Friday, February 16, 2007

A World Cup Baby Boom in Germany

The goal scoring average at the 2006 World Cup might not have been very high, but there was a lot of scoring off the pitch during the competition. Maternity wards in Germany are reporting that they are fully booked and are having to arrange extra beds for all the women expecting babies in April. Midwife Barbara Freischuetz from Cologne said: “The women say that the baby is a souvenir from the World Cup. A product of the euphoria from the tournament.”

Most women who are expecting sons are planning to call them Lukas, Bastian and Michael.


Newborn Ends Up in Pa. Woman's Pant Leg

A woman gave birth to a boy outside a western Pennsylvania hospital — a delivery that happened so quickly that the newborn wound up in his mother's sweatpants. "It happened so fast," Rebecca Johnson, 24, told the Daily Courier in Connellsville. "I didn't know what happened until he was in my pant leg." Johnson had just gotten out of the car at Highlands Hospital in Connellsville and was still in the parking lot when her 5-pound, 15-ounce son, Mason Matthew Parkinson, arrived Wednesday. An emergency room physician cut the umbilical cord in the parking lot, and doctors attended to Johnson until she could be taken to Uniontown Hospital, which has a maternity unit. Mason, Johnson's fourth child, was doing well. Source

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Eating Healthy During Pregnancy

If you’re planning on having children, concentrating on a good nutritious diet before conception, would be a wise move. This way, you’ll only have to make a few adjustments during pregnancy. Your first trimester If you find it tough to maintain a balanced diet during your first trimester, you can rest assured that your not alone. Due to queasiness, some women will eat all of the time and gain a lot of weight in the process. Other women have trouble getting food down and subsequently lose weight. Preventing malnutrition and dehydration are your most important factors during first trimester. Calories When you are pregnant, you need to consume around 300 calories more than usual every day. The best way to go about doing this is listening to your body when you are hungry. You should try to eat as many foods as possible from the bottom of the food pyramid. If you gain weight too slow, try eating small meals and slightly increase the fat in your diet. You should always eat when you are hungry, as you are now eating for 2 instead of one. Calcium By the second trimester, you’ll need around 1,500 milligrams of calcium each day for your bones and your baby’, which is more than a quart of milk. Calcium is something that’s missing from many diets. Along with milk, other great sources for calcium include dairy products, calcium fortified juices, and even calcium tablets. Fiber Fiber can help to prevent constipation, which is a common pregnancy problem. You can find fiber in whole grains, fruits, and even vegetables. Fiber supplements such as Metamucil and Citrucel are safe to take during pregnancy. Protein Unless you happen to be a strict vegetarian, your protein intake is not normally a problem for women who eat a healthy diet. Iron A lot of women will start their pregnancy off with a bit of iron deficiency. Good sources of iron include dark leafy green vegetables and meats. Iron supplements should be avoided, as they can cause internal symptoms such as cramping, constipation, or diarrhea. Vitamins Seeing as how you get a majority of the vitamins you need in your diet, you may want to discuss prenatal vitamins with your doctor. Folate is one of the most important, and if you are getting enough of it, you may be able to avoid vitamins all together - just ask your doctor to make sure. Source

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Blonde meets Apple

This is such a funny commercial! It does poke fun at dumb blondes, but Apple did a great job with this. I definitely laughed out loud!

Knitted Breasts Help New Mothers

A hospital needing a cheaper alternative to fake breasts has begun knitting its own.

The woolly breasts are being used at Liverpool Women's Hospital to show new mothers how to breastfeed and how to express milk if necessary.

Kate McFadden, the hospital's infant feeding co-ordinator, has already knitted several and has called in the services of her mother, a keen knitter.

The breasts are produced in a variety of skin shades.

They are used by community midwife teams to demonstrate how milk should be expressed, particularly for premature babies being kept in hospital.

Ms McFadden told BBC News: "We have a regional neo-natal unit and we encourage new mothers to express milk to help the small and sick babies.

