Friday, July 10, 2009

Jim Carrey Will Be a Grandfather

Jim Carrey's rock musician daughter Jane Carrey is expecting her first child.

"I am very excited," Jim, 47, says in a statement. "Jane is going to be a great mom."

His 21-year-old daughter, who sings for the Jane Carrey Band, is having the baby with her fiancé, Alex Santana of the rock band Blood Money. Jane is the Liar Liar star's daughter with his first wife Melissa.

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Thursday, July 09, 2009

First-time older mothers 'anxious'

WOMEN who give birth for the first time in their late 30s and early 40s cope just as well with the physical demands of pregnancy as younger women, but are more anxious about the wellbeing of their babies, research has found.

A study of 620 Australian women in their 20s, 30s and 40s found that despite a higher risk of complications for older mothers, women aged 37 and over remained just as healthy throughout their pregnancies as younger women.

Lead researcher and psychologist Dr Catherine McMahon said that after interviewing the mothers about their moods and typical problems, such as nausea and back pain, there was no age difference in the results.

"Generally it has been thought that older mums may not cope with the physical demands of pregnancy as well as younger mums, or they may be very anxious or find it difficult to cope with lifestyle changes," said Dr McMahon from Maquarie University.

"But what we found was that even though there are some differences, older mums were generally adjusting well."

But the research found that older mothers were more anxious about their unborn babies.

"We also found that younger mothers were more positive about changes to their bodies … They were the only two differences found in relation to age."

Dr McMahon said the research, which is following women from their third trimester until their babies are four months old, found that women who had experienced infertility or had conceived through IVF were extremely positive about their pregnancy, but concerned about the outcome, regardless of age.

Source

Wednesday, July 08, 2009

Kelly Rutherford dishes on becoming a single mom during her pregnancy

For Gossip Girl star Kelly Rutherford, the news that she was expecting her second child came as a bittersweet surprise.

Already the mother of adorable 2 ½-year-old son Hermés Gustaf Daniel, Kelly was overjoyed at the idea of having another baby. But her volatile three-year marriage to the children’s father was already at the breaking point.

So when she was three months pregnant, Kelly, 40, made the heart-wrenching decision to leave her husband, Daniel Giersch, and have the baby on her own. Their daughter, Helena Grace, was born on June 8th in Los Angeles.

Now, for the first time since the controversial split, Kelly is speaking out. She recently sat down with Life & Style at her home to set the record straight on her life-changing choice, her bitter custody battle and her plans to raise her two children on her own.

Kelly says it didn’t take long for her to realize she and her husband, a German entrepreneur, weren’t the ideal match they seemed to be at first.

“I met this person, I fell in love with him and I wished for the best,” Kelly tells the magazine. “He was charming in the beginning.” But soon after the birth of their son in 2006, “it was pretty obvious we weren’t getting along.”

Still, for Hermés’ sake, she tried to make the relationship work.

“I just didn’t want [Hermés] to go through anything he didn’t have to,” Kelly says. “I stayed until I couldn’t stay any longer, even though I knew things were rough. I wanted to be sure. When you have a child with someone, I think you have to be able to look at them and say, ‘I did everything I could,’ before you realize it’s time to move on.”

The couple conceived Helena when they were trying to make things work. And when Kelly realized she was expecting again, she thought another baby might actually save her marriage.

“I found out I was pregnant, and I thought, Oh, maybe things will be nice, maybe it will be calm,” Kelly recalls. “But it wasn’t. Things only got more intense.”

For the sake of Hermés and her unborn daughter, Kelly finally got the strength to leave the marriage. When Helena entered the world, Kelly, her doctor, her midwife and her mom were the only people in the delivery room. “It was great,” Kelly says. “Very peaceful.”

As for her estranged hubby? “I didn’t want him in the room with me,” Kelly tells Life & Style. (Her doctor advised against it too.) “When you’re in labor, you don’t want the man you’re divorcing in there, especially someone who’s said cruel things about you. I was just trying to have a healthy baby through an enormous amount of stress.”

