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Stress in Pregnancy May Affect Baby's Sex, Preterm Delivery Risk: Study

WEDNESDAY, Oct. 16, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Physical and mental stress during pregnancy may influence the baby's sex, and physical stress may increase the risk of preterm birth, a new study suggests.

Researchers assessed 187 healthy pregnant women between 18 and 45 years of age. About 17% were mentally stressed, with high levels of depression, anxiety and perceived stress. Sixtee...

Moms' Weight-Loss Surgery Tied to Lower Risk of Birth Defects

WEDNESDAY, Oct. 16, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Weight-loss surgery before pregnancy may lower obese women's odds of having a baby with major birth defects, new research suggests.

For the study, the researchers examined data on more than 33,000 births in Sweden between 2007 and 2014.

Of these, nearly 3,000 children were born to mothers who had a type of weight-loss surgery ca...

Frequent Male Pot Use Linked to Early Miscarriages

MONDAY, Oct. 14, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Men who use marijuana at least once a week are twice as likely to see their partner's pregnancy end in miscarriage, compared to those who use no pot, new research suggests.

Miscarriages related to frequent male pot use tended to occur within eight weeks of conception, which bolsters suspicions that marijuana use da...

Only a Third of Pregnant Women Getting Vaccinations They Need

TUESDAY, Oct. 8, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- About two-thirds of pregnant women in the United States don't get vaccinated against both flu and whooping cough, putting them and their newborns at risk, a new report from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says.

"Influenza and pertussis (or whooping cough) are serious infections that can be deadly for babies, especially thos...

High Lead Levels in Pregnancy Linked to Obesity in Kids Years Later

MONDAY, Oct. 7, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Children whose moms had high levels of lead in their blood during pregnancy are more likely than others to carry excess weight by age 8, new research reveals.

The conclusion stems from a look at blood tests of more than 1,440 mothers within three days after delivery. Their lead levels were then compared to their offspring's weight fluctuations ...

Trying to Conceive? Both Dad and Mom Should Give Up Drinking in Months Before

FRIDAY, Oct. 4, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Women have long been told to cut out drinking if they are pregnant or think they might become pregnant.

But a new study suggests that men hoping to become fathers should also stay away from alcohol for at least six months before trying to conceive.

If would-be moms and dads drink in the three months before pregnancy, and if mom drinks...

Severe Morning Sickness Tied to Autism Risk in Kids

THURSDAY, Oct. 3, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Many pregnant women suffer from morning sickness early in pregnancy. But a new study suggests that a small minority who suffer a more severe form of the illness may be at higher odds of having a child with autism.

The form of morning sickness in question is called hyperemesis gravidarum, and it occurs in less than 5% of pregnancies, expla...

AHA News: First-Time Pregnancy Complications Could Mean High Blood Pressure Later

MONDAY, Sept. 30, 2019 (American Heart Association News) -- Women who have complications during their first pregnancy are more likely to develop high blood pressure within seven years, according to new research.

The study, published Monday in the Journal of the American Heart Association, looked into whether problems during first pregnancies such as early deliveries, smaller-t...

Anemia During Pregnancy Tied to Higher Odds for Autism, ADHD in Kids

FRIDAY, Sept. 20, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Women who suffer from anemia early in pregnancy are at risk for having a child with autism, attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and intellectual disabilities, a study by Swedish researchers suggests.

The study couldn't prove cause and effect, but "a diagnosis of anemia earlier in pregnancy might represent a more severe and long-la...

First Sexual Experience Was Forced for 1 in 16 U.S. Women

MONDAY, Sept. 16, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Changes wrought by the #MeToo movement can't come soon enough, say researchers who found that for 1 in 16 U.S. women, their first sexual experience was forced.

"In a nationally representative sample of more than 13,000 women, 6.5% said their first sexual encounters was forced as opposed to voluntary," said the study's lead author, Dr...

Sleep Position Unlikely to Affect Baby's Health in Pregnancy, Study Finds

TUESDAY, Sept. 10, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Pregnant women are often told to sleep on their left side to reduce the risk of stillbirth, but new research suggests they can choose whatever position is most comfortable through most of the pregnancy.

"We can reassure women that through 30 weeks of pregnancy, different sleep positions are safe," said study lead author Dr. Robert Silver, c...

40-Year Study Sees Steady Rise in Pregnant Women's Blood Pressure

MONDAY, Sept. 9, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Over the past four decades, the U.S. has seen a sharp rise in the number of pregnant women with high blood pressure, new research reveals.

For the study, the researchers analyzed data from about 151 million hospitalizations between 1970 and 2010 to determine the rates of chronic high blood pressure in pregnant women aged 15 to 49.

C...

Prior Pregnancies May Affect Your Tummy Tuck

FRIDAY, Aug. 30, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- The success of your tummy tuck may depend on whether you've borne children, a new study suggests.

