Friday, May 22, 2009

Sarah Michelle Gellar's baby bump!

Spotted: Buffy’s baby belly! Sarah Michelle Gellar stepped out in a pretty blue-and-purple print dress on Wednesday in NYC, emerging from Diane von Furstenberg with a full shopping bag and showing off her blossoming bump while strolling with friends.

This is the first clear look we’ve gotten at the baby on the way!

The actress, 32, and husband Freddie Prinze Jr. expect their first child this fall.


Thursday, May 21, 2009

Risk to Baby Rises With Repeat C-Sections

Babies delivered by elective, repeat cesarean section delivery are nearly twice as likely to be admitted to the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) than those born vaginally after the mother has previously had a c-section, a new study finds. These c-section babies are also more likely to have breathing problems requiring supplemental oxygen, the researchers say.

"In addition, the cost of the birth for both mother and infant was more expensive in the elective repeat c-section group compared to the vaginal birth after c-section (VBAC) group," noted Dr. Beena Kamath, the study's lead author and a clinical instructor of pediatrics at the University of Colorado School of Medicine, Denver.

The study appears in the June issue of Obstetrics & Gynecology. Nationwide, the c-section delivery rate keeps rising. According to the study authors, by 2006, 31.1 percent of deliveries in the United States were done this way.

Furthermore, women who have delivered once by c-section have a greater than 90 percent chance of undergoing another, the authors noted. But experts continue to debate whether these women should try labor and vaginal delivery, or automatically undergo another c-section, as there are risks are associated with each method.

To help clarify those risks, Kamath and her colleagues turned to records from the perinatal database at the University of Colorado Denver. Those records ran from late 2005 through mid-2008 and focused on babies born to 343 women who had planned a repeat, elective c-section and another 329 who planned to try vaginal birth after having previously had a baby via c-section.

The researchers looked at the differences between groups in newborn admissions to the neonatal ICU and the need for oxygen for breathing problems, as well as cost differences.

Kamath's team further divided the women into four groups. Of the 343 repeat c-sections, 104 went into labor before the c-section and 239 did not. Of the 329 women who attempted vaginal delivery, 85 failed (for various reasons) and went on to have a c-section.

Kamath's team found that 9.3 percent of the c-section babies were admitted to the NICU, but just 4.9 percent of the vaginally delivered babies were. And while 41.5 percent of the c-section babies required oxygen in the delivery room, 23.2 percent of the vaginally delivered babies did. After NICU admission, 5.8 percent of the c-section babies needed the oxygen compared to 2.4 percent of the vaginally delivered babies.

The median hospital stay was three days for babies who were delivered vaginally and four days for the other three groups. Total costs for the c-section group averaged $8,268; for the vaginal group, $6,647.

"The failed VBAC babies required the most resuscitation and had the most expensive total birth experience," Kamath concluded. But, overall, the VBAC group did better than the c-section group in terms of hospital stay and other measures, she said.


Obese Moms, Asthmatic Kids

Babies born to obese mothers may have an increased risk of asthma, according to data from a new study to be presented on May 19 at the 105th International Conference of the American Thoracic Society in San Diego.

"Obesity is not a neutral state; adipose tissue is an active producer of pro-inflammatory cytokines, while it also suppresses the action of anti-inflammatory cytokines," said Jet Smit, Ph.D., of the National Institute of Public Health and the Environment in the Netherlands. "Therefore, when you have an obese person, you are not just looking at a problem of excess fat, but a problem of systemic inflammation. This may affect the immunological and pulmonary development in the fetus and possibly result in a higher risk of asthma symptoms after birth."

To determine whether the presence of these pro-inflammatory factors in overweight mothers did, in fact, put their children at a greater risk of developing asthma, Dr. Smit and colleagues analyzed data from nearly 4,000 children of the Prevention and Incidence of Asthma and Mite Allergy (PIAMA) birth cohort for evidence of asthma. The children were included prenatally and followed up yearly until the age of eight years.

Asthma was defined as at least one episode of wheeze and/or dyspnea and/or a prescription for inhaled corticosteroids in the last year. Maternal body mass index (BMI) of greater than 25 kg/m2 was considered overweight.

More than one in five mothers (20.9 percent) were overweight. In children who had at least one asthmatic parent, maternal obesity increased their risk of having asthma at age eight by 65 percent over children of asthmatic parents whose mothers were not overweight. This was true irrespective of confounding factors, such as birth weight and the child's BMI.


Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Sarah Jessica Parker opens up about surrogate

“Well, you know, we’ve been trying to expand our family for a number of years and we actually have explored a variety of ways of doing so,” she said. “This was one of the things we discussed with seriousness that had real possibilities for us.”

“A lot of people face disappointment in that area. (Did you have your) fair share of disappointment?” Bush asked.

“Yeah, I mean, I couldn’t pretend otherwise,” she said. “It would be a complicated. It would be odd to have made this choice if I was able to, you know, have successful pregnancies since my son’s birth.”

Thrilled over the fact that she was indeed having a child via surrogate, when Parker learned she was having twins, her glee doubled.

“I mean, giggles!” she said of her reaction when first learning the news. “We didn’t expect it. I think after a certain amount of time, you tend to hold your hopes at bay a bit so as not to be disappointed. One really would have been thrilling and we would’ve felt incredibly lucky. And two was a comedy.”

Since the baby news broke, she’s been shocked that a tabloid has targeted her surrogate.

“What has happened to her?” Bush asked.

“What hasn’t happened?” Parker replied.

“The most unsavory things have been done,” she continued. “She’s had her phone hacked, her personal computer information hacked, she’s had threats against her and true harassment… She’s had friends threatened and family threatened and she’s had family of friends threatened.”

