Friday, March 16, 2007

Pregnancy Risk: Preeclampsia Linked To Elevated Autoantibodies

Women who develop preeclampsia during pregnancy are more likely to develop certain dangerous autoantibodies than women with normal pregnancies, and these autoantibodies are still present two years after childbirth in about 20 percent of women who had the disorder, scientists from the University of Pittsburgh report in the March issue of Hypertension, the journal of the American Heart Association.

Also known as toxemia, preeclampsia affects some 5 percent of pregnancies and is a leading cause of maternal and fetal illness and death, particularly in developing nations. Signs include high blood pressure, swelling of the ankles and the presence of protein in the urine. The condition typically appears after the mid-point of pregnancy.

The only effective treatment is immediate delivery, which can be dangerous for the baby if it is too early. Untreated, the condition can lead to organ failure, coma and death. Preeclampsia also has been linked to an increased lifetime risk for heart disease.

"Further study is required to determine whether the presence of these autoantibodies could be an early marker for preeclampsia risk, but early data are promising," said Carl A. Hubel, Ph.D., the study's lead author and assistant professor of obstetrics, gynecology and reproductive sciences at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine. "Learning more about these autoantibodies also might enable us to identify a subset of women who are at greater risk for heart disease later in life, and give us a closer understanding of what causes preeclampsia."

For most women, the autoantibodies eventually go away after pregnancy. "But in some, they persist or reappear, consistent with other data showing that many of the risk factors for preeclampsia are the same as those for cardiovascular disease," added Dr. Hubel, who also is an associate investigator at the university-affiliated Magee-Womens Research Institute. Click here to continue reading...

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Babies Can Avoid Wearing Diapers

Funny pic! Check out what it's all about at Potty Whispering!
"...‘elimination communication’, a process of parents and child working together so that baby can avoid wearing a diaper (or nappy). Friends have been through the whole disposable/biodegadable/cloth diaper debate and are still looks for solutions."

Folic Acid During Pregnancy Helps Prevent Cleft Lip, Recent Study Shows

Most of us know someone who has a cleft lip, so I find this study very important. Read how a study found that taking folic acid supplements can reduce cleft lip by about a third. ____________________________________________________________ A study published in the March 2007 issue of the British Medical Journal found that taking folic acid supplements during the first trimester "reduced the risk of isolated cleft lip (with or without cleft palate) by about a third." Researchers from the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences studied 1,336 infants born between 1996 and 2001 in Norway. The discovered that consuming at least 400mg of folic acid daily during early pregnancy reduced the risk for infants developing isolated cleft lip. Mothers who also had folate-rich diets and took multi-vitamins saw the lowest rates. Previous studies have shown that folic acid helps to prevent cleft palate, as well. Folic Acid is a B vitamin that contributes to the healthy development of cells. Folate is the form of this particular vitamin as it occurs naturally in foods, such as citrus fruits, whole grains, green leafy vegetables, and beans. Folic Acid is considered more digestible and useable than folate. A study done in 1997 showed that as many as 1 in 7 people may have a genetic mutation that interferes with their ability to process folate. Oral-facial clefts occur when parts of the mouth or lips do not develop completely in an unborn fetus. Parts of the skin or soft tissues do not come together and leave gaps. They occur in approximately 1 out of every 1000 births, effect more boys than girls, and according to, "occur more often in children of Asian, Latino, or Native American descent." They are considered the most common birth defect. Cleft lip can be diagnosed during an ultrasound, and cleft palate is identifiable at birth. In most cases, both are 100% treatable. Untreated, they can cause dental complications, speech problems, and increase a child's susceptibility to colds, earaches, and hearing loss. Infants with a cleft lip or palate experience more difficulty nursing or using a bottle (visit for more information on how to breastfeed an infant with oral-facial clefts). Pregnant women are typically advised to take folic acid supplements to help prevent spina bifida, a condition in which the spinal column does not completely close during development. However, it actually reduces the risk of all neural tube defects by up to 70%. Early research studies are showing a relationship between folic acid consumption during pregnancy and a reduction in heart defects, as well. Source

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

The 10 Best Things About Pregnancy

When reading this article in AmericanBaby, I just knew I had to share it with everyone. After reading, do you agree with the '10 Best things about Pregnancy?'

The first: My skin never looked better. As soon as my stomach popped, my acne-prone, dull, and pale complexion was suddenly clear and radiant (not to toot my own horn or anything). Having skin as smooth and flawless as, well, a baby's (not to mention all the compliments I was getting) made the not-so-pretty parts of pregnancy more bearable.

Here, nine other reasons why you'll love being a mom-in-the-making.

