First international standards to assess growth of babies in the womb and size of newborns

The first international standards for fetal growth and newborn size have been developed by a global team led by scientists from Oxford University.

The international standards depict the desirable pattern of healthy growth for all babies everywhere, regardless of their ethnicity or country of birth. They provide 3rd, 10th, 50th, 90th and 97th centile curves for the growth of a baby during pregnancy (as measured by ultrasound) and for a baby's size at birth according to gestational age (weight, length and head circumference).

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A first baby has been born to a couple in the USA going through IVF and involving the use of a new embryo screening approach. The method uses the latest DNA sequencing techniques and aims to increase IVF success rates while being more affordable for couples. 

Dr Dagan Wells of the Nuffield Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology led the international team which has shown how 'next-generation sequencing' can be used to pick the embryos created by IVF that are most likely to lead to successful pregnancies.

Video interview with 'Fertility & Sterility', The Official Journal of the American Society for Reproductive Medicine. 



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