Friday, June 20, 2008

Pregnancy Boom at Gloucester High

As summer vacation begins, 17 girls at Gloucester High School are expecting babies—more than four times the number of pregnancies the 1,200-student school had last year. Some adults dismissed the statistic as a blip. Others blamed hit movies like Juno and Knocked Up for glamorizing young unwed mothers.

But principal Joseph Sullivan knows at least part of the reason there's been such a spike in teen pregnancies in this Massachusetts fishing town. School officials started looking into the matter as early as October after an unusual number of girls began filing into the school clinic to find out if they were pregnant.

By May, several students had returned multiple times to get pregnancy tests, and on hearing the results, "some girls seemed more upset when they weren't pregnant than when they were," Sullivan says. All it took was a few simple questions before nearly half the expecting students, none older than 16, confessed to making a pact to get pregnant and raise their babies together. Then the story got worse. "We found out one of the fathers is a 24-year-old homeless guy," the principal says, shaking his head.

Read the full story here.

C-section may complicate next pregnancies

Cesarean delivery performed in a first pregnancy appears to increase the risk of complications in later pregnancies, researchers have shown.

The findings stem from an analysis of Norway registry data for 637,497 first and second births in women with at least two single births and 242,812 first, second, and third births in women with at least three single births.

Compared to a vaginal first birth, a cesarean delivery at first birth approximately doubled the risk in a second pregnancy of a woman developing pre-eclampsia, placenta abnormalities, and having a small baby, according to a report in the June issue of Obstetrics & Gynecology.

Read the full story here.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Episiotomy raises tear risk in next delivery

Episiotomy, an incision of the perineum intended to prevent tearing during the delivery of baby, may cause problems when a woman has another baby, a new study shows.

Researchers found that women who undergo episiotomy during their first vaginal delivery have an increased likelihood of suffering a tear, or laceration, in subsequent deliveries.

"In the past, episiotomy was thought to be an innocuous procedure and possibly even protective against severe perineal lacerations," Dr. Marianna Alperin told Reuters Health. "It has since been clearly shown that episiotomy increases the risk of severe obstetrical lacerations in that delivery."

Read the full story here.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Umbilical cord blood saves life of woman with leukemia

When Suzanne Penney was diagnosed with leukemia after she battled breast cancer, she decided to undergo an injection of umbilical stem cells – and the procedure saved her life, KNSD-TV reported Thursday.

Penney, who lives in Carlsbad, Calif., contracted leukemia as a result of the aggressive chemotherapy she received for her breast cancer.

"When information about stem cells first came out I was against it,” Penney told KNSD-TV. “I always thought, ‘don't mess with Mother Nature, and there's going to be a bunch of cloned people walking around.’”

But, today, as Penney recovers in the hospital, doctors tell her that her leukemia is in remission.

Read the full story here.

Self-help may ease back pain from pregnancy

Lower back pain is common during and after pregnancy, but learning a few self-management techniques may ease the pain for many women, a study suggests.

In a clinical trial involving 126 women with lingering back pain after childbirth, Dutch researchers found that those who learned self-management measures from a physical therapist fared better than those given standard care.

Three months after delivery, they had less pain and fewer physical limitations, and had generally returned to work sooner than women in the standard-care group.

The findings, published in the online journal BMC Pregnancy and Childbirth, suggest that learning how to deal with back pain in day-to-day life can be more useful to women than typical medical care.

Read the full story here.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Angelina Jolie Is 'A Cool Mommy'

There's no doubt that meeting Angelina Jolie can be nerve-wracking – but her Wanted costars say the superstar mom is incredibly down-to-earth.

"It's a little intimidating, someone like her who is presented as a goddess. [But] it takes, like, 30 seconds and you figure out she's just a cool woman," Wanted actor Thomas Kretschmann said at the film's press day Monday.

The German actor, who plays an assassin in the action flick out June 27, also described Jolie as "a cool mommy." Kretschmann's kids and the Jolie-Pitt youngsters "played together from time to time" on set, he said. "She knows exactly what she wants and she's extremely smart."

Read the full story here.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Stufy: Essential dental treatment safe for pregnant women

Pregnant women can safely undergo essential dental treatment and receive topical and local anesthetics at 13 to 21 weeks gestation, says a study published in the June issue of The Journal of the American Dental Association.

Although obstetricians generally consider dental care safe for pregnant women, supporting clinical trial evidence has been lacking. To address this issue, researchers compared safety outcomes from the Obstetrics and Periodontal Therapy Trial in which pregnant women received scaling and root planing (deep cleaning) and essential dental treatment (defined as treatment of moderate-to-severe cavities or fractured or abscessed teeth).

Read the full story here.