Nearly half a million US babies are born premature. A new program is helping at-risk moms-to-be get the support they need.
Women who drink low levels of alcohol in their first trimester of pregnancy may be at an increased risk of having a premature or small baby.
Bizarre Craigslist ads offer positive pregnancy tests.
Research links mother's thyroid function during pregnancy to autism risk.
How a hormone associated with pregnancy could help victims of traumatic brain injuries.
Is there ever really a perfect time to start a family? If you're in the planning stage or wanting to grow your family you might want to rule out the month of May for conception.
According to the World Health Organization, 800 women die every day from preventable causes related to pregnancy and childbirth. 99% of all maternal deaths occur in developing countries. Now one woman is making it her mission to change those grim statistics and is bringing light to a place where there was only darkness.
Many obese men and women are turning to surgery to help them lose the extra weight. But for women who are planning a pregnancy, is it a good idea?
A new study suggests that for obese women who choose weight-loss surgery to bring their weight under control, having the procedure may also benefit their future children.
A Canadian study found that children born after their mother had lost considerable weight from gastric bypass surgery were slimmer than their pre-surgery siblings and had fewer risk factors for diabetes or heart disease later in life.
The findings showed that numerous genes linked to obesity-related health problems worked differently in the younger siblings than in their older brothers and sisters.
The researchers looked at the genes of 50 children who were born to 20 mothers before or after they had gastric bypass surgery. The children were on average about 15 years old.
The moms were between the ages of 35 to 51 and were all classified as obese before they had the procedures. They all lost almost 100 pounds after the surgery.
The type of gastric bypass surgery performed on the mothers who participated in the study is called a biliopancreatic diversion with duodenal switch procedure. It is not used as often as the more common Roux-en-Y gastric bypass procedure. In the biliopancreatic diversion with duodenal switch procedure, a larger part of the stomach is left intact while bypassing most of the intestine.
In the children born after their mothers surgery and weight loss, researchers found 5,698 genes were expressed differently than their older siblings. What that means is that the mothers didnt pass on different genes to their children, but how those genes operated in the childrens bodies were different in the pre and post surgery children. The reason may be that factors inside the womb seem to affect the dimmer switches that develop on a fetus' genes " chemical changes that make genes sp
If you're planning on adding another child to your family-or thinking about starting a family-you might want to consider getting the whooping cough vaccine before you get pregnant.
Why would you do that? According to a new study from Australia, babies who are born to women that are vaccinated with the whooping cough (also known as Pertussis) vaccine before they become pregnant have a 50% lower risk of developing the disease.
Whooping cough is an infection of the respiratory system. It mainly affects infants younger than 6 months old before they are immunized, and kids 11 to 18 years old whose immunity has started to decrease. Pertussis is characterized by severe coughing spells that may produce a whooping sound when the child breathes in.
It is highly contagious and before the Pertussis vaccine was available it killed 5,000 to 10,000 people in the U.S. each year. Now that there is a vaccine, the annual number of deaths is less than 30. But in recent years, the number of cases has started to rise. By 2004, the number of whooping cough cases spiked past 25,000, the highest level it's been since the 1950s.
The researchers looked at 217 babies ages 4 months and younger who had whooping cough. They compared them with 585 healthy infants born at the same time in the same area.
They discovered that a similar percentage of mothers - in both groups - received the whooping cough vaccine. However, 41 percent of the moms of healthy babies had been vaccinated at least four weeks before their infant became sick. However, of the mothers whose babies had whooping cough, only 27 percent of mothers had been vaccinated at least four weeks earlier.
Also in the healthy baby group, 26 percent of the mothers said they had been vaccinated before their baby was born, while only 14 percent of mothers whose babies had whooping cough said they had been vaccinated before delivery.
In this program, "there was no vaccination durin
Many women are surprised to find out that diet matters when trying to conceive.
Click here to learn why on Smart Woman.