2. You don't have to obsess.

Thoughts of fitting into your skinny jeans go out the window. In fact, this is a time when you're supposed to gain weight. Amy Devigne, of New York City, says she's always been a healthy eater, but her pregnancy with her son, Jack, now 8 months, "was the first time I can remember not worrying about how much I ate." Plus, she adds, "I loved the expandable waistbands in maternity pants!" Heck, even ice cream isn't so bad, since you need the extra calcium for your baby and yourself.

3. You're supposed to rest.

Your body is like a factory working hard to create a new life, and that's an exhausting endeavor. "When you're pregnant, the amount of water in your body increases by 50 percent, and your blood volume increases by 40 percent. Carrying all that extra fluid around as well as the additional weight you gain can make you tired," explains Jill Maura Rabin, MD, assistant professor of obstetrics and gynecology at Albert Einstein Medical School, in New York City. "You also get tired because pregnant women are naturally a little bit anemic." So put your feet up, tune in to Oprah, and enjoy a midday siesta. You deserve it.

4. Total strangers look at you.

Despite the roller coaster of emotions that pregnancy brings, there's a mood boost that many of us get that's like no other. Little compares to the excitement and anticipation of what's to come. And it's not just your mood that gets a lift. As your belly grows, you'll notice that other people look at you in an endearing way -- something that doesn't always happen in our busy world. "When I was pregnant with my second child, I was in the mall during the holidays," says Lisa Carey, a mother of two, in Chatham, New Jersey. "A woman walking by looked at my huge belly, and a big smile spread across her face. I couldn't help but smile back."

5. You get VIP treatment.

When people see your growing belly, they often roll out the red carpet. I was regularly offered seats on subways, something that had never happened in my 20 years of living in New York City. And many times when I was in an endless line for the ladies' room, say at the mall or at a concert, a woman ahead of me would usher me right up to the front. Usually she'd do so with a knowing look and a comment like, "I remember how badly I had to go when I was pregnant," as others in line nodded in agreement. Other VIP perks can include doors being held open for you, prime parking spots, and help carrying heavy packages.

6. Your complexion may improve.

While some pregnant women battle acne, many others, like me, reap benefits: "Moms-to-be who have better skin can thank an increase in hormones for their smoother complexion," says Ranella Hirsch, MD, vice president of the American Society of Cosmetic Dermatology and Aesthetic Surgery. And what about the radiance I experienced? "The rosy glow you can get is caused by an increase in blood volume in your body while you're pregnant, which means the skin gets more oxygen and circulation."

7. Your breasts get bigger.

For those of us born with A and B cups, pregnancy is a chance to see how the other half lives. "I loved my bigger chest," says Jeanine Boiko, a mother from Levittown, New York. "I'm not naturally well endowed, so it was nice to have some cleavage during and shortly after giving birth to my son." This extra volume is caused by an increase in total body water and extra pounds, and by your breast tissue growing as it prepares to hold milk once your little one arrives.

8. Good hair (and nail) days abound.

"When you're pregnant, everything in your body is growing more quickly due to increased hormone levels, and that includes your nails and hair," says Dr. Hirsch. Plus you lose fewer hairs each day when you're expecting, which makes your tresses appear thicker and fuller. What's more, formerly thin or brittle nails may actually get stronger. That's what happened to Mara Stern. "My nails never looked better than during my second pregnancy," says this mother of two from Boca Raton, Florida. "I didn't even need to wear polish or get manicures."

9. Sex can be better.

Though sexual desire during pregnancy varies for each woman, 31 percent of women report a libido lift, according to an poll. One reason is the increased blood flow to the pelvic area (also called engorgement) that some women say boosts their sexual response and makes sex more satisfying. This is especially true during the second trimester. A bonus: This heightened sensitivity ups the chance of having an orgasm. Pregnancy also causes an increase in vaginal secretions, and this boost in lubrication may make intercourse more comfortable.

10. You've got a secret.

There's nothing quite as exciting as walking around, not yet looking pregnant but knowing that you've got a little person growing inside of you. "When I was pregnant with my first child, I could be standing in line at the grocery store, grabbing a smoothie, or talking with the UPS delivery person, and a wave of happiness would wash over me and make me smile," says Vicki Stern-Brown, a mother of two from Atlanta. "No one else knew why I was smiling, but it was an exciting, happy, giddy kind of secret that's really like nothing else."

Pregnancy tops emergency spending for immigrants

Childbirth and pregnancy complications account for most of the Emergency Medicaid spending for undocumented immigrants, new research indicates.

Undocumented immigrants who have been in the U.S. for less than 5 years are not eligible for Medicaid, with the exception of limited emergency coverage provided by the Emergency Medicaid program.

To see how the Emergency Medicaid program is being used by this population, Dr. C. Annette DuBard, from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and Dr. Mark W. Massing, from The Carolinas Center for Medical Excellence in Cary, North Carolina, analyzed data for 48,391 individuals who received services that were reimbursed between 2001 and 2004.