Still, Kelly notes, she didn’t prevent him from seeing his daughter: “She was born at 10 at night, and he saw her the next morning.”

Despite extremely tense relations with her ex, Kelly is flourishing in her new role as a single mom.

Nesting comfortably at home with her two young children, she says she’s at peace. “I’m so excited to have a little boy and a little girl,” Kelly says. “Since I was very young, I’d always wanted kids, so this is a dream come true!”

Source

Why richer mothers have more sons

Wealthier mothers tend to have more sons while hard-up women produce more daughters, a study claims.

Scientists have unearthed a fascinating link between the financial status of a woman and the proportion of boys and girls she can expect to have.

The discovery adds to the increasing evidence that the sex of a baby isn't just a matter of chance but is influenced by lifestyle and environment.

According to evolutionary theory, when conditions are good, and babies are likely to be healthy, a mother's best chance of passing on her genes to another generation is to have boys.

Fit, healthy boys will see off rivals and can potentially father hundreds of children, ensuring the survival of the family line.

But if a mother is unfit or malnourished, a baby boy is a poor investment.

A weak, sickly male is unlikely to beat off competition from other males and may not become a father or even survive.

In these circumstances it makes more evolutionary sense to have a girl who does not face competition to become pregnant to continue the family line.

To test the influence of a mother's wealth and fitness on the sex ratio, Dutch researchers used a database of more than 95,000 Rwandan mothers compiled in 2002.

They compared the proportion of boys each woman had, with her marital status - an indicator of her wealth and health.

Like many African countries, Rwandan men are allowed more than one wife.

Within a polygamous marriage, there is usually a tight pecking order.

Higher ranking wives tend to have more influence, and income, than lower ranking ones. And the more wives a man has, the less food and money there is to share.

As expected, lower ranking wives produced more daughters on average than the higher ranking wives or the women in monogamous marriages, the researchers report in the journal Biology Letters.

The biggest difference was between third or lower-ranking wives who had 106 daughters for every 100 sons compared with those in monogamous marriages who had 99 daughters for every 100 sons.

Women have no control over whether they have boys or girls. But some studies suggest that unborn baby girls are tougher - and less likely to be miscarried if the mother is stressed or ill.

The influence of status on the sex of a baby is likely to be stronger in countries such as Rwanda, where 75 per cent of the population are below the poverty line and the average life expectancy is just 50, than in countries such as Britain.

Source

Fruit And Vegetable Intake In Pregnant Women Reduces Risk Of Upper Respiratory Tract Infection

Boston University School of Medicine researchers (BUSM) have observed in a study of pregnant women that consumption of at least seven servings per day of fruits and vegetables moderately reduced the risk of developing an upper respiratory tract infection (URTI). The BUSM study appears online in the journal Public Health Nutrition.

URTIs include the common cold and sinus infections, which can lead to lower respiratory problems, such as asthma or pneumonia.

BUSM researchers studied more than 1,000 pregnant women and found those who ate the most fruits and vegetables were 26 percent less likely to have URTI relative to those who ate the least amount. Neither fruit nor vegetable intake alone was found to be associated with the five-month risk of URTI. The patterns observed for total fruit and vegetable intake and either fruit or vegetable intake alone in relation to the three-month risk of URTI were consistent with those when assessing the five-month risk of URTI. Women in the highest quartile of fruit and vegetable intake had a stronger reduced three-month risk than the five-month risk of URTI. Moreover, there was a significant decreasing linear trend for the three-month risk of URTI with consumption of fruits and vegetables.

Pregnant women have been recommended to consume at least five servings of fruits and vegetables per day. This study showed that intake of higher levels, 6.71 servings per day, was associated with a moderate risk reduction for URTI.

"Pregnant women may require more fruits and vegetables than usual because of the extra demands on the body," said senior author Martha M. Werler, M.P.H., Sc.D., professor at Slone Epidemiology Center at Boston University.

