Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Pregnant Women Going to Hospital Too Early

Nervous fathers-to-be are pushing their partners into hospital at the first sign of labor even when they would be better off at home, according to a new study.

Midwives recommend women relax at home in the early stages after research found they are more likely to suffer complications if they are admitted to hospital too soon.

But a small study has found that jumpy fathers-to-be and even nervous mothers-in-law are pushing women to go to hospital too soon.

Mary Nolan, professor of perinatal education at the University of Worcester, questioned more than 2,400 first-time mothers about their experience of support from midwives during early labor.

She then carried out in-depth interviews with eight women in Worcester and found they had common views on their partner's influence.

While many of the women talked about how supportive their partners had been, they believed their partner's stress had led them to hospital early, echoing comments from many of those surveyed.

Prof Nolan said: "We are talking about the early stages of labor when women are advised by midwives that the best place to be is at home. It may be a few hours or even days until the contractions are strong enough and women need to go to hospital.

"Men are completely wonderful but they do not have an intuitive understanding of birth like women have - even those women who have not given birth before. Men - obviously because they are so concerned for their partner and their baby - are on edge."

Prof Nolan said midwives were keen for women to stay at home in early labor because research has shown they are more likely to need interventions - such as forceps or an epidural - if admitted too soon.


This Week's Celebrity Baby Bumps

Gisele takes a stroll with her stepson in a cozy brown sweater and boots, Kourtney Kardishian works the green and black plaid with some black suede boots, Rebecca Gayheart hits the beach in a gray flowing top and black leggings, Jennifer Ellison accents her bump in an elegant white gown, Camila Alves works the leggings with flats look and then wows us in a brown leather jacket and a gray shirt that brings her beautiful bump into focus.

Source Source

Tips for Saving Money Once the Baby Arrives

Parents can spend up to $10,000 buying stuff for baby's first year of life alone! (read more about baby costs.)

But there are ways families can save thousands of dollars:

Cloth Diaper Your Baby

Cloth diapering can save families literally thousands of dollars and is good for the planet too. Cloth diapers have changed so much in the last decade - they are actually easy to use and oh so cute too. (talk to other moms about cloth diapering.)

Buy Items With Multiple Uses

Parents know how frustrating it can be to buy items that only last a few months before baby grows out of them. Look for items that grow along with baby. Think about a high chair that converts to a booster, or a toy that takes baby from tummy time to standing. (more about baby gear essentials.)

Plan Ahead

Parents may not realize how much they're spending on items they don't need at places like the grocery store. Plan your meals and shop for groceries only that you need.

Breastfeed Your Baby

It's no secret that breastfeeding can save a family more than $1,500, after all, formula is expensive!


Monday, November 23, 2009

Alcohol in Pregnancy has Variety of Possible Effects

A new study from Perth's Telethon Institute for Child Health Research has found evidence that the amount and timing of alcohol consumption in pregnancy affects child behavior in different ways.

The study has just been published online in the international journal Addiction.

Lead author Colleen O'Leary said the analysis was drawn from a random sample of more than 2000 mothers who completed a questionnaire three months after the baby's delivery, and were then followed up when the child was 2, 5 and 8 years of age.

"Mothers who reported what we would classify as heavy drinking in the first trimester of pregnancy were nearly three times as likely to report that their child suffered with anxiety and/or depression or somatic complaints," Ms O'Leary said.

“Those who drank moderately during that first trimester were twice as likely to report those types of behavioral issues for their child.

“Exposure to moderate or heavy levels of alcohol in late pregnancy increased the risk of aggressive types of behaviors in the child.

“This research suggests that both the timing and the intensity of alcohol exposure in the womb affect the type of behaviour problems expressed.”

In this study low levels of alcohol did not increase the risk of harm to the baby. However, the evidence clearly shows that the risk to the baby increases with increasing amounts consumed.

“It should also be noted that in this study moderate exposure is classified as drinking 3-4 standard drinks per occasion- that's about two normal glasses of wine-and no more than a bottle of wine drunk over a week.”

