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Pregnancy & Childbirth Medical News


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.

Progesterone to fight preterm birth
A new study provides additional support for treatment with vaginal progesterone to reduce the risk of preterm birth, neonatal complications and infant death in pregnant women with a short cervix. A shortened cervix is the most powerful predictor of preterm birth.

Anti-malaria drug shows promise as Zika virus treatment
A medication used to prevent and treat malaria may also be effective for Zika virus, scientists have discovered. The drug, called chloroquine, has a long history of safe use during pregnancy, and is relatively inexpensive.

Study raises possibility of naturally acquired immunity against Zika virus
Birth defects in babies born infected with Zika virus remain a major health concern. Now, scientists suggest the possibility that some women in high-risk Zika regions may already be protected and not know it. New research performed in mice, shows women who develop symptom-free Zika infections may be able to acquire immunity that would protect them from future infections and their offspring in a future pregnancy.

'The Brazilian Zika outbreak could end soon'
Scientists have elucidated the Zika burden in a Brazilian metropolis. Their data indicate: the outbreak may be coming to an end and further outbreaks in the region seem unlikely. The study has also provided new evidence supporting the link between Zika infection during pregnancy and malformations in newborns. A third finding is important with regard to intervention measures: Zika virus infection predominantly affects poor regions.

Vitamin D linked with better live birth rates in women undergoing assisted reproduction
Researchers are calling for a randomized clinical trial to be carried out to investigate the potential role of vitamin D supplementation in improving live birth rates following assisted reproduction treatment (ART). This follows a review and meta-analysis that shows a strong link between low vitamin D concentrations in women and lower live birth rates after ART compared to women who have the right amount of vitamin D in their bodies.

Labor induction at 40 weeks associated with lower risk of perinatal mortality
Induction of labor at 40 weeks in nulliparous women aged 35 and older is associated with reduced risk of in-hospital perinatal death, according to a recent analysis.

Study in mice finds dietary levels of genistein may adversely affect female fertility
A new study of mice raises concerns about the potential impact that long-term exposure to genistein prior to conception may have on fertility and pregnancy.

Ibuprofen may block damage from fetal-alcohol exposure
An anti-inflammatory drug may have the potential to stall the damaging effects of alcohol on the fetal brain, a new study suggests.

Global birth season study links environment with disease risk
A new study sheds light on connections between birth month and risk for certain diseases.

Vegan diet as lifestyle choice and the need for risk communication
Tofu sausages on the barbecue, followed by cake made with bananas instead of eggs? There is no doubt that the vegan diet is in vogue. Alongside the proven positive effects on health, however, there are also risks.

Pregnancy-related conditions taken together leave moms -- and dads -- at risk
Scientists show that the risk of developing type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure or heart disease post pregnancy is drastically higher if the women had both diabetes and high blood pressure while being pregnant. The study doesn't end with the mother's risks. The father's risks also rise if the mother has one gestational condition and rises even higher if she has both.

Obesity during pregnancy may lead directly to fetal overgrowth, study suggests
Obesity during pregnancy -- independent of its health consequences such as diabetes -- may account for the higher risk of giving birth to an atypically large infant, according to researchers.

Hair cortisol levels predict which mothers are more likely to suffer postpartum depression
Hair cortisol levels, which is a steroid hormone secreted as a response to stress, are higher in the first and third trimesters of pregnancy for those women that will later suffer postpartum depression, new research indicates.

Exposure to benzene during pregnancy: a pilot study raises concerns in British Columbia
New research reveals that 29 pregnant women living near natural-gas hydraulic fracturing sites had a median concentration of a benzene biomarker in their urine that was 3.5 times higher than that found in women from the general Canadian population.

New DNA antenatal screening for Down's syndrome shown to be a 'transformational advance'
Medical scientists have demonstrated for the first time that it is possible to incorporate DNA analysis into antenatal screening for three serious chromosome disorders, including Down's syndrome, in a way that is far more accurate than existing methods, and safer and less stressful for mothers.

Early breastfeeding success not affected by epidural pain relief with fentanyl
Including the opioid fentanyl in the solution used to maintain an epidural during childbirth does not appear to affect the success of breastfeeding six weeks after delivery, according to a study.

Exposure to BPA during pregnancy may cause health problems for offspring
A chemical called bisphenol A -- BPA -- used in plastic packaging and in the linings of food and beverage cans, may be passed from a mother to her offspring during pregnancy and cause changes in the gut bacteria of the offspring, according to an international team of researchers.

Increasing rates of chronic conditions putting more moms, babies at risk
Pregnant women today are more likely to have chronic conditions that could cause life-threatening complications than at any other time in the past decade -- particularly poor women and those living in rural communities.

Web-based social media intervention can positively influence parental vaccine behaviors
Pregnant women who received vaccine information through an interactive website monitored by a clinical expert were more likely to vaccinate their children than those who did not use the web resource, according to a new study.

Vitamin D may be key for pregnant women with polycystic ovary syndrome
Vitamin D may play a key role in helping some women seeking treatment for polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS)-related infertility get pregnant. PCOS is a hormonal disorder affecting 5 to 10 percent of women of reproductive age. Results of the study show women who were Vitamin D deficient when starting fertility treatments were 40 percent less likely to achieve a pregnancy.

Group B Streptococcus infection causes estimated 150,000 stillbirth, infant death
21.7 million pregnant women carry the Group B Streptococcus bacteria, according to the first global study of Group B Strep -- most of them are currently unidentified and untreated. A new study shows for first time that a maternal vaccine may prevent 231,000 infant and maternal GBS cases.

Infertility linked to higher risk of death among women
Women with a history of infertility have a 10 percent increased risk of death compared to those without reported infertility struggles, according to results of a new study. The study, which examined the association between infertility and mortality as well as specific causes of death, also showed that women with a history of infertility have a 20 percent increased risk of cancer-related mortality.

Teen childbirth linked to increased risk for heart disease
Women who become teen-age mothers may be significantly more likely to have greater risks for cardiovascular disease later in life than older mothers. Unlike previous studies, among women who had children the overall number of births was unrelated to greater cardiovascular risk.

Fish oil or fish consumption? New recommendations for pregnant women trying to prevent childhood asthma
Consuming 2-3 servings of fish a week during pregnancy prevents childhood asthma just as much as fish oil supplements, say researchers.

Intake of pesticide residue from fruits, vegetables and infertility treatment outcomes
Eating more fruits and vegetables with high-pesticide residue was associated with a lower probability of pregnancy and live birth following infertility treatment for women using assisted reproductive technologies, report researchers.

Zika virus infects developing brain by first infecting cells meant to defend against it
Researchers report that the Zika virus is transmitted from mother to fetus by infected cells that, ironically, will later develop into the brain's first and primary form of defense against invasive pathogens.
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