Pregnancy-related widening and thinning of the belly muscles may reduce the effectiveness of tummy tuck (abdominoplasty) surgery, researchers found. This is especially true in women who've had multiple pregnancies.

But Dr. Gregory Duman...

The Benefits of Strength Training During Pregnancy

FRIDAY, Aug. 30, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- For most healthy women, exercise during pregnancy is as important as it is at all times of life. It brings benefits such as better overall health, preventing back pain and keeping you regular, which can be a challenge for some women.

While low-impact aerobic activities like walking are often emphasized, research has found a surprising benefit ...

Even a Little Drinking While Pregnant Ups Miscarriage Odds: Study

TUESDAY, Aug. 27, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Just small amounts of alcohol during pregnancy can increase the risk of miscarriage, researchers warn.

They analyzed 24 studies conducted between 1970 and 2019 that included more than 231,000 pregnant women.

They found that drinking alcohol during pregnancy -- even small amounts -- increases odds of miscarriage by 19%. Among wom...

Study Points to Harms From MRI 'Dye' in Early Pregnancy

TUESDAY, Aug. 20, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- A concerning number of U.S. women are exposed to the MRI contrast agent gadolinium early in pregnancy, a new study reveals.

In many cases, this exposure occurs before women know they're pregnant.

The researchers said their findings underscore the need for effective pregnancy screening measures before using gadolinium, which can cros...

AHA News: A Mineral, a Metal and a Deadly Pregnancy Condition

TUESDAY, Aug. 20, 2019 (American Heart Association News) -- Pregnant women with lower concentrations of the trace mineral manganese or higher amounts of the metal cadmium in their blood may be more likely to develop preeclampsia, according to a new study.

Preeclampsia is a leading contributor to illness and death for women during and immediately following pregnancy. There are very fe...

New Moms Can Save a Life By Donating Cord Blood

MONDAY, Aug. 5, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Pregnant women should keep in mind that donating their umbilical cord blood could save lives, a clinical cell therapy expert says.

Cord blood is the blood collected from the umbilical cord and placenta after the birth of a healthy baby, said Fabio Triolo. He is director of the Cellular Therapy Core laboratories at University of Texas Health Sci...

Pregnancy Weight Gain: What's Right for You?

FRIDAY, Aug. 2, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Gaining too much weight during pregnancy can lead to unhealthy post-pregnancy weight for moms, and a higher risk of obesity and related conditions in their children. But not gaining enough weight has consequences, too.

Historical studies on children born during times of famine show they have twice the risk as the general population of developin...

AHA News: Cigarette Smoke in Pregnancy May Impair Healing of Newborns' Hearts

THURSDAY, Aug. 1, 2019 (American Heart Association News) -- Exposure to cigarette smoke in utero strongly harms a newborn heart's ability to repair itself after injury, according to a preliminary study of mice.

Findings in animals may not translate to humans, but researchers of the new study hope it helps scientists advance their understanding of possible regeneration in adult human ...

Could Exercise in Pregnancy Boost Baby's Health, Too?

THURSDAY, Aug. 1, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Women who keep moving during pregnancy may have infants with more advanced motor skills, a small study suggests.

Researchers discovered the difference among 1-month-olds: Those whose moms got regular aerobic exercise during pregnancy tended to have stronger movement skills, versus babies whose mothers did not.

The movement tests inc...

A Change of Address During Early Pregnancy May Not Be Best for Baby

TUESDAY, July 30, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- If moving is never easy, then moving while you are pregnant has got to be a grueling experience.

But could it actually harm your baby? Yes, a new investigation warns.

The researchers found that switching homes during the first three months of pregnancy was tied to an increased risk that a baby would be born prematurely or at a low b...

Stress Takes Toll in Very Complicated Births

MONDAY, July 29, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- A "dual burden" of serious maternal complications and premature birth occurs in about one in 270 births, a new study finds.

But hospital staff are often blind to the stress caused by this double whammy, researchers say.

"The situation of combined maternal and newborn complications is likely to be extremely stressful for families co...

High Levels of Estrogen in Womb Might Raise Autism Risk

MONDAY, July 29, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- New British research is bolstering the theory that elevated levels of sex hormones in the uterus could play a role in autism risk.

Prior studies had already implicated higher uterine concentrations of male sex hormones -- androgens -- in increasing the odds for an autism spectrum disorder, noted a team led by Simon Baron-Cohen. He directs the ...

Smog Could Land Newborns in Intensive Care

THURSDAY, July 25, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- The danger that air pollution poses to the hearts and lungs of adults is well-documented, but new research suggests that newborns are also at risk.

Infants of mothers who were exposed to high levels of air pollution in the week before giving birth were more likely to end up in the newborn intensive care unit (NICU).

