Thursday, April 16, 2009

Heidi Klum: Pregnant With Fourth Child!

Sources confirm that the supermodel mogul is expecting her third child with music-man hubby Seal.

The couple has two sons together, Henry G√ľnther Ademola Dashtu Samuel, 3, and Johan Riley Fyodor Taiwo Samuel, 2. Seal is also the adoptive father of Klum's daughter, Helene "Leni" Klum (who turns 5 on May 4), whom she had with Italian businessman Flavio Briatore.

A source tells E!Online that Klum, 35, is a little less than four-months pregnant.

Word of Klum's happy news apparently leaked when sketches of her in a couture gown redesigned for her growing belly had somehow posted on the Internet.


Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Upright Labor Positions Reduce Pain, Speed Birth

Women who walk, sit, kneel or otherwise avoid lying in bed during early labor can shorten the first stage of labor by about an hour, according to a new Cochrane evidence review. Women who labored out of bed during the early stages were also 17 percent less likely to seek pain relief through epidural analgesia, the review found. Overall, the review included 21 studies, examining 3,706 births.

When women are upright, there is more room for the baby to move downward because the diameter of the pelvis expands slightly. This puts less pressure on nerves in the spine, which could mean less pain. Being upright allows gravity to help the baby make her way into the world.

When the mom-to-be moves, this also helps the baby to get into the best position to hasten birth. “This improves its alignment for passage through the pelvis,” Lawrence said. “There is also a psychological advantage associated with the belief that being upright and mobile empowers women to actively participate in their birth experience and maintain a sense of control.” Other research has found that feeling in control and able to make choices reduces pain and psychological distress in general.

In contrast, however, lying flat on one’s back during labor can put a great deal of pressure on the blood vessels in the abdomen. “There is widely accepted physiological evidence that the supine position may be harmful in late pregnancy and labor,” Lawrence said. According to the reviewers, the supine position puts the entire weight of the pregnant uterus on the blood vessels that supply oxygen to both mother and child, which could potentially lead to problems with heart functioning in the mother and reduced oxygen to the baby. These outcomes could be serious in extreme cases. Lying on one’s side has no link with such problems, however.

Stone-Godena said that despite all the attention given to empowering women to have the type of birth experience they prefer, medical professionals still pressure women into lying in bed during labor, because it is more convenient this way for nurses and doctors — and makes fetal monitoring easier.

“I think this research is very vindicating of women being allowed to assume positions of comfort,” she said. “Listening to their bodies is what they need to do. Most of time when we limit people’s activity, it isn’t for reasons that are soundly based on evidence.”


Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Prenatal Testing of Thyroid Is Debated

When women think about pregnancy, the thyroid gland is seldom the first thing that leaps to mind. Nestled in the neck, the gland makes hormones that govern metabolism, helping to regulate body weight, heart rate and a host of other factors. But if the thyroid malfunctions, it can produce too little or too much of these hormones. During pregnancy those conditions, known as hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism, respectively, may lead to miscarriage, premature birth and pre-eclampsia — and in the case of hypothyroidism, impaired intelligence in the child.

But the big unanswered question — and crux of the debate — is whether treatment would help women with a mild, common form of thyroid deficiency, called subclinical hypothyroidism. For now, medical societies advise testing only high-risk women.

Symptoms of a wayward thyroid can be subtle, and pregnancy can mask them. Fatigue, weight gain and dry skin — all typical in pregnant women — can also result from hypothyroidism, said Dr. Alex Stagnaro-Green, an endocrinologist at Touro University College of Medicine in Hackensack, N.J.

The opposite condition, hyperthyroidism, affects roughly 2 in 1,000 pregnancies. But again, its symptoms — poor sleep, weight loss and nervousness after childbirth — could result from other postpartum conditions. (Renaissance painters unknowingly depicted the link between thyroid problems and pregnancy by showing women with goiters from an overactive thryoid after childbirth.)

Hypothyroidism, which usually arises from underlying autoimmune disease, is the more frequent and worrisome concern. As many as 10 to 20 percent of reproductive-age women test positive for antibodies that attack the thyroid gland and may eventually destroy it. Their risk of miscarriage is doubled.

Studies do suggest that T4-replacement therapy is protective. But few large clinical trials have rigorously tested this intervention in mildly thyroid-deficient women. So far, promising results have come from one major, well-designed Italian study that showed miscarriage and preterm delivery rates dropped sharply when thyroid hormone pills were given to pregnant women who tested positive for thyroid antibodies.

For now, until there is confirmation that treatment truly helps, Dr. Stagnaro-Green said he still favored selective thyroid screening. But he added, “My belief is that data will be forthcoming that will push us towards universal screening.”


Monday, April 13, 2009

Another Duggar family baby!

But it's not what you think. Yes, Michelle Duggar just popped out her 18th child in December 2008 (necessitating a title change on their TLC reality show to "18 Kids & Counting").

But the newest spawn is coming from the oldest son, Josh Duggar's wife, Anna Keller Duggar. According to MSNBC, she's three months pregnant and is due on Oct 12.

The couple talked to Meredith Vieira on The Today Show about their happy news. And they're pretty sure they're not gonna keep the whole "J" name thing doing.

Asked if they planned to have a large family, Josh said, “We’re leaving that up to God.”

Their Baptist faith was important to the couple from the get-go. The couple was supervised during their courtship and only allowed to hold hands. At their wedding, covered by TLC as part of the Duggar's reality show when it was “17 Kids & Counting,” the couple were allowed to kiss for the first time.