Friday, June 19, 2009

Gisele Bündchen Is Pregnant

Gisele Bündchen is expecting and "ecstatic," sources tell PEOPLE. She is due early next year.

Speculation has grown since pictures showing the supermodel in Brazil this week surfaced showing what seems to be a perceptible bump. Bündchen and New England Patriots quarterback husband Tom Brady were married twice this Spring – first in a ceremony in Los Angeles Feb. 26, then exchanging vows before friends in early April at Bündchen's Costa Rica home.

"Gisele will be an excellent mother," a source tells PEOPLE. "She's always wanted kids." Reps for Bündchen reached by PEOPLE for confirmation refused to comment.

“Family is everything," Bündchen, who turns 29 next month, told PEOPLE last month. "I think family is the base to everything. I think that is one of the things I’m most grateful for. I have a lot to be grateful for but I think that's definitely number one.”

Another source close to the couple says, "You know Gisele and Tom are just enjoying themselves, being married and just doing their thing ... Gisele has been talking about it with friends. She says she's ready for a family."

This is her first child; Brady has a son, John, with ex-girlfriend Bridget Moynahan.


Thursday, June 18, 2009

Group B Strep Screening Guidelines Show Mixed Results

Recommendations implemented in 2002 to screen all pregnant women for group B streptococcal disease have largely been successful, a new report shows.

Eighty-five percent of women in the United States are now being screened and, if positive, given appropriate treatment.

GBS is bacteria that, according to the CDC, became the leading infectious cause of illness and death in newborns in the 1970s. GBS can cause sepsis, meningitis and pneumonia in infants, usually within the first week of life. If a pregnant woman is a carrier, the infection can be passed to her child during delivery. The guidelines recommend that women get screened at 35 weeks to 37 weeks of pregnancy.

"If a mother is positive for group B strep, she is to get prophylactic antibiotics when she delivers," Dr. James M. Greenberg, director of neonatology at the Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center explained. "It requires at least one and preferably two doses of penicillin more than four hours before delivery so it has time to have an effect."

The authors looked at birth records on 254 infants who had GBS disease and 7,437 infants who did not.

Between 1998-1999 and 2003-2004, screening rates jumped from just over 48 percent to 85 percent. This resulted in almost 32 percent of infants being exposed to antibiotics during delivery in the later timeframe, up from about 27 percent in the late 1990s.

Just over 13 percent of full-term GBS cases occurred in babies of mothers who had not been screened, whereas 61.4 percent occurred in babies of mothers who had actually tested negative for GBS at 35 to 37 weeks of pregnancy.

"Although the antenatal screening strategy has been very successful, we are also exploring ways that we can do even better, and one of them is understanding the issues around false-negatives," Van Dyke said. "While some false-negatives are expected because of the limits of the culture test, we were able to use our study design to show that we observed more false negatives than would be expected."

Based on previous studies, the researchers calculated that they would see 44 to 86 cases of false negatives involving full-term infants. But the final study showed 116 cases - or about 60 percent of the infected full-term infants in the study were born to mothers who had been tested and mistakenly found clear of the infection.

The term "false-negative" may be a bit of a misnomer, however, Greenberg pointed out.

"If screening is done at 35 weeks gestation, it is possible for a woman who is negative -- i.e., not a carrier -- to become a carrier by the time she delivers," Greenberg said. "Then there's a higher risk that she will pass on group B strep to her infant. Almost all the patients who we see now with group B strep are babies who are born to mothers who had 'false negative' kinds of tests."

One possibility might be to do additional testing later in the pregnancy, Greenberg said. Other instances in which guideline procedures aren't followed involve mothers who come in and deliver too quickly to benefit from antibiotics and women who are allergic to penicillin (although there are other treatment options for these women).

There is also a higher rate of group B strep in black infants than in others, the authors said, but the reasons for this are unclear.


Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Canadian doctors issue new guidelines on breech birth: not an automatic C-section

Many women who end up with a breech pregnancy can safely deliver vaginally, so doctors should not automatically opt to perform a caesarean section, says the Society of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists of Canada.

Most babies align themselves in the womb in a head-down position in the final weeks of pregnancy, but up to four per cent are in a breech position - with feet or buttocks entering the birth canal first.

Because a breech position can put the baby at risk from lack of oxygen if the umbilical cord gets squeezed or the infant's head becomes stuck in the birth canal, more and more doctors over time began routinely avoiding vaginal delivery.

"Breech pregnancies are almost always delivered using a caesarean section, to the point where the practice has become somewhat automatic," said Dr. Robert Gagnon, a principal author of new guidelines released Wednesday by the society.

"What we've found is that, in some cases, vaginal breech birth is a safe option, and obstetricians should be able to offer women the choice to attempt a traditional delivery," said Gagnon, chair of the SOGC's maternal fetal medicine committee.

Executive vice-president Dr. Andre Lalonde said the physicians group decided to update the guidelines after a review of international studies showed vaginal breech births and those done by C-section had similar outcomes.