Expensive models

"When we first put an e-mail appeal out to everyone in the trust, there were a fair few messages being sent back.

"But they are vital to us and are a low-cost, simple teaching tool."

Ms McFadden sourced the breast pattern from the Lactation Consultants' Association.

She said: "You can buy model breasts, but they cost around £35 each, which is quite prohibitive, as we need about 50."

Although community groups, including the official friends of the hospital association, have pitched in, more knitters are needed.


Claudia Schiffer and Clementine and French Elle

I haven't seen pics of supermodel Claudia Schiffer in such a long time! Here is a pic of her and her daughter Clementine, 2, as they appear on the cover of this month's French Elle Magazine.

Monday, February 12, 2007

Fertility treatment raises defect risk

Babies conceived through fertility treatments have higher rates of birth defects, but the overall risk is so small that it should not keep couples from having children this way, doctors are reporting.

The news comes from a study of more than 61,000 births in Canada, the largest ever done on this in North America.

"What's important and reassuring is that the absolute risks are still low," at less than 3 percent of all births, said one of the study's leaders, Dr. Mark Walker of the University of Ottawa.

Even so, the risks of certain defects were startlingly high for babies born with the help of technology.

Couples who want to lower the risk should have only one or two embryos implanted at a time, specialists said. The danger of defects from twin, triplet and other multiple births is far greater than any risk posed by the fertility treatments themselves.

Results of the study were to be reported Friday at a meeting of the Society for Maternal-Fetal Medicine in San Francisco.

More than 1 million babies worldwide have been born through assisted reproductive technology, or ART. This includes induced ovulation, artificial insemination, IVF or in vitro (lab dish) fertilization, and more advanced methods like injecting a single sperm into an egg to create an embryo.

As many as 1 to 2 percent of births in the United States and Canada are due to such techniques. They already are known to raise the raise the risk of premature birth and other complications.

But studies have been divided over whether they increase the likelihood of birth defects. A recent scientific review concluded there is some added risk, but that most studies have been too small or flawed to be conclusive.

The Canadian work is important because it's a large study and quantifies the risk of specific birth defects, "a first as far as I know," said Dr. Nancy Green, medical director of the March of Dimes.

Researchers studied 61,208 births in Ontario during 2005, including 1,394 that resulted from fertility treatments. They looked at rates of birth defects and adjusted estimates of risk to reflect differences in the mothers' ages, whether they smoked, the gender of the babies, birth complications and other factors.

Nearly 3 percent of ART babies had a birth defect versus just under 2 percent for babies conceived naturally. That translated to a 58 percent greater risk. The chances of a defect rose as the complexity of reproductive help did — they were highest for IVF and lowest for simply giving medications to spur a woman's ovaries to make more eggs.

The biggest difference was seen in the rate of gastrointestinal problems, such as defects in the abdominal wall or organs not in the right place. Babies conceived through reproductive technology were nearly nine times more likely to have such problems — one in 200 births versus six per 10,000 for the others.

However, "it's still pretty uncommon," said lead researcher Darine El-Chaar of the University of Ottawa.

The chance of cardiovascular defects was more than twice as high — 90 per 10,000 babies conceived through ART versus 40 among those conceived naturally. Defects like malformed limbs also were slightly more common, but not facial defects like cleft palate or problems like spina bifida.

The bottom line: "I don't think women should worry about it," said Dr. Nancy Chescheir, obstetrics chief at Vanderbilt Medical Center, who had no role in the study.

The higher rates seen in this study are no worse than the 3 percent to 4 percent rates usually seen in the general population; the Canadians may have been healthier in general, she said.

Green said the risks are "not overpowering, but they're not insignificant."

The researchers note that people who have trouble conceiving also may have underlying genetic or health factors that could partly account for the higher rates of birth defects.

"We think this should become part of counseling couples that are infertile," especially that the degree of manipulating egg and sperm may affect the risk of defects, El-Chaar said.