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Pregnancy and Childbirth News -- ScienceDaily
Do you think you might be pregnant? Learn about pregnancy and childbirth. Read current medical research on everything from prenatal risk factors to inducing labor.

Premature births cost health plans $6 billion annually
A new study estimates employer-sponsored health plans spent at least $6 billion extra on infants born prematurely in 2013 and a substantial portion of that sum was spent on infants with major birth defects.

Oxidative stress produces damage linked with increased risk of preterm birth
A group of scientists has gained new insights into what factors can lead to preterm birth. The researchers sought to understand what leads to early microfractures and focused on oxidative stress.

Genome editing reveals role of gene important for human embryo development
Researchers have used genome editing technology to reveal the role of a key gene in human embryos in the first few days of development. This is the first time that genome editing has been used to study gene function in human embryos, which could help scientists to better understand the biology of our early development.

Infection in pregnant pigs leads to antisocial piglets
When a pregnant woman gets a bad case of the flu, her immune system may react in a way that affects her baby’s developing brain, which could lead to behavioral disorders like autism in the child or schizophrenia in the young adult. The link is well established in humans, which is one reason it’s standard practice to get a flu shot during pregnancy. But until now, the majority of studies testing the underlying causes have been done with rodents, including two that were released just last week.  

What motivates men to donate sperm online? World-first study
A world-first study into online sperm donor behavior has revealed the importance men place on their family, friends and the risks associated with donation, has little impact on their motivation or psychology when choosing to donate their sperm to women they meet online.

HPV vaccine associated with improved fertility in some women
More than 40 percent of American teens are now getting vaccinated against human papillomavirus (HPV). But, despite HPV infection being associated with reduced semen quality and lower pregnancy rates, there is still public concern about whether the HPV vaccine itself could affect future fertility.

Managing negative emotions can help pregnant smokers quit
Pregnant smokers are more likely to quit if they can learn to manage negative emotions that lead to smoking, new research indicates.

Key regulator of male fertility identifed
When it comes to male reproductive fertility, timing is everything. Now scientists are finding new details on how disruption of this timing may contribute to male infertility or congenital illness. Researchers are identifying the key molecular and genetic switch that activates production of healthy male sperm -- but only when the time is right.

New lung cell type discovered
A new lung cell type that is implicated in the body's innate immune defense against the bacteria Streptococcus pneumoniae -- one of the leading causes of pneumonia worldwide -- has been discovered by researchers.

Eight children born after uterus transplants
Eight children born -- and the first robot-assisted operation performed. These are some of the results of 18 years of research on uterus transplants.

45 percent of parents experience depression, anxiety and stress when newborns leave NICU
Almost half of parents whose children were admitted to a neonatal intensive care unit experienced postpartum depressive symptoms, anxiety and stress when their newborns were discharged from the hospital.

Studies help explain link between autism, severe infection during pregnancy
Two new studies shed light on why mothers who experience an infection severe enough to require hospitalization during pregnancy are at higher risk of having a child with autism.

In-utero treatment reverses cleft palate in mice
Researchers clarified a molecular pathway responsible for the formation of cleft palate and identified a new treatment to reverse this defect in mouse pups in utero.

Preeclampsia may boost heart disease risk by altering blood vessels
Preeclampsia may permanently change the blood vessels of women who experience the condition during pregnancy, boosting their lifelong risk for cardiovascular disease, according to researchers.

Father's environmental exposure affects sperm epigenetics, study shows
Authors of a new report believe that theirs is among the first human studies to investigate the influence of phthalate exposure on sperm epigenetics, embryo development and whether DNA methylation in sperm cells may be a path by which a father's environmental exposure influences these endpoints. DNA methylation, one mechanism of epigenetics, is a chemical tag on DNA that does not change the gene sequence but is involved in controlling gene expression.

Fathers can influence the sex of their offspring, scientists show
It has traditionally been thought that in mammals only mothers are able to influence the sex of their offspring. But a new study in wild mice has shown that fathers can, in fact, influence sex ratios.

Folic acid may mitigate autism risk from pesticides
Researchers have shown that mothers who take recommended amounts of folic acid around conception might reduce their children's pesticide-related autism risk.

Using antidepressants during pregnancy may affect your child's mental health
The use of antidepressants during pregnancy increases the risk of your child being diagnosed with a psychiatric disorder later in life, a study of almost one million Danish children shows. However, heritability also plays a part, according to the researchers.

Genes behind gestation length, preterm delivery identified
The genes that regulate gestational length and the likelihood of preterm delivery, have been identified in a study involving more than 50,000 women. An article describes the scientific breakthrough that can lead to improved health and survival among children.

Discovery of genes linked to preterm birth in landmark study
A massive international DNA analysis of pregnant women has identified for the first time six gene regions that influence the length of pregnancy and the timing of birth. The findings may lead to new ways to prevent preterm birth and its consequences -- the leading cause of death among children under age 5 worldwide.

Can height increase risk for blood clots in veins?
The taller you are, the more likely you may be to develop blood clots in the veins, according to new research.

New strategy for vaccinating pregnant mothers against malaria holds promise for protecting infants
A mother and infant in Malawi have the same repertoire of antibodies to Plasmodium falciparum, the malaria parasite. That suggests that boosting the mother's immune response to malaria, as via vaccination, will result in better protection for the infant.

Mobile phone use while pregnant not linked to child neurodevelopment problems, study suggests
Mobile phone use during pregnancy is unlikely to have any adverse effects on child neurodevelopment, according to new research. These findings provide further evidence that exposure to radio frequency electromagnetic fields associated with maternal use of mobile phones during pregnancy is not linked to neurodevelopment in children.

Swings in dad's testosterone affects the family -- for better or worse -- after baby arrives
Testosterone levels are a key factor in a family's health and happiness after a newborn arrives. Researchers have found that a drop can signal postpartum depression in dad, and a spike may be a sign of aggression.

Test of cervical mucus may reveal pregnant women's risk of going into labor too early
A new approach to evaluating the risk of preterm birth has been proposed by analyzing the properties of cervical mucus. The researchers found that cervical mucus from women who delivered their babies early, before 37 weeks, was very different from that of women who delivered later.

Older wombs linked to complications in pregnant mice
Deciding to start a family later in life could be about more than just the age of your eggs. The risks of complications during pregnancy all increase with age. A new study our today is one of the first to look at the effects of age on womb health. The results, which studied pregnant mice of different ages, showed that ageing of the womb itself can contribute to an increased risk of complications.
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