However, a reliance on caesarean deliveries has meant a large proportion of Canadian obstetricians lack training in vaginal breech birth, Lalonde said from Halifax, where the society is holding its annual meeting this week.

"Some of the physicians have lost the training or never had the training, so therefore we have to organize training programs across Canada to make physicians - especially gynecologists and obstetricians - (able to) offer that choice to women who desire it."

He said the society will develop programs with universities to ensure new medical school graduates and practising physicians are trained in techniques to safely deliver breech babies vaginally.

But some breech deliveries will still require a caesarean section if a woman's labour does not progress smoothly or if complications arise, Lalonde cautioned, noting that for certain breech positions, vaginal birth is not recommended.

"The way the breech presents itself is extremely important," said Lalonde. "That's why we counsel that all deliveries should be done in a hospital for breech presentation."

He said a mother-to-be should discuss the issue of a possible breech birth with her doctor, midwife or other health provider early in the pregnancy.


Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Moms sue maker of Baby Gender Mentor kit for inaccurate results

Six moms in New York state are suing the maker of Baby Gender Mentor kits for inaccurate results. The test, which promises that expectant mothers will learn the gender of their unborn child as early as five weeks into the pregnancy, has a 99.9% accuracy rate, according to their website. It also has a money-back guarantee if the results are wrong, which is a nice touch given that the price itself is fairly pricey. Problem is, for these New York moms, the tests were not only wrong but now they can't get their money back.

The Baby Gender Mentor kit costs $25 and comes with two pregnancy tests, a blood specimen collection kit, and a prepaid FedEx envelope. It's fairly simple, you prick your finger to collect the blood, put it in a vial, and then send it off to Acu-Gen, the manufacturer of the test. Oh, don't forget your $250 lab fee! You'll be notified when the sample is received and then within a few days you'll receive an email letting you know you can receive your results online with instructions on how to do so. Finally, you can find out whether or not you're having a boy or girl.

Just don't get your hopes up too much. The New York moms were told they were expecting one gender, and placed so much faith in the results (and why not, since they were guaranteed and 99.9% accurate?) that they decorated nurseries, named their unborn child, and began to bond with it as the gender they were sure it was. Imagine the shock of learning later that no, Jane is actually a John, or vice versa.

Now the moms, who are "disappointed," want their money back - and can't seem to get it. The website states that refunds are granted for inconsistent results, which they acknowledge when the gender on the birth certificate does not match the results of the test. Barry Gainey, a lawyer for the women in New York, says that at least 10 to 20% of customers have asked for a refund.

Before you think that these women don't love their babies because they weren't what the doctor ordered, so to speak, think again. Per the New York Daily News, Gainey said, "None of them would say, 'Take my baby away' or 'I don't want this baby' - they love their babies. But when you rely on something and you pay for it, you have a right for it to be true." He claims the tests "messed with the minds" of the mothers-to-be and even led to the dissolution of one marriage in which a husband desperately wanted a boy but discovered instead he was getting a daughter (a drastic and rare side-effect, to be sure!).

I certainly do feel for these women and don't blame them for suing to get their money back. It's easy to sit back and think, "Well, you should have waited for another test like a sonogram before decorating the nursery," but then given the promise of such an accurate outcome why wouldn't they trust the results?


Monday, June 15, 2009

Mommy blogger fakes pregnancy with terminally ill kid

A blogger who lives in suburban Chicago figured out that by keeping her name anonymous, by simply referring to herself as "B" or "April's Mom," she could engage readers--thousands of them--with a major lie. "B" created a blog about being pregnant with a terminally ill child.

Anti-abortion opponents closely followed the blog because "B" decided that she would have the child even though it would likely die days or months after birth. "People said they prayed that God would save her pregnancy," according to a story in the Chicago Tribune. "They e-mailed her photos of their children dressed in pink, bought campaign T-shirts, shared tales of personal heartache and redemption, and sent letters and gifts to an Oak Lawn P.O. box in support. As more and more people were drawn to her compelling tale, eager advertisers were lining up. And established parenting Web sites that oppose abortion were promoting her blog--which included biblical quotes, anti-abortion messages and a soundtrack of inspirational Christian pop songs."

When "B" posted a story about giving birth to baby April, the site lit up with nearly a million hits.

A few days later, "April's Mom" posted a photograph of herself with a lifelike doll swaddled in white blankets--that was meant to be April. Readers became suspicious.

"I have that exact doll in my house," Elizabeth Russell, a dollmaker from Buffalo who had been following the blog, told the Tribune. "As soon as I saw that picture, I knew it was a scam."

"B" took down her Web site and Twitter and Facebook pages in fear of being discovered but the online community still tracked down her identity: Beccah Beushausen, 26, a social worker from Mokena, Ill.

Last Wednesday, when the Chicago Tribune phoned Beushausen, she admitted to the hoax.

"I know what I did was wrong," she told the Tribune. "I've been getting hate mail. I'm sorry because people were so emotionally involved."