MUMS across the globe will have the security of knowing that their baby is developing properly thanks to new methods developed and trialled by county medics.

Oxford University Hospitals NHS Trust (OUHT) has become the first in the world to use new measures to monitor a baby’s development.

Staff at Oxford University developed the methods in the Intergrowth-21st Project, a study of 60,000 pregnant women across the world last year.

Medics have revealed they will be able to identify more malnourished babies in danger of dying in their first year or at risk of developing serious health problems.

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Lucy McGlynn, mother to nine-month-old Fynley, said it was important for her to know her son is growing properly.

The 27-year-old, of Littlemore, took part in the Intergrowth- 21st Project and had scans every four weeks while pregnant to monitor Fynley’s growth.

She added: “It’s very important because as a new mum, you always need constant reassurance. It’s a very worrying time.”

Mrs McGlynn said the new standards would have been helpful when she became worried after noticing Fynley was putting on weight in the first few months of birth.

She added: “No one told me, apart from friends and family, that he would lose the weight once he started moving around. Knowing that there are tests put in place would be much more of a comfort.”

More than 100 different charts are used around the world to see if a baby is too small or large at birth, both of which can lead to health issues later in life and cause medics to have different judgements about an infant’s size.

But the new international standards, developed after the Oxford-led study, will ensure every newborn is assessed in the same way.

The measures will display the optimal pattern of healthy growth for all babies, regardless of ethnicity or country of birth, showing how babies should grow when mothers have the right health, nutrition and medical care.

Oxford University professor José Villar, who led the project, said: “Being able to identify millions of additional undernourished babies at birth provides an opportunity for them to receive nutritional support and targeted treatment, without which close to five per cent are likely to die in their first year or develop severe, long-term health problems.”

The Oxford Times:

Prof Stephen Kennedy.

Divisional director of children’s and women’s services at OUHT Stephen Kennedy added: “It shows our commitment to ensuring that our patients benefit rapidly from advances in medical care made as a result of high quality research.”