Friday, July 09, 2010

'Scrubs' John C. McGinley Welcomes a Girl

"Scrubs" star John C. McGinley and his wife Nichole gave birth to a baby girl on Saturday.

People magazine reports that the couple plans to name the child Billie Grace.

Reportedly the child was delivered in a birthing tub at the couple's home in Malibu.

McGinley tells People, "Nichole was a mountain lion, a warrior in the birthing process. The birth was astonishing!"

McGinley has a 10-year-old son, Max, from a previous relationship.


Teenagers 'risk premature babies'

Pregnant teenagers are more likely to give birth prematurely and have a small baby than women in their 20s, says an Irish research team.

Fourteen to 17-year-olds were also more likely to give birth early if they were having a second child, a study of more than 50,000 women in England found.

The findings, reported in BMC Pregnancy and Childbirth, highlighted the importance of routine medical checks.

The team said more studies were needed to find out why the young were at risk.

The study included all women aged between 14 and 29 who had given birth in north-west England over a two-year period.

In all, 3,600 of those were aged between 14 and 17, the researchers said.

More than a third of them came from the most socially deprived areas.

The study also found teenage mothers were also more likely to be underweight.

Those aged under 17 were 21% more likely to have a premature baby with their first pregnancy and 93% more likely to have their second baby early.

There was also a link with younger mothers and having a baby with a low birth weight.

Researcher Dr Ali Khashan, from University College Cork, in the Republic of Ireland, said it might be that the risk of premature birth in the young teenagers was related to "biological immaturity".

"It is also possible that the increased risk of poor pregnancy outcome in the second teenage pregnancy is related to numerous complicating factors such as greater social deprivation and less prenatal care," he added.


Thursday, July 08, 2010

Danica McKellar Dishes on Birth Plans

Danica McKellar, who first stole our hearts as Winnie Cooper in The Wonder Years, is launching a new book and she's delivering her first baby later this year! The 35 year old mom-to-be opened up to Celebrity Baby Scoop.

On her Pregnancy: "I've been feeling great! My first trimester I did feel a bit queasy, but now I feel terrific and am full of energy. I’ve been doing yoga. I actually made a yoga DVD called Daily Dose of Dharma and I’ve been doing it every day! And with my full appetite back, I’ve been eating tons of organic foods, staying away from processed sugars, white flours, and anything artificial. It’s the same as my normal regime, but I’m being even stricter, because everything I put into my body is literally building this precious baby inside me. As much as I may crave them, it’s not the time for donuts!"

What she's reading: "I’ve read a nice variety of both birthing and baby books. So far I’ve read Ina May Gaskin’s Guide to Childbirth, also her breastfeeding book – two of my favorites. I’ve also read Hypnobirthing, The Happiest Baby on the Block, and I’m making my way through Dr. Sears’ The Baby Book which is like 700 pages long. I’ve read others, but those are my favorites."

On wanting a natural birth: "Absolutely. That being said, I know we can’t always know what medical surprises may happen during childbirth. But my hope is to go fully natural – no epidural, no interventions. Wish me luck!"


Study: Chocolate During Pregnancy Cuts Preeclampsia Risk

Pregnant women who nibble a chocolate treat at least three times a week could halve their risk of a potentially deadly condition that kills around 1,000 babies a year in the UK.

Research shows women who regularly snack on chocolate bars, foods containing chocolate or even hot chocolate drinks, may be much less likely to develop preeclampsia, than women who avoid them completely.

U.S researchers who carried out the study, due to be published in the journal Annals of Epidemiology, said chocolate could have significant benefits for women at risk of the condition.

The cause of preeclampsia remains a mystery but for some reason the blood vessels in the placenta do not develop properly.

Earlier studies on the role of chocolate in preventing pre-eclampsia have produced conflicting results.

In the latest research, carried out at Yale University in the US, researchers quizzed 2,500 women on their dietary habits during pregnancy.

Each one was asked what type of foods they had eaten, including how many times a week they had enjoyed chocolate-based snacks or drinks.

When the researchers analyzed the results, they found higher rates of chocolate consumption among the women that did not get preeclampsia.

