Friday, October 29, 2010

Using Umbilical Cord Cells to Repair Spinal Cord Injuries

The start of the first clinical trial evaluating the use of embryonic stem cells in patients with spinal cord injuries has been widely reported in the media. What the news coverage doesn't mention is that newborn stem cells from cord blood and cord tissue are also being researched in animals for use in spinal cord repair based on their ability to help prevent further damage and stimulate healing.

Unlike embryonic stem cells, cord blood stem cells have been used in human patients for more than 20 years and have an established safety profile. And using a person's own stem cells (like those that come from their bone marrow or umbilical cord) eliminates the need for immunosuppressive therapies and carries no risk of rejection.

Laboratory research using newborn stem cells to treat spinal cord injuries in animal models has shown encouraging results. Cord tissue stem cells injected into animal models of severed spinal cords demonstrated the ability to stimulate regeneration, reduce scar formation and significantly improve motor function compared to controls. Additional studies found that cord blood stem cells significantly increased the rate of improvement in motor function compared to controls in animal models of acute compression injuries and that the stem cells’ therapeutic effects may be a result of their ability to reduce inflammation and promote wound healing.

A clinical trial was also recently initiated to investigate the safety and efficacy of cord blood for the treatment of chronic spinal cord injuries by the China Spinal Cord Injury Network in collaboration with the University of Hong Kong. The trial plans to enroll 20 adult patients who will receive HLA-matched cord blood injections with neurological and walking outcomes assessed 3 days and 1, 2, 6, 24 and 48 weeks after treatment.

Although additional work is needed to determine the safety, efficacy and cell administration, preclinical research evaluating the use of newborn stem cells in spinal cord injury is showing encouraging results and demonstrates yet another condition that could potentially benefit from this therapeutic approach.


Giants QB Eli Manning to become a dad!

Giants quarterback Eli Manning is to become a dad, Page Six reports.

His wife, Abby, is expecting their first child, and sources say they are "so happy and excited." Eli, 29, and Abby, 26, who have been married for 2½ years and live in Hoboken, are now preparing for the spring birth.

A source reveals, "They are both so happy and excited. Eli is being very protective of Abby, as it is still early days. Very few people know because Abby is only a few months along and isn't really showing yet."

College sweethearts Eli and Abby, who met in the spring of his junior year at Ole Miss, married on the beach at the One&Only Palmilla in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico, in April 2008.

In May of last year, Eli and Abby announced they would bankroll a new birthing center for natural childbirth and holistic care at now-closed St. Vincent's Hospital.

Manning said at the time, "We wanted to make it a special place to bring new life into the world." He added, "We're enjoying being married right now. There's no exact plan, but we do plan on starting a family in the future."

This past August, he told The Post of his relationship with Abby: "I think a marriage, if you get the right one, it definitely works well, 'cause you can stay focused on your job . . . She's there to support me, and just try to lift the spirits."

He said Abby is close to his family, particularly his mother, Olivia. "My mom and her are great friends, and they talk through the week and they hang out," he said.

"In some ways, we have similar personalities, where she is laid-back . . . but she kinda knows when to get serious and when to be hard on me or keeps me in a straight line, which I like," Manning said.

A spokesman for IMG, which represents Manning, declined to comment.


Ectopic pregnancy test developed

Women who suffer an ectopic pregnancy could receive an earlier diagnosis and be more likely to have their fertility saved thanks to a new test developed by scientists. The new type of blood screening could detect whether a baby is growing outside of the womb with higher accuracy than the conventional test.

Some 11,000 women in the UK have an ectopic pregnancy each year, which is when a fertilized egg implants itself outside the womb, most often in the fallopian tube.

If the tube is ruptured it can cause massive internal bleeding and death in rare cases. Fertility can also be affected. Although ultrasound can often identify the problem, the embryo is sometimes too small to see in early pregnancy.