"Short-term exp...

Pregnant Women Exposed to More Risky CT Scans

WEDNESDAY, July 24, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Use of risky CT scans during pregnancy has risen significantly in North America in the past two decades, a new study finds.

"It's important to quantify exposure to ionizing radiation because it can cause cancer and birth defects, and should be kept to a minimum, especially during pregnancy," said co-lead author Marilyn Kwan. She's a senior ...

Mediterranean Diet Has Big Benefits for Expectant Moms: Study

TUESDAY, July 23, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Could following a Mediterranean diet during pregnancy help head off gestational diabetes and excess weight gain?

A British study says the answer is yes.

But the researchers added that the eating regimen -- which is high in vegetables, fruits, whole grains, beans, nuts, seeds and olive oil -- does not reduce the overall risk of comp...

AHA News: Early Pregnancy May Be a Prime Time to Promote Heart Health

TUESDAY, July 23, 2019 (American Heart Association News) -- Improving cardiovascular health during the early stages of pregnancy can lead not only to a healthier pregnancy, it also can greatly improve a woman's long-term heart health, new research shows.

The findings, published Tuesday in the Journal of the American Heart Association, underscore the importance of entering preg...

Some Women Still Getting Pregnant While on Acne Drug Tied to Birth Defects

MONDAY, July 22, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Hundreds of pregnancies still occur every year among U.S. women taking an acne medication that carries a high risk of birth defects, a new study finds.

"While the number of pregnancies among patients taking isotretinoin is low, even 200 pregnancies is too high," said corresponding author Dr. Arash Mostaghimi. He is director of dermatology inpa...

Preterm Births to Hispanic Women Climbed After Trump's Election

FRIDAY, July 19, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- The number of preterm births to Hispanic women in the United States inched up shortly after the 2016 election -- raising the question of whether the political climate played a role, researchers say.

The study, of births between 2009 and 2017, found an uptick in preterm deliveries among Hispanic women that occurred in the nine months after Pres...

Pot Use During Early Pregnancy on the Rise

FRIDAY, July 19, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Pot use and pregnancy hardly go hand-in-hand for health reasons, but more American women are using marijuana just before and right after they become pregnant, new research warns.

"These findings should alert women's health clinicians to be aware of potential increases in daily and weekly cannabis use among their patients," said lead study auth...

AHA News: Pregnancy Complications Could Be Early Sign of Heart Disease Risk in Black Women

MONDAY, July 15, 2019 (American Heart Association News) -- A new study confirms that when it comes to assessing heart health, an important question a doctor can ask an African American woman is, "Did you have complications during a pregnancy?"

The study, published Monday in the American Heart Association's journal Circulation: Cardiovascular Imaging, analyzed data collected on...

High-Fiber Diets Might Shield Against a Common Pregnancy Complication

FRIDAY, July 12, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- More vegetables, more whole grains: New research finds that diets rich in fiber might help pregnant women avoid a dangerous spike in blood pressure.

The common obstetric complication is called preeclampsia, and it occurs in up to 10% of pregnancies. It's characterized by high blood pressure, protein in the urine and severe swelling in the ...

Flu Vaccine Safe During Pregnancy

THURSDAY, July 11, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Pregnant women can take comfort in new findings that suggest flu vaccines won't harm their fetuses.

Canadian researchers examined data on more than 104,000 children born in the province of Ontario between November 2009 and October 2010. Of those, 30% were born to mothers who received the H1N1 vaccine during their pregnancy.

Th...

In a U.S. First, Baby Is Delivered From Womb Transplanted From Deceased Donor

TUESDAY, July 9, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Doctors at the Cleveland Clinic announced that they've achieved a first in North America: delivering a baby from a uterus that had been transplanted from a deceased donor.

The healthy baby girl was delivered by C-section in June. This is only the second time such a delivery has happened worldwide, the first having occurred in Brazil in Decembe...

Stillbirth Risk Rises With Prolonged Pregnancies

TUESDAY, July 2, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- The longer a pregnancy continues past term, the higher the risk of stillbirth, according to a new study that analyzed 15 million pregnancies.

The highest risk of stillbirth occurred when pregnancies went beyond 41 weeks -- then the odds rose by 87%, the British researchers said.

They stressed, however, that women who are 41 weeks...

AHA News: Air Pollution Means Pregnant Women Can't Breathe Easy

TUESDAY, July 2, 2019 (American Heart Association News) -- Pregnant women receive a lot of instructions to ensure the healthiest possible baby: what to eat and drink, what to avoid, which vitamins to take, which activities to avoid and more.

But what about breathing?

Researchers have long been concerned about air pollution's effects on pregnancy, with possible consequences...

How Does Sunshine During Pregnancy Affect Learning?

TUESDAY, July 2, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Kids whose moms don't get enough sunshine during pregnancy may be more likely to develop learning difficulties, researchers report.