“She’s had a friend who was thought to be her chased down a highway… This friend is nine months pregnant — chased down a highway by photographers and dare I call them ‘reporters.’ I guess that’s how they identify themselves,” she said. “It’s crossed lines… Pretty much all the lines have been crossed.”

“Is she physically healthy and OK?” Bush asked of the surrogate.

“She is today, but she’s had a bad week in the very recent past… You understand what stress, worry and fear and being scared can do,” Parker said. “She’s quite far along in this pregnancy and she’s carrying two children…. There’s simply no excuse for doing this to somebody. It’s not acceptable.”

And despite headlines like “SJP’s Surrogate Revealed! The Troubled Life of the Woman Having Her Twins,” that came out in Star magazine, Parker said she is happy with the woman they chose to carry the twins.

“I’m beyond comfortable with who she is,” Parker said. “We haven’t been reckless, we haven’t been cavalier. She hasn’t been reckless…. Every single allegation that I know has been suggested about her is absolutely slander, and libel.


Tuesday, May 19, 2009

66-Year-Old to Be Oldest British Woman to Give Birth

She's a 66-year-old successful career woman about to become a first-time mom. Elizabeth Adeney, now eight months pregnant, will be one of the oldest new mothers in the world.

Chatter on the Internet ranges from wonder at the miracle to harsh criticism, with one post calling Adeney's decision to have in vitro fertilization an example of "breathtaking selfishness." When she's 85 years old, her child will still be a teenager.

But Adeney, who lives near Lidgate, Suffolk, in southeastern England, reportedly said that to be a mother, all that matters is how old you feel on the inside. And she claimed she is young and fit and feels like she is 39 years old.

Most IVF clinics in Britain (and the United States) don't offer treatment to women older than 50, so Adeney flew to Ukraine, where there is no age limit on IVF, becoming one of the so-called "fertility tourists."

Dr. Jamie Grifo at the New York University Fertility Center told ABC News that although "pregnancy has risks associated with it at any age … the older the woman, the greater the risks."

Older women who get pregnant could have trouble with "high blood pressure, which can complicate placental development. They can develop diabetes in pregnancy, which has to be monitored. Preterm labor is an issue in the older patient and of course, Caesarian delivery and the associated surgical risks."

But, Grifo added, these risks are "very treatable, so as long as an older woman has a healthy heart, their outcome for pregnancy is very good."

In 2004 New Yorker Aleta St. James became the oldest American woman to give birth when she had twins. She was nearly 57. A year later, a 66 year-old Romanian woman became the world's oldest mom. Then, in 2006, Carmela Bousada of Spain, who was nearly 67, took the title.

And last year, Omkari Panwar from India stole her crown. Desperate for a male heir, she underwent IVF at age 70. She got her wish when she gave birth to twins, one of them a boy.

According to Grifo, "There haven't been that many women over the age of 50 who have attempted pregnancy and now that the technology exists more are doing so."

But should they be allowed to? Grifo told ABC News that "We don't tell a 14-year-old unmarried woman she's not allowed to have a child. Why should we tell a 66-year-old woman who is healthy and wants to have a baby that she can't. Who's to say?"

Adeney said what she's doing is between her, her baby and no one else.


Monday, May 18, 2009

Twins Have Two Different Dads

Mia Washington decided to get some expert advice when she and her partner noticed that twins Justin and Jordan had different facial features.

Paternity tests then revealed what had happened - two eggs had been fertilized by two different sperm and there was a 99.99% chance the twins had different dads.

Doctors at the DNA lab in Dallas, Texas had never seen such a result.

Mia later admitted she had had an affair and got pregnant by two different men at the same time.

Sky's health correspondent Thomas Moore explains: "A woman can release two eggs from her ovaries, and the eggs will remain viable for 24 hours after ovulation.

"Sperm can survive up to five days inside a woman's body, so a woman could sleep with different men several days apart, and get pregnant not once, but twice."

And while it sounds rare, recent research indicates that one in 12 non-identical twins are so-called bi-paternal, with a rise in fertility treatment and changing sexual behaviour being blamed.

Mia's partner James Harrison is father to one of the boys. He told Fox 4 that he had forgiven his fiancee for having the affair and intended to raise both children as his own. However, he admitted it had been tough discovering the truth.

The couple plan to tell the twins they are half-brothers when they are old enough to understand.


Iron Deficiency in Womb May Delay Brain Maturation

Iron deficiency is one of the most common nutritional problems in the world and affects many pregnant women. Now new research shows that anemia isn't just a problem for expectant mothers: It can seriously impact their babies.

University of Rochester neonatologist Sanjiv Amin explains that late in pregnancy, a process known as myelination occurs in the brain and nervous system. It's how the brain creates its wiring. Iron is important for myelination, and without it being provided during that period, then myelination may not occur adequately or optimally.

"So once you don't have enough myelination, then you are on the wrong track," Amin says. "And myelination is important for future development. Language development is dependent on myelination. Even motor development is dependent on myelination."

In the first study of its kind, Amin compared brain development in babies of women with and without iron deficiency. He looked at 80 premature babies - half born to women with iron deficiency and half whose mothers were not anemic.

Amin attached electrodes to kin on the foreheads and backs of newborns less than 36 hours old. Using headphones Amin played sounds for the babies. Amin was able to measure how fast auditory impulses passed through the babies' brains. He says this is an indirect way of measuring how well the brain is myelinated.

What he found was that in babies born to mothers with anemia, nerve impulses passed more slowly through their brains.

"A lot of maternal conditions such as diabetes, hypertension, even including smoking during pregnancy, can decrease the iron transfer to the babies," Amin says. "So mother may have enough iron in store, but with those conditions, the iron is not able to get to the babies."