A blood test to measure levels of the hormone human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG), which is produced by placental tissue, can also take a long time to produce results.

The new test, developed by scientists in the US, checks for four key proteins in the blood. It is not foolproof and can result in no confirmed answer, but is highly effective at distinguishing between ectopic and normal pregnancy in confirmed cases.

Experts based in Pennsylvania carried out a trial on 100 women with ectopic pregnancy and 100 women with normally developing pregnancy.

Overall, a confirmed result was given in 42% of cases. Of these, the test was able to distinguish between ectopic and normal pregnancy with 99% accuracy.

Researcher Dr Mary Rausch, who now works for the Centre for Human Reproduction at North Shore Long Island Hospital in New York, said the test could, if developed over the next two to five years, potentially give a same-day result.

Early diagnosis means immediate treatment and the opportunity to try to protect future fertility, said Dr Rausch after presenting the study at the American Society for Reproductive Medicine (ASRM) conference in Denver.


Thursday, October 28, 2010

Mariah Carey Confirms Pregnancy

In an exclusive interview with "Access Hollywood" host Billy Bush, Mariah Carey confirms, "yes we are pregnant, this is true!"

Carey told Bush - in a segment which aired on TODAY Thursday morning - that it's been a struggle to keep the news private. "It's been a long journey, but it's been tough because I've been trying to hold onto a shred of privacy. And that was not easy."

In the spirit of some privacy, Carey, who shared the news with Bush from her home in Tribeca, didn't divulge how far along she is. "It's still early, I'm expecting in the spring, I'll say that. I don't want to give too much of like, specific outlines."

Carey chose to share the happy news now because her new album, "Merry Christmas 2 U" drops next week. Her husband Nick Cannon, who was also on hand for the interview, describes the journey as an emotional one.

"Uh, it's absolutely emotional, but first, so many reasons I mean obviously the greatest gift on earth is a child," Cannon said. "But ... you know how much we have been through, you know."

Cannon is referring to something that's not been made public until now, that Carey suffered a miscarriage.
Two years ago, shortly after the couple's secret wedding, Carey and Cannon were in Monte Carlo for the World Music Awards when Carey took a pregnancy test, and it turned out to be positive. "Only one person knew about this and we were like, um, 'let's not tell anybody else,'" Carey said.

A little more than a month later, she miscarried. "It was really sad so we had to just, we had really to absorb this and take it in," Carey said. Cannon added, "And that's what I said, like her strength would literally be during the day so festive and smiling obviously for cameras and spending time with everyone and you know, literally that night crying herself to sleep."

Bush added on TODAY that the couple conceived naturally, and that they would not be finding out whether the baby was a boy or a girl before its birth. For more details, tune in to "Access Hollywood" Thursday.


Foot Massage Reduces Edema in Pregnant Women

Swelling, or edema, during pregnancy is normal but can leave the expectant mother feeling uncomfortable. In new research, foot massage has been found to decrease lower-leg edema.

Turkish researchers randomly divided 80 pregnant women into two groups: A study group that received a 20-minute foot massage daily for five days, and a control group that did not receive any intervention beyond standard prenatal car..

"Compared with the control group, women in the experimental group had a significantly smaller lower leg circumference (right and left, ankle, instep and metatarsal-phalanges joint) after five days of massage," according to an abstract published on "The results obtained from our research show that foot massage was found to have a positive effect on decreasing normal physiological lower leg [edema] in late pregnancy,"


Air pollutant tied to birth defect

Women who live in Texas neighborhoods with higher levels of benzene, a pollutant from refineries and tailpipes, are more likely to have babies with a serious neurological defect, according to a new study.

Scientists have long known that the highly toxic chemical can cause cancer and damage the immune system.

But the new study links benzene to a birth defect for the first time and adds to the growing body of evidence showing that air pollution can harm a fetus, the authors said.

