London doctors find heart defect clue to explain deadly pregnancy condition

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Medication failed to lower her blood pressure and a scan four weeks later revealed the placenta had stopped working. “I cried when I was told,” she said. “To hear your baby is seriously affected is very upsetting.” Daughter Holly was born at 33 weeks — almost two months premature. Despite weighing just over 4lb, and initially requiring a feeding tube, she is now thriving.

Ms Taggart, of East Acton, said: “She’s a completely normal, bouncing two-year-old. You wouldn’t know she was premature. I’m so glad my husband Craig and I decided to take part in the trial.” The study team is exploring whether dietary changes, encouraging weight loss and increasing exercise can reduce risks. The CONCEIVE trial is in journal Hypertension.