What a great week to get back into reading about all things pregnancy, birth and baby! Lots of neat developments for families who are seeking fertility treatments, a possible breakthrough to treat pre-eclampsia, and another biological explanation about why those Sweet Peas just don't sleep through the night when they are newborns (another one in case you needed to remind yourself that your sleepless nights are just "for now" - they do eventually get really good at sleeping!!)
Merck Serono agrees licensing deal for embryo viability test
Under the terms of the new deal, Merck Serono will obtain
exclusive rights to commercialise the Eeva Test in Europe and Canada, with the
option to extend the arrangement to additional selected countries and regions.
The product received European CE Mark approval in 2012 and is a non-invasive
diagnostic test used adjunctively to traditional morphology. It utilises
time-lapse imaging and computer software to analyse embryo development.
It provides reproductive endocrinologists and embryologists with objective
information that can help to assess embryo development and viability, leading
to better in vitro fertilisation patient outcomes.
Embryo screening gives couples hope for healthy pregnancy
An evolving technology called PGS, or preimplantation
genetic screening, is responsible for their success, said Dr. Paul Miller, a
reproductive endocrinologist and medical director of the Fertility Center of
"We take an embryo that is five days old and remove six
to 10 cells from what we know is going to be the placenta," he said,
"and then test them for all sorts of genetic abnormalities and the right
number of chromosomes."
But first comes in vitro fertilization. With IVF, eggs are
retrieved and fertilized in a petri dish, allowed to develop for five days, and
then implanted in the mother. Because of PGS, only the normal embryos are
"It helps us identify which ones are developing along
the right track," said William Roudebush, associate laboratory director.
"Everything we do here — the air quality, high-tech instrumention — is to
optimize the pregnancy potential."
Aspirin may prevent preeclampsia in pregnant women
The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force today published a
draft of their recommended guidelines and final evidence summary on prescribing
low-dose aspirin as a preventive measure against preeclampsia for pregnant
women at high risk for the condition. The Task Force strongly recommends
doctors prescribe a small dose -- 81 milligrams per day -- beginning after 12
weeks of pregnancy.
The Task Force, an independent, volunteer panel of health
experts in prevention and evidence-based medicine that advises government
health agencies on medical guidelines, found low-dose aspirin every day lowered
the risk of preeclampsia in high-risk pregnant women by 24 percent.
In-womb surgery saves Navy couple's twins
“…the babies had a rare condition called Twin[to]Twin
Transfusion Syndrome. That's when one of the fetuses gives up most
of its blood and nutrients to the other through shared blood vessels on the
“TTTS affects about 15 percent of twins in the womb.”
WVEC.com Norfolk - Hampton Roads http://bit.ly/1iAcGVR
After birth: don’t ignore the risky postnatal symptoms
In the 24 hours after birth, 47% of British new
mothers are not aware of the post-natal symptoms that could put at risk
their own life or that of their child. Including fever, weakness, difficulty in
urinating, dizziness, nausea, bleeding, rash, swelling and pain in the
vulvar or perineal area in the first case. Or bad breathing, loss of appetite,
lack of responsiveness, dark lips, body temperature above 38 °, yellowish color
of the skin, swelling of the top of the head in the second. Moreover, two
thirds of obstetricians are not aware of the standards on post-natal care
developed by NICE.
Postpartum VTE Risk Highest Soon After Birth
A woman's risk for postpartum venous thromboembolism (VTE)
is highest in the first few weeks after delivery and then drops steadily
through week 12, a new study suggests. Pregnancy complications increase the
risk for postpartum VTE.
The study is one of the few to track the incidence of
postpartum VTE on a weekly basis, lead author Naomi K. Tepper, MD, MPH, from
the Prevention and Health Promotion and the Division of Blood Disorders,
National Center on Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities, Centers for
Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, Georgia, and colleagues write in the
May issue of Obstetrics and Gynecology.
