflict between the guerilla group Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarias de Colombia (FARC) and the government. After the ceasefire, the two groups eventually negotiated a final peace agreement.

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To do so, the researchers analyzed the birth outcomes of 3 million women who conceived before and after the ceasefire was reached during the years 2013 to 2017. The women who were pregnant following the ceasefire were, in general, exposed to less armed conflict.

The researchers were motivated to undertake this study because there is limited information about exposure to violence in and adverse birth outcomes, which may include:

  • Stillbirth
  • Miscarriage
  • Preterm birth
  • Maternal mortality
  • Perinatal (fetal) mortality

Specifically, they note that only seven studies of this nature have been conducted in recent decades. However, all of them presented a high risk of bias (due to methodological issues and incorrect data), resulting in unreliable information. As such, further research into this topic is crucial.

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In conclusion, the researchers found that the women who gave birth after the ceasefire were less likely to experience adverse pregnancy and birth outcomes, such as stillbirth or fetal death.

Specifically, they found:

  • Stillbirths decreased by 9.53 deaths per 1,000 pregnancies following the ceasefire
  • Fetal death decreased by 10.69 fatalities per 1,000 pregnancies following the ceasefire

However, the researchers did not find a decrease in in the women exposed to less violence after the ceasefire.

Of their findings, the researchers emphasize that this suggests a reduction in conflict promotes better maternal and fetal health. Even more, it overall contributes to better population health.

There are a variety of environmental and non-environmental factors that can contribute to poor birth outcomes. :

  • High maternal age
  • Nutritional deficiencies
  • Maternal demographics
  • Inadequate prenatal care
  • Infection during pregnancy
  • Psychological characteristics
  • History of multiple pregnancies
  • Biological and genetic conditions
  • Prenatal alcohol, tobacco, or drug exposure
  • Pre-existing maternal health conditions (diabetes, obesity, etc.)

The best way to ensure positive pregnancy and birth outcomes is to keep up with regular prenatal care. In many instances, doctors may be able to identify potential risks beforehand and take steps to prevent or mitigate their consequences. For more information on promoting good birth outcomes, we encourage you to speak to your healthcare professional.

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