Source

Celebrity Moms to Share Birth Stories On MyBestBirth.com

Laila Ali, Alyson Hannigan and Kimberly Williams-Paisley are all poised to share details of their most private of moments — the moment they became moms! In a series of webisodes on MyBestBirth.com, these celebs (and more!) will offer up never-before-seen interviews on their birth experiences.

Cindy Crawford is slated to kick off the event today, with webisodes airing weekly throughout July. During the fourth week, July 27-31st, she’ll be hosting an online forum to chat with mothers on My Best Birth. Other celebrity moms will immediately follow, including Christy Turlington Burns, Melissa Joan Hart, Kellie Martin, Sarah Wayne Callies, Joely Fisher and others.

MyBestBirth.com is a social networking site launched last month by Ricki Lake and Abby Epstein. Noting the “powerful and healing” effect a birth story can have for parents, Ricki says that that demand spearheaded not only her new film My Best Birth, but also gave her the idea to ask celebrities to share their very personal birth stories.

See the preview: Source

Tuesday, July 07, 2009

'Is Jennifer Hudson pregnant?': Why are you Googling this?

Ask Jeeves probably won't be able to answer with certainty. Nor will anyone on Yahoo Answers or Google, where 'Is Jennifer Hudson pregnant?' currently ranks as the No. 2 search term. But if you're trying to find out whether or not Jennifer Hudson has a bun in the proverbial oven—which you clearly are—your best bet is to simply watch Hudson's performance of "Will You Be There" at Michael Jackson's memorial today. Watch for yourself and make your best guess: Is she pregnant? Or did she stuff a beach ball beneath her dress before stepping on stage? Or did she eat lunch at what I could only imagine was the best restaurant ever? (For the record, the singer herself has to date withheld comment on her pregnancy status, although a family friend spilled the beans about a baby shower held in Hudson's honor at the end of May.)

Source

Hospitals should offer mothers 'chilled out' maternity rooms and scrap traditional beds

Mothers give birth much more easily and with less pain if hospital beds are removed and maternity rooms are more 'chilled out', new research reveals.

Pregnant women should be encouraged to move about more, traditional hospital beds should be replaced with mattresses on the floor, mood lighting, relaxing music and wall pictures of peaceful scenes.

A study found the changes could reduce the need for powerful labour inducing drugs by 28 per cent.

Two in three of the pregnant women studied in this 'ambient clinical environment' spent less than half their hospital labour in the standard bed.

Professor Ellen Hodnett, of the faculty of nursing at the University of Toronto, said: 'The removal of the standard hospital bed sent a message this was not the only place a woman could labour.'

Prof Hodnett introduced the changes 'to allow the women the ability to move about freely during their labour, to permit close contact with their support people, and to promote feelings of calm and confidence.'

Upright positions are used by women around the world during labour, but western labour rooms are designed so that women are examined lying down.

Research published earlier this year found lying down during the early stages of labour can make childbirth more painful. Women who knelt, stood up, walked around or sat upright had a significantly shorter labour and experienced fewer contractions.

Other studies have also demonstrated women who adopt upright positions for labour have less need of an epidural and have less chance of developing an infection of the womb.

If the woman is upright, the baby's head pushes on the cervix, aiding dilation. It also encourages better blood flow to both the baby and placenta, reducing the risk of foetal distress.

Upright positions are also thought to maximise the space between the pelvic bones and allow the joints to flex slightly so the baby has more space to move.

The latest pilot study, published in the the journal Birth, involved 62 women at two Toronto teaching hospitals. Prof Hodnett devised a set of simple, but radical, modifications to the standard hospital labour room with the intention of surrounding the women and their caregivers with specific types of auditory, visual and tactile stimuli.

Reaction to the ambient room was overwhelmingly positive, as respondents were pleased to have options for mobility and for helping to cope with their labour.

They also indicated they received greater one-on-one attention and support from their nurses.

Added Prof Hodnett: 'The birth environment seems to affect the behaviour of everyone in it - the laboring women as well as those who provide care for her.'

