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‘Post-term babies more likely to develop behavioural problems’

Study says,it's due to placenta fails to provide sufficient nutrients and oxygen after 40 weeks.

Written by Agencies | London | Published: May 3, 2012 5:14:09 pm

Post-term babies are at greater risk of developing behavioural problems in their early childhood,a new research has claimed.

The study which looked at more than 5,000 babies in the Netherlands found that those born after 42 weeks of pregnancy were more likely to suffer behavioural problems and had more than twice the risk of developing ADHD,or attention deficit hyperactivity disorder,than those born around their due date.

And it’s due to the placenta fails to provide sufficient nutrients and oxygen after 40 weeks,the scientists explained.

The risk is similar to that of being born prematurely,or before 40 weeks of pregnancy,which is known to cause health and emotional problems,said study author Dr Hanan El Marroun of the Erasmus medical centre in Rotterdam,the Netherlands.

“Children born too late are more than twice as likely as term-born children to have clinical ADHD,” Dr El Marroun was quoted as saying by the Daily Mail.

“We were aware of potential complications caused by babies born prematurely,but these findings suggest there is also a greater risk of long-term problems among babies born too late,” she warned.

The findings,published in the International Journal of Epidemiology,will increase calls for women to be offered induction methods or a caesarean if their pregnancy becomes prolonged,the researchers said.

Their study followed the progress of 5,145 babies in Rotterdam for three years to investigate the relationship between the length of time spent in the womb and long-term behavioural and emotional problems.

They found that 382 babies (seven per cent) were born post-term,or beyond 42 weeks. The longest time spent in the womb was 43.7 weeks. Of the others,226 (four per cent) were born pre-term,which is classified as before 37 weeks.

The children’s parents completed questionnaires on their behaviour after 18 and 36 months. The researchers found that both post-term and pre-term babies were at a higher risk of behavioural and emotional problems at these stages.

And post-term children,they said,were almost twice as likely as children born around 40 weeks to have such problems,including attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD),symptoms of which include impulsiveness,restlessness and


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