Nearly half the women who did not develop high blood pressure - the major symptom of the condition - reported regularly eating chocolate throughout much of their pregnancy.

But among those that did develop problems, only 36 per cent confessed to regular chocolate treats.

Researchers stressed the results may have been skewed by women being asked to remember what they had eaten during pregnancy.

The study also failed to examine if the benefits are confined to dark chocolate. Some research suggests milk or white chocolate does not have the same health benefits, as they they are higher in sugar and have a lower content of flavanols, the disease-fighting ingredient in cocoa used to make chocolate.

In a report on their findings researchers said: 'Women who reported regular chocolate consumption of more than three servings a week had a 50 per cent or greater reduced risk of preeclampsia.

'Regular chocolate intake during the first or third trimester was equally protective.'


Sam Taylor-Wood and Aaron Johnson Welcome a Daughter

Artist Sam Taylor-Wood has given birth to a little girl - her first child with her fiance, actor Aaron Johnson.

The acclaimed British artist turned film director, 43, gave birth to Wylda Rae yesterday with her 20-year-old lover by her side.

Johnson's Kick Ass co-star Christopher Mintz-Plasse confirmed the news as he wrote on his Twitter account: 'Crazier news. Aaron Johnson's baby was born!! So exciting!'

The pair met on the set of Miss Taylor-Wood’s directorial debut Nowhere Boy, where Mr Johnson played a young John Lennon.

Their relationship raised eyebrows, but the artist, who has two daughters by her ex-husband, art dealer Jay Jopling, recently insisted that the age gap between them was not a problem.

'This whole age thing is abstract to us anyway. We don’t ever think about it. He’s more mature now than are a lot of men my age.'


Wednesday, July 07, 2010

Trent Reznor to be a dad

Rocker Trent Reznor is to become a new dad - the Nine Inch Nails star's wife is pregnant.

Mariqueen Maandig has revealed she's expecting a baby in a new Women's Wear Daily interview.

Reznor wed his wife and musical collaborator last year.

The duo's first album has now been put on hold due to the pregnancy.


Tuesday, July 06, 2010

It's A Boy: War Reporter's Baby Shower In Baghdad

Hannah Allam is having a baby shower. Her son, Bilal, is due in four months. And unlike most baby showers, the guests at this one are more accustomed to donning helmets and flak jackets than writing out advice for the new mother on small blue cards.

That's because Allam's shower is being held in Baghdad, where she is a veteran reporter for McClatchy Newspapers.

Allam isn't the first foreign correspondent this year to be pregnant in Iraq. Deborah Haynes from The Times of London paved the way, giving birth to a boy. Nada Bakri from the The New York Times was in her eighth month of pregnancy when she left to give birth a few months ago, also to a boy.

In a room festooned with blue bunting, Allam reflects on covering a war while pregnant.

"The reactions started to change when my belly got bigger and definitely with the military. I spent most of the first trimester here. I was at the Iranian border, I was on a Chinook, I was on a Blackhawk, no problem. Second I start showing, they took one look at me and said we're not putting you on a Blackhawk," Allam says.

Despite the legions of women that have covered conflicts, whenever a female war correspondent is profiled the phrase "one of the few women to have made their name as a conflict reporter" constantly creeps in. It creates a false impression that we are the few. Editors these days are as likely to send a woman correspondent into combat as a man.

Among the guests at the baby shower: Liz Sly, veteran reporter from the Los Angeles Times; Jane Arraf who has been in Iraq since before the war and now reports for The Christian Science Monitor; and Leila Fadel from The Washington Post.

There are so many others. Since the war started, dozens of women have been sent to cover this conflict. It's been our choice, but for many of us, home and family have had to be parked at the blast wall gates.

Allam says she has been criticized for working in a war zone while pregnant.

"Yes, it's dangerous, yes, I am responsible for another life, but I don't see how it's that much different than a man who comes here while his wife is pregnant at home. You are still putting a parent at risk, you are still putting your child's future at risk," she says.

Of course, Iraqi women give birth in the country everyday, and that has its own challenges and difficulties. But Fadel of The Washington Post says a special sisterhood developed among women correspondents.