Source

Pregnancy weight, obese daughters linked

U.S. researchers say a woman's weight during pregnancy may affect her daughter's risk of obesity.

The study, published in the International Journal of Obesity, found an average-height mother who weighed 150 pounds before pregnancy was twice as likely to have a daughter who was obese at age 18 as a mother who weighed 125 pounds before pregnancy.

Weight gain during pregnancy mattered too -- both too little and too much weight gain increased a daughter's risk of becoming obese.

Daughters of mothers gaining more than 40 pounds while pregnant were almost twice as likely to be obese at age 18 and later in life than those of mothers gaining 15-19 pounds.

Pregnancy weight gain of less than 10 pounds was associated with a one-point-five-fold increase in the odds of being obese at 18 and a one-point-three-fold increase in odds of being obese in later life.

"If we can help women reach a healthy weight before they start a family, we can make a difference for two generations," study leader Dr. Alison Stuebe of the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill's School of Medicine said in statement. "Women should aim for a healthy weight before they get pregnant, and then gain a moderate amount."

The study was based on mothers' recalled weights and weight gain for more than 24,000 mother-daughter pairs. The daughters -- all registered nurses -- were enrolled in the Nurses' Health Study II since 1989.

Source

Cesarean section: Local anesthetic reduces need for painkillers post-op

Giving a local anaesthetic during a Caesarean section helps manage pain after the operation and can reduce consumption of painkillers, according to Cochrane Researchers. The researchers recommend local anaesthetics as part of integrated pain management strategies for Caesarean section operations, provided that consideration is given to the cost.

"This review is particularly important in light of the growing number of women giving birth by Caesarean section," says lead researcher, Anthony Bamigboye, of the Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology at the University of Witwatersrand in Johannesburg, South Africa. "Improved pain relief allows mothers to bond with their babies and begin breastfeeding more quickly."

Caesarean sections account for around a quarter of all births in the US, Canada and the UK. Local anaesthetics can be given, in addition to general or regional anaesthetics, to help manage pain during and after operations. The anaesthetic is either injected to block nerves in the abdominal wall or applied directly to the wound as an anaesthetic solution.

The researchers reviewed data from 20 studies that together involved 1,150 women who gave birth by Caesarean section in both developing and developed countries. They found that women treated with local anaesthetic as well as local or regional anaesthesia did not require as much morphine or other opioid drugs for pain relief after their operations. When non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs were also given, pain was reduced further.

One concern, however, is the additional cost of giving local anaesthetic. "None of the trials in this review addressed the cost implications of increasing use of local anaesthetic," says Bamigboye. "A cost benefit analysis is needed to find out whether increased expenditure on theatre time and local anaesthetic can be offset by reductions in postoperative painkillers."

Source

Parent's Guide to Cord Blood Foundation Introduces New Brochure to Address Critical Education Gap

Expectant parents are poorly informed about cord blood banking, according to a study published in the Journal of Reproductive Medicine. In fact, of the expectant mothers in the study who indicated they have some knowledge of cord blood banking, 74 percent considered themselves minimally informed. Yet, the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences recommends that all expectant parents should be educated about cord blood stem cells early enough in pregnancy that they can make an informed decision about the options to preserve these medically-beneficial cells.

To help address this significant education gap, Parent's Guide to Cord Blood Foundation, the most comprehensive resource for expectant parents about cord blood medical research and cord blood storage options, today announced the release of a new educational brochure for expectant parents in conjunction with Cord Blood Awareness Month. The brochure has been vetted and endorsed by a scientific and medical advisory board of leading caregivers and researchers and follows the guidance of the Institute of Medicine.

The brochure can be downloaded at no cost from the foundation's home page: ParentsGuideCordBlood.org. It has been translated into several languages, including Spanish, German, Italian, Greek, and Hebrew, with more translations in progress.

