Thursday, May 17, 2007

Pregnant Milla Jovovich Gaining Weight & Loving It

Model/actress/clothes designer Milla Jovovich is excited to add another title by her name: Mom. She tells People that to prepare for her new role she is, “”just reading lots of books and trying to talk to all my friends who have kids and getting prepared to start my prenatal yoga and all that kind of stuff soon.”

Milla, 31, is 4 months pregnant with her first child with fiancĂ© Paul Anderson. She says she is enjoying gaining weight, and talks about her pregnancy cravings. “I’ve been craving lots of bad stuff but I’ve been cooking a lot. I did this amazing slow-roasted tomato dip the other night, and steaks, and, oh, I’ve been eating my mom’s potatoes – I know how to make my mom’s potatoes – like crazy. It’s awful. I have to stop.”

Hey, pregnancy is the perfect time for a little guilt-free indulgence!

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Pregnant Women Should Be Offered Aspirin, Say Researchers

Taking aspirin during pregnancy could reduce the risk of a potentially serious complication, researchers said today.

Scientists, from the University of Sydney in Australia, who analysed the results of 31 trials involving more than 32,000 women found evidence that the drug protects against pre-eclampsia, which is potentially life-threatening to mother and baby.

The condition, which appears to be caused by a defect in the placenta and is usually associated with high blood pressure, affects between 5% and 8% of pregnancies. It may cause abdominal pain, headaches and swelling.

Serious cases of pre-eclampsia kill an estimated 10 women a year in the UK and up to 1,000 babies.

The new research, led by Dr Lisa Askie, showed that the risk of developing pre-eclampsia, delivering before 34 weeks, and having a pregnancy with a severe adverse outcome, fell by 10% in women taking aspirin or antiplatelet drugs, which like aspirin prevent blood clotting.

What causes pre-eclampsia remains unclear, but it may arise from complications that lead to irregular blood flow to the placenta, causing blood clots and death to the tissue. This can lead to the activation of platelets - clotting agents in the blood - and an imbalance between the hormones which promote and slow blood flow. Antiplatelet agents such as aspirin are thought to prevent pre-eclampsia by redressing this balance.

Their findings, reported in an online edition of The Lancet medical journal, concluded: "Our data show that antiplatelet agents produce moderate but consistent reductions in pre-eclampsia and its consequences. This information should be discussed with women at risk of pre-eclampsia to help them make informed choices about their antenatal care."

In an accompanying comment, US experts Professor James Roberts and Dr Janet Catov, from the University of Pittsburgh, wrote that pre-eclampsia was almost a certainty in women who have experienced pre-eclampsia in more than one pregnancy or women with chronic hypertension and pre-eclampsia in a previous pregnancy and "in these settings, aspirin is justified," they said.

"In the more usual setting of risk at about 20%, as in chronic hypertension, multiple gestations, pre-pregnancy diabetes or pre-eclampsia in one previous pregnancy, whether benefits outweigh theoretical long-term risks is more difficult to judge," they added.

They add: "Is treating 50 women to prevent one case of pre-eclampsia or one preterm birth worthwhile? Although from a public health perspective, such a number to treat might seem effective, the decision is one that is probably best made individually in consultation with an informed mother."

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Wednesday, May 16, 2007

New test promises to reveal sex of fetus 6 weeks into pregnancy

LONDON -- A new test dubbed "Pink or Blue" promises to tell parents the sex of their fetus just six weeks into pregnancy, but critics question its reliability and say it could pose an array of ethical issues. The British company DNA Worldwide launched the test last month for sale over the Internet targeting a broad world audience. A U.S. company has been selling the test online, mainly to Americans, since last year.

The company does not ship to countries including China and India, where there is sometimes a marked preference for boys over girls. Some experts suggested the test could lead some parents to abort if they were unhappy with the result.

The test works by analyzing fetal DNA that leaks into the mother's bloodstream. Some experts expressed doubts about the technique. "The earlier in pregnancy that you do these tests, the less fetal DNA there will be around, and possibly, the less accurate the test will be," said Dr. Patrick O'Brien, a consultant obstetrician and spokesperson for the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. "At six weeks of pregnancy, it's questionable whether the technology is that good." Parents willing to wait longer can get a head-to-toe ultrasound at 20 weeks that is almost 100 percent accurate. Invasive procedures like an amniocentesis -- which carry a small risk of miscarriage -- can be done at about 11 weeks. Parents who order the Pink or Blue test receive a packet where the mother provides a spot of blood on a special card. That is sent back to the company's laboratories, and within four to six days, the gender of the fetus is revealed with up to 98 percent accuracy if instructions are properly followed, according to DNA Worldwide. Because the test is marketed as "informational" rather than medical, it is not regulated by health authorities in Britain or abroad. "We're trying to bridge the gap between science and the consumer," said David Nicholson, director of DNA Worldwide. "Many parents are very keen to know if it's a boy or a girl, and we are about providing that information." The test works by detecting fetal DNA that can naturally be found in the mother's blood. It looks for the male-specific Y chromosome. If the Y chromosome is detected, the fetus is a boy. If not, it's a girl. The Pink or Blue test is based on a method developed by Italian researchers, who published their research in the journal Human Genetics in 2005. They claimed the Y-chromosome could be reliably identified in the mother's bloodstream as early as six weeks into pregnancy. DNA Worldwide offers customers a money-back guarantee if their results prove to be wrong. Of the hundreds of tests sold since the test went on sale in April, Nicholson says they have only had to refund one customer. Even if DNA Worldwide's test is accurate, experts recommend that parents get professional advice. "Someone who takes this test should talk to their physician if they're going to do anything with that information besides buying baby clothes or painting the nursery," said Dr. Rachel Masch, an obstetrician/gynecologist at New York University School of Medicine. "And even in that case, they might have to make a lot of returns." Other experts worried about ethical implications if parents use the information to select the gender of their babies, by getting an abortion if the test indicates the "wrong" sex. "Sex-selection might encourage parents to view their kids as commodities," said Marcy Darnovsky, associate executive director of the Center for Genetics and Society, a U.S.-based public interest group. "Tests like this could normalize genetic selection and lead to a scenario where parents are one day picking out their child's characteristics from a catalogue," Darnovsky said. Still, doctors said the technology behind the test could one day allow advanced genetic screening, like testing for chromosomal disorders such as Down Syndrome. "If we had a safe and accurate genetic test to look at fetal DNA, that would be the holy grail," said O'Brien.

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Tuesday, May 15, 2007

? OF THE WEEK: Did You Save Your Positive Pregnancy Test Stick?

Nowadays many women who want to find out if they are pregnant or not resort to using on home pregnancy test. Various women have kept their positive pregnancy sticks as mementos. I never thought of saving the test. I only saved it long enough to show my hubby when he got home, then I threw it out. Honestly, once you see the result of the test it is a life-changing event and the pregnancy stick signifies the beginning of a different life. A recent New York Times story describes the phenomenon of women saving their positive pregnancy test sticks.

The article goes on to explain how it is unique to this generation because home testing is so widely used now. Our mothers had to go to the doctor’s office for their pregnancy tests.

I personally have every single one of my positive sticks — even when I retested out of disbelief. They are stuck in a little drawer underneath my vanity skirt. I can tell which one belongs to which baby by the brand. (I guess writing on it with a Sharpie would be easier.)

I kept mine because we did struggle to get pregnant. By the time it finally happened, I was so happy and incredulous that I wanted to keep the proof that I was really pregnant. It was a big deal to finally make that darn stick turn a color.

Have you kept all your positive pregnancy test sticks? Why did you keep them and where did you store them? Does your husband/partner know you saved them? Source