Long wait for work after accident is over
Pre-natal slim-down boosts birth outcomes
LOSING weight before pregnancy may be as important for your baby’s health as quitting cigarettes and taking folate.
An Australian-first study is hoping to show this simple change could massively reduce rates of stillbirth, hypertension, diabetes, miscarriage, preterm birth, and caesarean delivery.
One in two pregnant women is overweight. This has seen the rate of gestational diabetes almost double since 2013 – from 7 per cent to 13 per cent – affecting 12,375 women.
Now University of Sydney researchers are recruiting women with a body mass index over 25 to participate in a trial that will test two weight-loss programs before conception.
While weight-loss studies have been conducted in women with fertility problems before, this pilot study is the first to target the general population of women before conception.
The trial will place 60 women on one of two weightloss programs over 10 weeks.
“We want to look at which one will work well in the pilot before we conduct a larger study,” said neonatologist Adrienne Gordon, from Sydney’s Royal Prince Alfred Hospital.
A previous study at the hospital found weight loss was associated with a three-fold increase in live births. Dr Gordon said it could also boost fertility – increasing a woman’s ability to fall pregnant naturally – and reduce metabolic disease in the next generation.
“If we can get an optimal weight before pregnancy, we e can improve the outcomes for or both mother and child, and nd also improve the risk of the ... .. children developing obesity y and then metabolic disease e like diabetes and hyperten- sion,” she said.
“If you have gestational dia- betes, you are five to seven n times more likely to develop p type-2 diabetes. So we want to reduce mothers’ risk of these things in pregnancy.” QUADRIPLEGIC Brett Morris has just landed his first job in 25 years after the Gold Coast Airport gave him a lift in life and took him on board.
The 46-year-old has been in a wheelchair and unable to find work since a rugby league accident in Dalby when he was 21 left him with a bruised spinal cord and damaged vertebrae.
“I was playing a game of rep footy and just doing a normal tackle when one of the other players came over the top of me and landed on my head. It was then I heard my back crack,” Mr Morris (pictured) said. “At first, I was a quadriplegic from the neck down, but about three to four months after the accident I began to get some feeling back in my body and get some movement back in my arms. “I was very lucky.” Two years ago, Mr Morris took a trip to New Zealand. He loved it so much he decided to try and enter the travel industry. He studied for six months to become a volunteer ambassador at Gold Coast Airport and proved so good he was offered a permanent job. Stationed at the airport’s new information desk in the terminal’s busy check-in hall, spe- cially designed to accommodate his wheelchair, Mr Morris helps passengers navigate their way through the terminal.
“I can help passengers with anything from luggage to tickets, anything I can do to point them in the right direction,” he said.
“I enjoy helping people to get where they need to go. It’s never dull, you meet all sorts of people from around the world. I love it. This new role gives me a sense of pride and the opportunity to travel again.”
His boss, Airport Retail Enterprises manager Nathan O’Brien, said it was fitting that Mr Morris had started work ahead of International Day Of Persons with Disabilities.