The MemorialCare Center for Women at Miller Children’s Hospital Long Beach and Long Beach Memorial, in conjunction with UCI is participating in the National Standard for Normal Fetal Growth study.
The National Institutes of Health has established a grant to establish a national standard for normal fetal growth and size. Researchers will spend three years measuring fetal growth in 3,000 Caucasian, African American,, Asian and Hispanic women across the country. The goal is to develop more accurate growth standards that take into account a mother’s age, race/ethnicity and where she lives.
Current growth standards are based on 30-year old data that do not reflect age, ethnicity or even where you live – all factors that may have a bearing on determining the baby’s proper rate of development. This one-size-fits-all growth curve does not give obstetricians the data necessary to develop accurate due dates and growth measurements for each unborn baby.
The MemorialCare Center for Women and UC Irvine researchers are recruiting 400 normal weight women with low-risk pregnancies in their first trimester. The study will also recruit 150 obese women. Each woman will receive prenatal care, including five ultrasound exams, and complete surveys regarding dietary intake.
The study will collect data across each week of pregnancy, incorporating information from the four major racial/ethnic groups, and determine the normal growth patterns for each. The vision of the study is that one day, an obstetrician will be able to plug a woman’s demographic characteristics – age, weight and ethnicity – into a computer and generate a patient-specific fetal growth curve for her baby.
Interested physicians or women may inquire more about the study and eligibility requirements by calling Christine Preslicka, RN, BSN at 562-933-2955.