It is well established that the risk for VTE rises shortly
after birth, largely because of pregnancy-related hypercoagulability. However,
most previous studies report an aggregate risk for a given time, rather than
week-by-week. Different components of the clotting system return to normal at
different times, ranging from immediately after delivery to 6 to 12 weeks later,
and little is known about how these changes affect VTE risk.
Hold your newborn like a kangaroo
A new Israeli study reveals that “kangaroo care” for
premature babies has life-long effects on neurological and psychological development.
Conducted by Dr. Ruth Feldman – a professor in the
department of psychology and in the Brain Research Center at Bar-Ilan
University, and adjunct professor at the Child Study Center at Yale – the study
shows that skin-to-skin contact between mother and newborn improves brain
functioning later in life.
The concept of “kangaroo care” (named for the way that this
marsupial carries her unformed offspring in her pouch) is not new. Introduced
by neonatologist Edgar Rey Sanabria in 1978 in Bogota, Colombia — where access
to incubators was limited — it is a method of using maternal body heat to
prevent hypothermia in preemies.
Breastfeeding and infant sleep
In a new article published online today in the journal Evolution,
Medicine, and Public Health, Professor David Haig argues that infants that wake
frequently at night to breastfeed are delaying the resumption of the mother's
ovulation and therefore preventing the birth of a sibling with whom they would
have to compete.
It has already been documented that smaller gaps between the
births of siblings are associated with increased mortality of infants and
toddlers, especially in environments where resources are scarce and where
infectious disease rates are high, and Professor Haig believes that the
benefits of delay are such that the selective forces are strong enough to have
engendered a significant evolutionary response.
Professor Haig says, "The duration of postpartum
amenorrhea is a major determinant of interbirth internals (IBI) in natural
fertility populations with more frequent and more intense nursing, especially
at night, associated with prolonged infertility. Natural selection will have
preserved suckling and sleeping behaviours of infants that suppress ovarian
function in mothers because infants have benefited from delay of the next
birth. Maximal night waking can be conjectured to overlap with the greatest
benefits of contraceptive suckling."
BREASTFEEDINGResearch shows how breastfeeding can help ease the pain of arthritis
A new study has revealed that women who choose to breastfeed
their children are half as likely to develop rheumatoid arthritis than those
who don't. Arthritis, which causes pain and swelling in the joints,
is twice as common in women than men, and its occurrence in women increases
steadily up to their mid forties.
The research, published in the journal of Rheumatology,
studied more than 7,000 women, and found that the women who chose to
breastfeed, especially for lengthy periods of time, were around half as likely
to develop rheumatoid arthritis.
Digital Journal Press Release – http://bit.ly/1egHXAd
Expert Speaks Up about the Beer Drinking Mother Arrested for
“Being illegal or not and getting arrested or not is not the
main concern here!” Anderson exclaims “This event simply triggers the obvious
need for more education on how breastfeeding
fit into one’s lifestyle, including the intake of alcohol” she goes on to say
“but mothers need to be aware of how much they are drinking and time their
Breast milk is made from blood and therefore alcohol is
excreted into breastmilk as it is into the blood stream. The amount of alcohol
in the blood is the amount of alcohol in a mothers milk. Alcohol will be in the
breastmilk 30-60 minutes after starting drinking. As the breastmilk is filtered
constantly it is excreted from the milk. As a general rule, it takes 2 hours
for an average woman to metabolise the alcohol from 1 standard drink and
therefore 4 hours for 2 and so on. Alcohol is not stored in the milk just as it
doesn’t remain in the blood.
Press Release - Digital Journal http://bit.ly/1n3Srmi
STUDY: Proof that antidepressants breastfeeding can mix [in
a positive way!]
Dr Grzeskowiak says the health benefits of continued
breastfeeding greatly outweigh any perceived risk to the baby from
"This is a really important message because we know
that breastfeeding has immense benefits for the child and the mum herself,
including a degree of protection against post-natal depression," he says.
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