A team of researchers from the University of Texas School of Public Health and Texas Department of State Health Services conducted the study, which appeared in the journal Environmental Health Perspectives.
The study suggested that pregnant women exposed to the highest concentrations of benzene had two times greater risk for their children to be born with spina bifida — a condition in which a piece of the spinal cord protrudes from the spinal column.

Benzene can pass from mother to fetus through the placenta, possibly causing damage to DNA material. The defects occur during the first month of pregnancy.

"Spina bifida is a relatively rare birth defect, and though our study may show greater risk if one lives in an area with high levels of benzene, the absolute risk is still very small," said Philip Lupo Jr., one of the study's authors and an epidemiologist at the UT School of Public Health.

Other pollutants

At the same time, the study's authors did not find statistically significant ties between neural tube defects such as spina bifida and other air pollutants - toulene, ethylbenzene and xylene. 

The researchers studied data on live births, stillbirths and aborted fetuses with neural tube defects in Texas from 1999 to 2004 and U.S. Census tract-level emissions estimates.

They found that the risk of spine bifida more than doubled for those living in areas with estimated benzene concentrations greater than 3 micrograms per cubic meter of air. Federal data shows Harris, Bexar, Jefferson and Travis counties had median concentrations of benzene between 1.38 micrograms and 4.93 micrograms in 1999.

Texas leads the nation in benzene releases, accounting for more than one-third of emissions among the states. But Texas' benzene emissions have dropped 37 percent over the past five years, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's latest data shows.

Elena Craft, an Austin-based health scientist for the Environmental Defense Fund, who was not involved in the study, said the greater risk for spina bifida is significant. 

In Texas, she noted, it's cause for concern, because state regulators don't consider chronic benzene concentrations less than 4.5 micrograms per cubic meter of air to be hazardous enough to affect health. Michael Honeycutt, chief toxicologist for the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality, said the agency would take a closer look at the study.

"This link to spina bifida at lower concentrations of benzene is interesting," he said.

Multivitamin intake

Honeycutt said he wanted more information about the women's use multivitamin pills containing folic acid. A recent study found that those who lived within a mile of an industrial facility or waste site are less likely to take the multivitamins, he said.

The authors acknowledge that lack of information on the maternal use of folic acid is one of the study's potential limitations. 

But they noted that a recent study found little evidence linking neural tube defects and folic acid intake since a federal order to add the B vitamin to enriched grain products in 1998.

Lupo said the researchers intend to take a closer look at the mothers' lives, such as daily exposure to benzene and diet, in future studies.

"We see this study as a first step," he said. "It is not the end of the story."

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

This Week's Celebrity Baby Bumps

Alanis Morissette heads to her baby shower, Penelope Cruz bumps it up in all black, Penny Lancaster stays comfortable in all sweats but later wears flowing floral-print with Rod Stewart by her side, and Lily Allen looks chic in a gray dress with a leopard print jacket.
  Source Source Source

Ultrasound Reveals Baby Ready to Rock

This actual sonogram photo comes from Jeff and Susan Snow, both members of the Lake Worth Americana act Invisible Music and subjects of Courtney Hambright's story about three simultaneously pregnant women associated with the band in this week's print edition of New Times Broward Palm Beach.

The Snows assert that there's no Photoshopping or trickery going on in the shot of their son, who is due any day now.


Breastfeeding Supplies Deemed Not Tax-Sheltered by IRS

Denture wearers will get a tax break on the cost of adhesives to keep their false teeth in place. So will acne sufferers who buy pimple creams.

People whose children have severe allergies might even be allowed the break for replacing grass with artificial turf since it could be considered a medical expense.

But nursing mothers will not be allowed to use their tax-sheltered health care accounts to pay for breast pumps and other supplies.

That is because the Internal Revenue Service has ruled that breast-feeding does not have enough health benefits to quality as a form of medical care.