Heavy drinking included women who were drinking the equivalent of more than a bottle of wine per week.

“Not every child will be affected by prenatal exposure to alcohol. However it is important that women have this information about increased risk so that they can make informed decisions to give their child the best start to life,” Ms O'Leary said.

The National Health and Medical Research Council recommend that the safest choice for women who are pregnant or planning a pregnancy is to abstain from alcohol.


Monica Bellucci is Pregnant!

Italian actress Monica Bellucci is expecting her second child, mediafax reports.

Reportedly, The Matrix star was in the Romanian town of Buftea last week while working on her latest film, The Whistleblower, and told some of her colleagues that she is three months pregnant.

The 45-year-old actress and model is married to fellow actor, Vincent Cassel. They are already parents to 5-year-old daughter, Deva.

Monica has also starred in The Private Lives of Pippa Lee (2009), Shoot 'Em Up(2007), and The Passion of the Christ (2005).

Congratulations to the beautiful actress and her husband!


ADHD Linked to Lead and Cigarette Exposure During Pregnancy

Children whose mothers smoked during pregnancy or who were exposed to lead have more than double the risk of having attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) as other children, new research shows.

And with exposure to both cigarettes and lead, the chances of having ADHD soared. Children whose mothers smoked during pregnancy and whose blood showed signs of lead exposure had eight times the risk of having ADHD.

"When you have both exposures, there is a synergistic effect," said study author Dr. Tanya Froehlich, a developmental and behavioral pediatric specialist and an assistant professor of pediatrics at Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center.

The researchers concluded that about 38 percent of ADHD cases among children aged 8 to 15 in the United States may be caused by prenatal exposure to tobacco smoke, while 25 percent of ADHD cases are due to lead exposure, according to the study in the Nov. 23 online issue of Pediatrics.

Froehlich and her colleagues used data on 2,588 children aged 8 to 15 from around the nation who took part in the 2001-2004 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. Tobacco exposure was assessed by asking mothers if they smoked during pregnancy, while lead concentrations were measured by a blood test.

About 8.7 percent of children met the criteria for ADHD, which is marked by inattentiveness, difficulty focusing, impulsivity and hyperactivity, according to the study. The ADHD group included 16.8 percent of children whose mothers smoked during pregnancy, compared to 6.6 percent of children whose mothers did not smoke.

Lead exposure was divided into three groups: low, medium and high. About 5.2 percent of children who had the lowest lead blood levels had ADHD. About 9.1 percent of children in the middle range had ADHD, while 13.6 percent of children in the highest third had ADHD, the researchers found.

About 28.6 percent of children who were exposed to both prenatal smoking and who had higher blood lead concentrations had ADHD, Froehlich said.

Researchers did not find a strong link between exposure to secondhand cigarette smoke during childhood and ADHD.

Alarmingly, even children in the upper third had lead exposure levels lower than what the federal government considers "elevated." The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention considers levels of 10 micrograms per deciliter "actionable," Froehlich said. In the study, children in the upper third had blood lead levels that were 1.3 micrograms per deciliter or greater; children in the middle group had levels between 0.9 and 1.3 micrograms per deciliter.

About 250,000 U.S. children aged 1 to 5 have blood lead levels greater than 10 micrograms of lead per deciliter of blood, according to the CDC. Though blood lead levels have generally dropped in recent years, children, particularly those in poor, inner-city neighborhoods, may still be exposed to lead from peeling paint in old buildings. Leaded paint was banned for most residential uses in the United States in 1978.

Children may also ingest lead from old water pipes, soil and toys. In the last few years there have been multiple recalls, some by major toy manufacturers such as Mattel and Fisher-Price, of products manufactured in China that contained unsafe levels of lead.

"Lead is out there, and we need to take precautions, such as making sure we keep kids away from peeling paint and make sure they practice good hand washing before they eat if they are playing in the soil," Froehlich said.

In addition, good nutrition, including making sure children have adequate levels of iron and calcium, can also protect from lead exposure. Children with iron and calcium deficiencies absorb more lead than children with better diets, Froehlich explained.