"You sort of bonded over being married to your job, and it's really an exciting thing to be able to celebrate somebody who's been able to not only be an excellent war correspondent, but also is married to a really wonderful person and is about to have her baby, and five months pregnant, she's still coming here," she says.

And she says she thinks it's important for Allam's son to know what his mother did before he was born.

"I threw this baby shower for her because [Iraq] has been a part of her life since 2003 as a person. So now she's going to have this memory for her son," Fadel says.

As she looks around the room, Allam gets teary eyed.

"I hope to come back. Everybody keeps asking me, when are you going to come back, are you going to come back? And I say, see you in a year," she says, laughing. "Don't tell my husband that, though."


July is Cord Blood Awareness Month

July has been designated Cord Blood Awareness Month by the National Health Information Center and a society of the American Hospital Association, with the goal of educating others about the medical value of cord blood stem cells. To recognize the occasion, throughout the month The Stem Cell Source will be highlighting useful information and resources for parents who want to learn more about cord blood banking.

While awareness of the medical value of cord blood stem cells is on the rise, the need for more education remains. According to a 2006 study published in the Journal of Reproductive Medicine, three out of four expectant mothers who have heard of cord blood banking consider themselves minimally informed.

The need for greater education was the driving force behind the creation of the Cord Blood Education Center, an online program that informs expectant parents about their options for cord blood. Developed by Cord Blood Registry with input from healthcare providers, stem cell researchers and experts in public banking, the program describes all of the options available to expectant parents and is designed to give them access to information early enough in pregnancy so that they can make an informed choice about the storage, donation or disposal of their newborn’s cord blood stem cells.

Even if you are aware about cord blood stem cells, you may not know all of the facts. Take a moment to explore the Cord Blood Education Center and be sure to pass it on to others who can benefit from cord blood education.


Fertility treatment tied to risk of cerebral palsy

A new study confirms that children conceived via infertility treatment may have a higher-than-average risk of cerebral palsy -- explained largely by their higher rates of multiple births and preterm delivery.

The study, of nearly 590,000 children born in Denmark between 1995 and 2003, found that those conceived through assisted reproduction were about twice as likely to be diagnosed with cerebral palsy as children who were conceived naturally.

The findings, reported in the journal Human Reproduction, confirm those from a number of past studies. They also suggest that the increased risk of cerebral palsy can be largely attributed to the heightened odds of twin or higher-order births, as well as preterm delivery, with assisted reproduction.

However, the absolute risk of having a baby with cerebral palsy is still quite low for couples undergoing infertility treatment.

In the U.S. and Europe, it's estimated that two or three of every 1,000 babies are affected by the disorder. So even with a relatively increased risk, the vast majority of children born via assisted reproduction techniques will not have cerebral palsy.

Still, researchers say their findings offer an argument for implanting women with only one embryo at a time, in order to cut the odds of multiple births and preterm delivery.

Cerebral palsy refers to a group of conditions, usually present at birth, that permanently impair movement, balance and posture. The impairments range from mild -- some children have only relatively minor problems with movement -- to more severe, with some children being unable to walk or having additional impairments, such as mental retardation or vision and hearing problems.

The precise cause of cerebral palsy is unknown, but it is believed to involve a disruption in normal fetal brain development. Premature and low-birthweight infants are known to have a higher risk than full-term, normal-weight babies.

For the new study, researchers led by Dr. Dorte Hvidtjorn, of the University of Aarhus in Denmark, examined national data on all 588,967 children born in the country between 1995 and 2003. That included 33,139 children conceived via in-vitro fertilization (IVF) or with the help of fertility drugs to stimulate the ovaries to produce eggs.

Overall, 0.2 percent of all children were diagnosed with cerebral palsy. The risk was more than doubled among children in the IVF group, and 55 percent higher among those conceived using fertility drugs, compared with children conceived naturally.

When the researchers factored in the effects of multiple births and preterm delivery, the link between fertility treatment and cerebral palsy disappeared -- indicating that those two factors are likely responsible for the connection.

In fact, the researchers found no increased risk of cerebral palsy among singletons born via IVF.