"Cord blood stem cells are an increasingly important medical resource for saving lives," said Frances Verter, Ph.D., founder of Parent's Guide to Cord Blood Foundation. "This brochure is intended to ensure that more pregnant women have the opportunity to consider saving their newborn's cord blood for family use or donating the cord blood to others who may have a critical medical need. I want all women to understand why cord blood should be preserved and why allowing these cells to be thrown away as medical waste should be a last choice option."

Dr. Verter founded the Parent's Guide to Cord Blood in 1998 after her daughter Shai died of leukemia. What started as a small community service, has grown to become one of the leading parent resources on all aspects of cord blood banking.

The release of the brochure expands the educational mission of the foundation beyond the Internet, into birthing classes and physician's offices. To date, 16 states have passed laws to improve cord blood education during pregnancy, and to encourage physicians to take an active role in educating expectant parents about the options for banking cord blood. A federal bill sponsored by Representative Jackie Speier is currently under consideration in Congress. The brochure from the Parent's Guide to Cord Blood Foundation was created to meet the educational requirements of these public policy initiatives and can be distributed by physicians and other healthcare providers.

Source

Monday, July 06, 2009

Stress during pregnancy can affect your baby

Research carried out by Imperial College London has found that when a mother feels stressed during pregnancy it can increase the baby's heart rate.

Also, although normally the placenta protects the baby from stress and anxiety, if the mother is very stressed the placenta's protection is not as effective - meaning the stress levels can reach and possibly harm the baby.

The new research shows that these changes to the baby could prevent their brain from developing normally and could lead to problems such as anxiety, depression, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and learning difficulties.

In the past studies have shown that stress during pregnancy can lead to abnormalities such as cleft lip and palate and spina bifida.

The new research into emotional and behavioural problems found that stress in the mother's relationship with her partner can be particularly damaging.

The past research only looked at women who been exposed to 'severe life events' such as death or illness to a close member of the family.

Professor Vivette Glover, lead researcher on this study, says: 'We all know that if a mother smokes or drinks a lot of alcohol while pregnant it can affect her foetus. Our work has shown that other more subtle factors, such as her emotional state, can also have long-term effects on her child.'

Source
For ways to beat stress during pregnancy check out Breathing Space, hosted by PregnancyWeekly.

Researcher looks for link between stress, postpartum depression

Ilona Yim is an assistant professor at University of California-Irvine's department of psychology and social behavior who is studying the connection between the levels of a stress hormone circulating through the placenta during pregnancy and postpartum depression.

The premise? "It would make more sense to find out if someone is at risk for developing postpartum depression before it occurs," she says.

Yim was part of a team of researchers who recently studied 100 women. The researchers found that 12 of the 16 who had postpartum depression also had high levels of Corticotropin-releasing hormone, or CRH, in the placenta halfway through pregnancy.

CRH is produced in the brain as a response to stress. But in pregnant women, the placenta produces it in overdrive, circulating more than 100 times the amount normally present in the brain by the time she reaches full term. Yim says it's thought to prepare pregnant women for the strain of childbirth.

After the baby is born, levels of CRH drop. That can cause a hormonal withdrawal that leads to other high-stress responses in the body.

The women Yim studied who had postpartum depression experienced the biggest change in those hormone levels. Those who had high levels of CRH 25 weeks into pregnancy were more likely to suffer from depression after the baby arrived.

The results of the study, which was funded by the National Institutes of Child Health and Development, were published in February in the Archives of General Psychiatry.

Yim didn't want to stop there. Interested in learning more, she is starting a new project to monitor hormone levels throughout pregnancy for women who have a higher likelihood of depression. Her latest study is being paid for by the National Institutes of Mental Health.

"I want to know whether stress during pregnancy is something that can drive these hormones and whether that is something that can drive intervention," she says.

Postpartum depression can be treated through counseling, anti-depression medication and sometimes hormone therapy, according to the Mayo Clinic. Yim hopes her research also can help at-risk mothers take a more holistic approach early in their pregnancy, such as practicing yoga to reduce stress.

Source