Coventry University leading international effort for hypermobility conditions during pregnancy  - The Coventry Observer

Coventry University leading international effort for hypermobility conditions during pregnancy 

Holly Clement 12th Jun, 2024   0

COVENTRY University is leading an international effort to enhance pregnancy and childbirth for people with hypermobility conditions.

Dr. Sally Pezaro, from the university’s Research Centre for Healthcare and Communities, has led an international project aimed at improving health outcomes for those with hypermobile Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome (hEDS) and Hypermobility Spectrum Disorder (HSD).

These conditions, often underdiagnosed, present a range of complications during pregnancy and childbirth, including joint pain, rapid births, slow wound healing, and increased bleeding.

Collaborating with a diverse team of experts from around the globe, Dr. Pezaro has spearheaded the development of expert clinical guidance to address these challenges.

Drawing expertise from midwifery, obstetrics, medicine, rheumatology, dietetics, genetics, and incorporating insights from patients, the project sought to bridge knowledge gaps and misconceptions surrounding hypermobility conditions and perinatal care.

The aim was to provide evidence-based guidance to healthcare professionals, childbearing people, and their families, facilitating informed decision-making and enhancing care throughout the childbearing journey.

Key areas of focus included pre-pregnancy screening, pregnancy risk assessment, birth options, post-birth recovery, and overall care of people with hEDS/HSD in the context of childbirth.

Through a comprehensive review of existing literature and collaboration with the Ehlers Danlos Society’s International Consortium, the team developed new clinical guidelines tailored to support people with hypermobility conditions through each stage of pregnancy and childbirth.

The guidelines advocate for early screening and consultation, the use of specialised techniques such as dissolvable stitches to enhance healing, and the provision of physical therapy and assistive devices to support functional activity.

Importantly, they also emphasise the need for preparedness for potentially sudden and fast active labor and birth, which may occur outside of the expected birth location.

Dr Pezaro said: “This work marks a significant step forward in providing specialised care for people with hEDS/HSD during their childbearing journey.

“By offering these global evidence-based clinical guidelines, we aim to improve the quality of care and outcomes for these individuals, ensuring their specific needs are met with precision and compassion.”




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