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Maternal factors during pregnancy influencing maternal, fetal, and childhood outcomes

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Benhalima, Katrien 
Tong, Stephen 
Ozanne, Susan 


Enhancing pregnancy health is known to improve the mother’s and offspring’s life-long well-being. The maternal environment, encompassing genetic factors, impacts of social determinants, the nutritional/metabolic milieu, and infections and inflammation, have immediate consequences for the in utero development of the fetus and long-term programming into childhood and adulthood. Moreover, adverse pregnancy outcomes such as preterm birth or preeclampsia, often attributed to the maternal environmental factors listed above, have been associated with poor maternal cardiometabolic health after pregnancy. In this BMC Medicine article collection, we explore a broad spectrum of maternal characteristics across pregnancy and postnatal phenotypes, anticipating substantial cross-fertilization of new understanding and shared mechanisms around diverse outcomes. Advances in the ability to leverage ‘omics across different platforms (genome, transcriptome, proteome, metabolome, microbiome, lipidome), large high-dimensional population databases, and unique cohorts are generating exciting new insights: The first articles in this collection highlight the role of placental biomarkers of preterm birth, metabolic influences on fetal and childhood growth, and the impact of common pre-existing maternal disorders, obesity and smoking on pregnancy outcomes, and the child’s health. As the collection grows, we look forward to seeing the connections emerge across maternal, fetal, and childhood outcomes that will foster new insights and preventative strategies for women.



Editorial, Maternal factors during pregnancy influencing maternal, fetal and childhood outcomes

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BioMed Central