Celebrity moms seem to be popping up everywhere showing no hint that theyve just delivered a baby. Many of them are incredibly in-shape within a few months after childbirth, donning bikinis, short shorts and tank tops. How do they do it? Theyve got an army of people helping them and they spend hours doing extreme workouts every day. However, most post-pregnancy moms dont have access to that kind of potent combination.
So how long should it take to lose your pregnancy weight gain? It depends on what shape you were in before you gained the weight and how much you gained over nine-months.
If you started at a normal weight, and gained between 25 and 35 pounds, it should take about 2 to 4 months to get back to your pre-pregnancy weight. Remember that your body has changed over that nine months, so although you may lose the extra pounds, your shape may be different.
If you were overweight before you were pregnant you most likely added more weight than doctors typically recommend (25-35 lbs.). It may take up to a year or more to lose your extra weight and the weight you dont lose may stick with you for a very long time.
Looking at pictures of models and actresses that seem to drop the pounds almost magically after giving birth can be depressing to new moms who dont have the same resources. But its really unrealistic to compare yourself with others. Everyone is different and you have to objectively look at where youre starting from and what a realistic goal is for you.
Should you diet?
Dieting usually isnt the answer. As strange as that may sound, trying to stick to a diet while adjusting to having a new baby in the family is probably asking too much of yourself. A better approach is to eat a well-balanced variety of foods. Actually eating more often throughout the day and creating smaller portions can help boost your metabolism. It will also keep you from getting too hungry from going too long between me
Fertility boosting bites for men and women!
Births to teen mothers are now at a record low in the United States, the National Center for Health Statistics reports in Monday's issue of the journal Pediatrics.
Harvard researchers search for surrogate mother for a Neanderthal clone.
A large study offers reassuring news for pregnant women: It's safe to get a flu shot.
Just about every pregnant woman experiences morning sickness, but this part of pregnancy can be more than just unpleasant. When morning sickness becomes a condition known as hyperemesis gravidarum (HG), it can cause seizures and premature birth. The Duchess of Cambridge, Kate Middleton, has been hospitalized with HG and is undergoing treatment.
Hyperemesis gravidarum is a potentially dangerous type of morning sickness that is characterized by severe nausea, vomiting, weight-loss and electrolyte disturbance.
"It's not unusual for pregnant women to get morning sickness, but when it gets to the point where you're dehydrated, losing weight or vomiting so much you begin to build up (toxic) products in your blood, that's a concern," said Dr. Kecia Gaither, director of maternal fetal medicine at Brookdale University and Medical Center in New York.
About one in fifty pregnant women are affected by this condition. It tends to be more common in younger women who are pregnant for the first time or those expecting more than one baby.
Physicians are not sure what causes HG but suspect it could be linked to hormonal changes or nutritional problems. Spikes in the hormones estrogen, progesterone and human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) may be contributors to HG. Low weight and sluggish digestion may also be factors.
While not all pregnant women with HG require hospitalization, some do. Treatment may include IV fluids to treat dehydration, anti-nausea medication, nutritional supplements plus bed rest.
If HG is caught early and treated, physicians say that there are no long-term effects for either the mother or the child. If left untreated, there is a risk of the mother developing neurological problems, including seizures, or delivering the baby pre-term. The condition usually ends by the second trimester.
"The rest of the pregnancy could be entirely uneventful," Gaither said, adding that pregnant women treated for the conditio
New study suggests a mother's flu-induced fever during pregnancy may increase risk of autism.
Jessica Simpson has been getting a lot of press and TV time related to the amount of weight she gained during her recent pregnancy and the difficulty she is having shedding the pounds. I just thought I needed to WEIGH IN on this subject as I don't think the real issue is being discussed.
As a pediatrician, I am not as concerned about when or how she loses the excessive weight that she packed on during her pregnancy. I am more worried about the message that she is sending to other pregnant women. Excessive weight gain during pregnancy may cause complications that could jeopardize an unborn baby's health. It is not safe to gain all of that weight during a pregnancy.
