The physical and emotional health of pregnant mothers has a profound impact on the health of their unborn child. As part of the LIFESAVER Project, we believe that mental health matters when nurturing healthy fetal development for both the mother and her baby. Studies have found that the well-being of a mother can have a lasting effect on the health of her child, both during pregnancy and after birth.
The environmental crisis has become a major threat to the health of expectant mothers and their unborn children, with serious implications for maternal care and neonatal fatalities. In the face of mounting global concerns, it is important to understand how this crisis affects pregnant women and their families, and what measures can be taken to protect their health and safety.
Preterm births and associated problems are of significant concern for Europe and is the leading cause of death in children younger than 5 years worldwide. Every year, hundreds of thousands of babies are born before the 37th week of pregnancy, putting them at risk of numerous short and long-term health problems.
The placenta is remarkable – a temporary organ that nourishes and protects the fetus – and is then discarded when its job is complete. It acts as a gatekeeper between mother and fetus by allowing oxygen and nutrients in while filtering out potentially harmful substances that can affect fetal health. In a world where increasing numbers of environmental pollutants may be putting pregnancies at risk, can the placenta still do its best job?
Harmful toxins can be present in the air, water, the workplace or everyday products. Substances with the potential to harm can be breathed in, absorbed, or consumed by a pregnant woman. They can then affect the fetus via the bloodstream and the placenta. What are some of the biggest offenders?
The LIFESAVER project’s multidisciplinary research will not only change what we know about the placenta and its role in protecting our unborn children; it aims to illuminate more the role that environmental toxins and pollutants play in prenatal health.
The amniotic membrane remains a fertile area of research according to Antonietta Silini, the Research Co-ordinator for the Centro di Ricerca E. Menni (CREM) at the Fondazione Poliambulanza Istituto Ospedaliero, one of the LifeSaver Project’s core research partners. She is also the Science Communication Coordinator at COST SPRINT Action – The International Network for Translating Research on Perinatal…
Carla Baldasso, EnginSoft’s Research and Development Manager, is the LifeSaver Project Coordinator. An engineer with extensive experience in research projects, there is perhaps no one better equipped than Carla Baldasso to share how this company specialised in Computer-Aided-Engineering (CAE), and is helping the LifeSaver Project.
Nano and microplastics are ever-present in our lives. From plastic cooking utensils causing us to consume them in our dinners to single-use plastics in the ocean that break down and find their way into the fish we eat. Let’s look at what we know about pregnancy-relevant exposures to nano and microplastics and what we at the LifeSaver project are trying to do about it.