The overwhelming majority of subjects were Hispanic, female, and between the ages of 18 and 40, according to the report in the Journal of the American Medical Association

During the 4-year study period, total spending rose by 28 percent, the authors note. Eighty-two percent of the spending and 91 percent of hospitalizations in 2004 were related to childbirth and complications of pregnancy.

Other common conditions for which Emergency Medicaid was used included injury, kidney failure, stomach and intestinal disease, and heart conditions.

"Medicaid spending for emergency care of recent and undocumented immigrants, although a small proportion of the total Medicaid budget, is increasing rapidly in this new immigrant growth state," the authors conclude.

While spending on childbirth and pregnancy complications dominate, the researchers also observed rapid increases in the use of Emergency Medicaid services by the elderly and disabled.


Tori Spelling & Husband Welcome A Baby Boy

Yesterday, Tuesday, March 13th, Tori Spelling and her husband, Dean McDermott welcomed their first child, a son, according to People. The couple's newborn, Liam Aaron McDermott, was born in a Los Angeles hospital. He weighed in at 6lbs., 6oz. A good, healthy size for a newborn! Apparently, Tori and her mother, Candy are in the midst of reconciling. "Words can't describe the joy and elation I feel at this truly happy event," Candy told People. "I am looking forward to doting on my new little grandson and all the memorable fun that comes with it." A rep for the couple adds: "They're all really happy and everybody's resting now. Tori and the baby are healthy." If you didn't already notice, the baby's middle name is the same as his late grandfather, Aaron Spelling. It was a tribute to Spelling's father who passed away in June. We wish the couple best of luck and congratulations!

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

14-Pound Newborn Joins Exclusive Big Baby Club

A new mother in Manitoba may be dreaming of her newborn baby's future as a linebacker already, after she gave birth to a baby which tipped the scales at over 14 pounds.

St. Boniface Hospital officials confirmed the big baby was born Friday. The hospital would say only the infant was healthy and both mother and child had already been released from hospital.

It would release no other information about the family including the baby's sex or whether the child was delivered by Caesarian section. A hospital spokesperson also couldn't say whether the infant's weight broke any hospital or provincial records.

The infant will join an exclusive club of big babies around the world.

The child was born almost six weeks after a baby in Cancun, Mexico made international headlines when he weighed in at birth at 14.1 pounds.

That infant, Antonio Vasconcelos and nicknamed "Super Tonio" arrived on Jan. 29.

Last September a baby boy born in Connecticut weighed in at 14 pounds, 13 ounces.

He needed clothes made for nine-month-olds and hospital staff had to get diapers from the pediatric floor because none of the diapers on the maternity ward would fit him.

The Guiness Book of World Records lists a Canadian baby born in 1879 as the largest baby ever born in the world.

That child weighed 23.1 pounds and only lived for 11 days.

A baby boy born in Aversa, Italy in September, 1955 weighed in at 22 pounds, eight ounces.

Normal weight for a full-term baby in Canada ranges from 5.5 pounds to 9.9 pounds.

According to Statistics Canada there were 78 babies born in 2004 who weighed in excess of 12 pounds, 10 of them in Manitoba. They accounted for less than 0.1 per cent of all full-term births.


Pregnant Mel B Hosts Baby Shower

Regardless of who the father is, Mel B, is going to treat her and her baby with the good life, starting with a baby shower.

Mel B has hosted a lavish baby shower in Beverly Hills.

The former Spice Girl - who is due to give birth to her second child next month - threw the party for 30 guests at the Beverly Hills Hotel on Friday.

Guests were treated to champagne and a cake in the shape of a woman's pregnant stomach clad in an edible leopard-print loin cloth.

Mel began the day by getting ready with close friends in a bungalow at the hotel, before joining her guests in a private room by the tennis courts.

The 31-year-old refused to let her acrimonious split with Eddie Murphy spoil her day, even though he is still demanding a paternity test before he accepts the child is his.

Eddie's new girlfriend Tracey Edmonds has insisted he will play a role in the child's upbringing if he is the father.

Tracey said, "Without me getting too deep into it, they had a quick relationship before I got together with Eddie. So that's their business.

There'll be a paternity test and if it is his then he will be responsible."

In December, Eddie was asked about his relationship with Mel and her pregnancy. He angrily replied, "We're not together anymore. And I don't know whose child that it is, until it comes out and has a blood test. You shouldn't jump to conclusions, sir."


Monday, March 12, 2007

M&S Viewer's Choice Awards 2007

Calling all fashionistas! Are you interested in fashion? Well, Maternity & Style needs you, the hot mamas-to-be, to decide which designers make the grade and rank #1 on your Hot 100 list in their first ever Viewer's Choice Fashion Awards. Take this speedy and painless style survey and let them know who you love wearing during these nine months of fashionable glory.