Long wait for work af­ter ac­ci­dent is over

Pre-na­tal slim-down boosts birth out­comes

The Sunday Mail (Queensland) - - NEWS - JANE HANSEN GREG STOLZ

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.

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