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Study: Hearth defect most common anomalies in babies

The most common form of anomalies in newborn babies in 2011 were congenital heart defects.

Here are the numbers of babies estimated to have been born with various anomalies in 2011:

  • Congenital heart defect - 4,461 (28% of all babies born with a defect)
  • Defects of the nervous system - 1,739 (10.1%)
  • Problems with the digestive system - 1,223 (7.7%)
  • Cleft lip or palate alone or alongside other defects - 1,143 (7.2%)
  • Down's syndrome - 1,973 (12.4%)

Study: As many as one in 40 babies born with defect

As many as one in 40 babies is born with a birth defect in England and Wales, according to the most comprehensive study of the issue to date.

Heart defects are the most common form of anomalies in babies, the research found Credit: Danny Lawson/PA Wire

The most common anomalies are congenital heart defects, which affect at least six in every 1,000 babies.

Those suffering heart problems can require major surgery, and around 6 percent of babies with a heart defect die before their first birthday.

The report, by researchers at Queen Mary University of London in conjunction with theBritish Isles Network of Congenital Anomaly Registers, collated data from six regional registers, giving a national coverage of 36% of all births.

Researchers then provided estimates to flesh out the other regions of England and Wales.


Father delivers baby girl at home in six minutes

A baby girl was delivered in just six minutes by her father, as he took instructions from ambulance staff over the phone.

Liz Turner went into advanced labour at home on June 1, leaving no time to get to hospital or for a midwife to arrive.

Liz Turner with baby Emma. Credit: PA wire

Simon Turner rang 999 at 4.27pm when he realised the baby's arrival was imminent. Emma was born at 4.33pm.

Simon Turner, who delivered his daughter, with his son and call handler Felicity McKeegan. Credit: PA wire

Mr and Mrs Turner met Felicity McKeegan, the call handler for East of England Ambulance Service NHS Trust who talked him through the delivery, to thank her for her help.

British mum gives birth to Spain's biggest baby

Newborn Maria Lorena Marin is in "perfect health", the hospital says Credit: Hospital Marina Salud/PA Wire

A British mother has given birth to the biggest ever baby born naturally in Spain, a hospital has said.

Maxime Marin, 40, delivered the baby girl who weighed 13lb 7oz - around twice the size of an average baby - without an epidural.

Newborn Maria Lorena is "in perfect health", said a spokesperson from Hospital Marina Salud in the south-eastern city of Denia.

Dr. Javier Rius, the chief of gynecology at the hospital, said in his 40 years of practice he had never known a baby born naturally to weigh so much.


Midwives called upon to stop African childbirth deaths

VSO has called for "experienced midwives, senior trainee doctors and nurses" to volunteer. Credit: David Jones/PA Wire

British midwives have been urged to volunteer to train African nurses to deliver babies in a bid to reduce the number of women and children who die in childbirth in sub-Saharan Africa.

Every year 350,000 women die in childbirth across the globe, with the majority of the deaths taking place in developing countries, volunteer organisation VSO said.VSO's UK director, Angela Salt, said many lives could be saved if health workers in developing countries were given better training.

"I urge experienced midwives, senior trainee doctors and nurses to consider volunteering," she said. "You could help hospital staff identify solutions to problems, train new students or work in health ministries in countries with the greatest need, such as Sierra Leone, Malawi and Ethiopia."

Half of babies born into married homes in 2011

This graph shows the relationship status of parents registering births in 1986, 2001 and 2011 Credit: Office for National Statistics

Just over half (53%) of all babies registered in 2011 were born to parents who were married or in a civil partnership, according to figures from the ONS.

The figure is a substantial drop from 1986 when the proportion was closer to 80%.

However, the number of births registered by sole parents (almost 6%) has fallen since 2001 while more parents are co-habiting (31%).

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