Scientists Are on Track to Create a Blood Test to Predict Early Labor
From the moment a woman finds out that she’s going to have a baby, one of her greatest concerns is making sure she does everything she can to help her baby grow strong and healthy before it arrives.
While there are lots of things a woman can do to help make sure her baby grows in optimal conditions, like avoiding all alcohol, eating a nutrient-rich diet, and staying away from stressful situations when possible, sometimes things outside of a mom-to-be’s control can make it hard for baby to arrive happy and healthy.
Premature birth, or delivery that happens prior to 37 weeks gestation, impacts 12% of babies and can lead to serious, life-long complications. Preterm birth can feel particularly scary for pregnant mom’s as it often happens with little to no warning. Luckily, scientists have discovered something that can predict whether a mom will go into labor early.
A brand new type of blood test that can accurately measure how far along a woman is may also predict whether she may end up delivering her baby prematurely. The aspect of the test that can measure the gestational age of the pregnancy was developed by using donated blood samples from pregnant women to identify the difference in blood as a woman’s pregnancy progresses.
The aspect of the test that can predict whether a baby may make an early arrival was also developed by taking blood samples from pregnant mothers and comparing the cell-free RNA in those who deliver early versus those who deliver once a baby is full-term.
This blood test may have the ability to help babies grow and thrive but, for now, it needs to undergo more testing and revision before it can be released. The next step for this blood test is to undergo trials with a larger group of women. Scientists are hopeful that as time goes on they can continue to learn more about the genetic and biological factors that might lead to preterm birth. In the meantime, we can all keep hoping for happy, healthy babies!