The finding stems from data on more than 422,000 school-aged children in Scotland. Low levels of exposure to UVB rays -- but not UVA sunlight -- during the entire pregnancy was linked to learning disabilities lat...

AHA News: Summer Heat Brings Special Health Risks for Pregnant Women

MONDAY, July 1, 2019 (American Heart Association News) -- Hot summer weather impacts some people more than others, and pregnant women are among those most likely to become overheated.

Barely more than a week into summer and as heat waves blanket Europe and the eastern United States, what are the risks for expectant mothers?

"It's not unexpected to see pregnant women come to the ...

Prenatal Opioid Exposure Could Bring Long-Term Harm to Kids

FRIDAY, June 28, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Children exposed to opioids in the womb may have heightened risks of long-term mental and physical health issues, a new study suggests.

The findings, published online June 28 in JAMA Network Open, dovetail with an opioid epidemic that has taken a widespread toll in the United States -- pregnant women and newborns included.

Opi...

Women's Exposure to Solvents at Work Tied to Autism in Children

THURSDAY, June 27, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Children of mothers who are often exposed to solvent chemicals in the workplace appear to have an increased risk of autism, a new study finds.

The study of almost 1,000 families can't prove cause and effect, but researchers report that mothers of autistic children had more frequent exposure to solvents than mothers of children without autism...

Even Slightly Elevated Blood Pressure Early in Pregnancy a Bad Sign

THURSDAY, June 27, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Even a small increase in blood pressure during your first trimester could spell bigger trouble later in your pregnancy, new research suggests.

Those troubles can include gestational high blood pressure, which develops after the 20th week of pregnancy, and preeclampsia (high blood pressure and protein in the urine), the researchers explained....

Seafood Offers Vital Nutrient for Expectant Moms and Babies

MONDAY, June 24, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Omega-3 fatty acids, found in foods including fatty fish and flaxseed, may be best known for their link to heart health, but they're also vital for pregnant women and their babies.

These important nutrients have been linked to a reduced risk for depression for mom and a better birth weight for baby along with improved development and brain fu...

Few Pregnant Women Get Right Amount of Nutrients

FRIDAY, June 21, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- For pregnant women, good nutrition is essential for their health and the baby's health. But many aren't getting adequate amounts of the vitamins and minerals they need, a new study finds.

On the other hand, some of actually taking higher levels of nutrients than is healthy, the same research reports.

And almost all are eating too mu...

More Women Using Pot During Pregnancy, Despite Potential Harms to Baby

TUESDAY, June 18, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- As laws around marijuana relax nationwide and the drug becomes more popular, American women are increasingly using pot during pregnancy, a new study finds.

The study was based on data from more than 467,000 women collected between 2002 and 2017. The researchers found that the percentage of women who said they'd used cannabis at least once dur...

Blood From Previously Pregnant Women Is Safe for Donation: Study

TUESDAY, June 11, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Red blood cell donations from women who have been pregnant won't cause fatal reactions in patients who get the blood, a new study finds.

Earlier studies have suggested that women who have been pregnant shouldn't give blood, because antibodies that develop during pregnancy could cause a potentially deadly complication in recipients of their b...

AHA News: How to Have a Heart-Healthy Pregnancy Before You Even Conceive

TUESDAY, June 11, 2019 (American Heart Association News) -- Taking good care of your health, especially your heart, is important during pregnancy. But preconception care – the care you get before becoming pregnant – can be just as critical for both mom and baby.

"There are demands that get placed on the heart during pregnancy," said Dr. Maria Sophocles, an OB-GYN and medical...

Nursing Moms Who Eat Right Have Slimmer, Healthier Babies

THURSDAY, May 30, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Breastfeeding moms with healthy eating habits have slimmer infants, who could then be protected from obesity later, researchers say.

Rapid weight gain and fat accumulation during an infant's first six months of life is a risk factor for obesity later on, they explained.

"A baby who is shooting up through the percentiles in weight-fo...

Fertility Treatment Tied to Deadly Heart Problem in Pregnancy: Study

TUESDAY, May 28, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- The risk of a pregnancy-related type of heart failure is five times higher for women who undergo fertility treatment than those who conceive naturally, a new study says.

The condition is called peripartum cardiomyopathy (PPCM). It affects about 1 in 1,000 pregnant women worldwide and is life-threatening to the mother and baby.

This s...

Routine Use of Antibiotics May Help After Complicated Vaginal Birth: Study

TUESDAY, May 14, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Nearly half of infections among women who undergo an assisted vaginal birth could be prevented by giving them a dose of antibiotics soon after delivery, a new study contends.

The preventive use of antibiotics in these cases could prevent about 5,000 infections in new mothers every year in the United States alone, and many more worldwide, the r...

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