Jessica Simpson is quoted saying that she is a southern girl and enjoys fried foods, macaroni and cheese and cream gravy. Most obstetricians recommend that a woman of average weight gain between 25-35 lbs during a pregnancy. If a woman is overweight prior to becoming pregnant she may only need to gain 15-20 lbs during the 9 months. Being pregnant does not mean that you can forget all about nutrition, eat excessively and gain 100 lbs. (educated guess on my part).
A woman who gains excessive weight during a pregnancy may have complications and is more likely to develop high blood pressure as well as gestational diabetes. Gestational diabetes is typically controlled with dietary changes alone, but in some cases a pregnant woman may even require insulin. Gestational diabetes puts the baby at risk for having blood sugar problems at birth. At the same time, blood pressure problems may be dangerous for the mother and put the baby at risk for premature birth and all of the problems that are related to prematurity.
At the same time, excessive weight gain during pregnancy typically causes the newborn to be what is termed, large for gestational age. These big babies are often delivered by C-section either electively or e
Another study suggests higher levels of vitamin D during pregnancy may play an important role in a baby's future health. In the latest study, Vitamin D deficiency during pregnancy has been linked to poorer mental and motor skills in babies.
Researchers in Spain measured the level of vitamin D in the blood of almost 2,000 women in their first or second trimester of pregnancy and evaluated the mental and motor abilities of their babies at about 14 months of age. The investigators found that children of vitamin D deficient mothers scored lower than those whose mothers had adequate levels of the vitamin.
"These differences in the mental and psychomotor development scores do not likely make any difference at the individual level, but might have an important impact at the population level," said study lead author Dr. Eva Morales, a medical epidemiologist in the Center for Research in Environmental Epidemiology in Barcelona.
One concern is that lower scores in motor and mental tests could lead to lower IQs.
Previous studies have linked a deficiency in vitamin D during pregnancy to babies born with a greater risk for developing language problems, higher body fat, bone weakness, lung infections and schizophrenia.
Vitamin D deficiency in moms-to-be has also been associated with a higher risk for developing preeclampsia. Preeclampsia is when a pregnant woman develops high blood pressure and protein in the urine after the 20th week of pregnancy. It is rarely fatal, but can lead to premature births.
How much vitamin D should a pregnant woman be getting? There's not a clear-cut answer.
The Institute of Medicine, an independent U.S. group that advises the public, recommends pregnant women get 600 international units (IU) a day of vitamin D and no more than 4,000 IU/day. However, the Endocrine Society says that 600 units does not prevent deficiency and that at least 1,500 to 2,000 units a day may be required.
More evidence that the flu vaccine is safe for pregnant women has been released. A new study shows that there is no link between the flu vaccine and the risk of serious birth defects. That's the number one concern that mothers-to-be have when considering getting a flu shot.
The study noted that of nearly 9,000 pregnant women who got the flu shot, about 2 percent had a baby with a major birth defect, such as a malformation in the heart or a cleft lip. That was the same as 77,000 pregnant women who did not get the shot.
Researchers also found that women who got vaccinated were less likely to suffer a stillbirth. Point 3 % did not experience a stillbirth versus point 6 % of un-vaccinated women. Their newborns also had a lower death rate: point two percent died soon after birth, compared with point four percent of babies born to unvaccinated moms.
It's not certain that the flu shot had anything to do with the lower stillbirth, but there may be a link says Dr. Jeanne S. Sheffield, the lead researcher on the work. The flu shot may have prevented a more serious case of the flu. Plus, these findings suggest that the flu shot is at least safe, and possibly has a benefit against stillbirth.
Despite recommendations to get the flu shot, most pregnant women do not. In the U.S., only between 10 percent and one-quarter of women have been vaccinated each flu season over the last couple decades, Sheffield's team notes.
Sheffield noted that "it's amazing" how many women are unaware that the flu itself is considered a risk during pregnancy.
"The flu is a problem in pregnancy," she said. "But we have a vaccine to prevent it. And it's considered safe and effective in any trimester."
A Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) study published last year found "no unusual patterns" of pregnancy complications or newborn health problems among U.S. women who received the flu shot between 1990 and 2009.
The new study was