With all the changes the health care overhaul will bring in the coming years, it nonetheless will leave those regulations intact when new rules for flexible spending accounts go into effect in January. Those allow millions of Americans to set aside part of their pretax earnings to pay for unreimbursed medical expenses.

While breast-feeding supplies weren’t allowed under the old regulations either, one major goal of the health care overhaul was to control medical costs by encouraging preventive procedures like immunizations and screenings.

Despite a growing body of research indicating that the antibodies passed from mother to child in breast milk could reduce disease among infants — including one recent study that found it could prevent the premature death of 900 babies a year — the I.R.S. has denied a request from the American Academy of Pediatrics to reclassify breast-feeding costs as a medical care expense.

In some respects, the biggest roadblock for mothers’ groups and advocates of breast-feeding is one of their central arguments: nursing a child is beneficial because it is natural.

I.R.S. officials say they consider breast milk a food that can promote good health, the same way that eating citrus fruit can prevent scurvy. But because the I.R.S. code considers nutrition a necessity rather than a medical condition, the agency’s analysts view the cost of breast pumps, bottles and pads as no more deserving of a tax break than an orange juicer.

The new health law does include one breakthrough for nursing mothers, a mandate that they be permitted unpaid breaks to use breast pumps. Spurned by tax authorities, breast-feeding advocates say they will return to Congress to get a tax break, too.

According to a survey by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, about 75 percent of the 4.3 million mothers who gave birth in 2007 started breast-feeding. By the time the baby was 6 months old, the portion dropped to 43 percent, and on the child’s first birthday, to 22 percent.

A study released this year by Harvard Medical School concluded that if 90 percent of mothers followed the standard medical advice of feeding infants only breast milk for their first six months, the United States could save $13 billion a year in health care costs and prevent the premature deaths of 900 infants each year from respiratory illness and other infections.

“The old adage that breast-feeding is a child’s first immunization really is true,” said Dr. Robert W. Block, president-elect of the American Academy of Pediatrics. “So we need to do everything we can to remove the barriers that make it difficult.”

To continue breast-feeding once they return to work, many mothers need to use pumps to extract milk, which can be chilled and bottle-fed to the child later. The cost of buying or renting a breast pump and the various accessories needed to store milk runs about $500 to $1,000 for most mothers over the course of a year, according to the United States Breastfeeding Committee, a nonprofit advocacy group. Lactation consultants, who can cost several hundred dollars, also would not be an eligible expense.

Roy Ramthun, a former Treasury Department official, said that tax officials’ reluctance to classify those costs as medical expenses stemmed from a fear that the program might be abused.

“They get very uneasy about anything that smacks of food because they fear it will open up all sorts of exceptions,” said Mr. Ramthun, who runs a consulting company that specializes in health savings accounts. “It’s a matter of cost and of protecting the integrity of the tax code.”

Unless the law changes, some mothers may ask their pediatricians for a note that breast-feeding is medically necessary. Jody L. Dietel, who works for a company that processes claims from flexible spending accounts, says that many patients who receive orthodontic procedures have used such a tactic.

“Orthodontia is really so you have nice, straight teeth,” said Ms. Dietel, chief compliance officer for WageWorks. “But the doctors write notes warning that the patient’s jaw might be damaged without treatment or their overbite could cause health problems, and it becomes an eligible expense. For breast-feeding there are two components, too: nutritional and preventative medicine.”


Tuesday, October 26, 2010

7 Baby-Friendly Ideas for Halloween

For some babies, especially infants, door-to-door trick-or-treating isn't the best idea. However, dressing up babies when they're too young to complain is simply irresistible, so here is a list of baby-friendly Halloween activities.
  1. Take them to indoor Halloween parties aimed at the small, diapered crowd. Many indoor play places have Halloween activities during the day, so anyone who wants to do scare-free, fun stuff with their small person has a safe place to do so.

  2. Check out your nearby zoo. Zoos often do really fun Halloween day events. Some have people handing out candy and others have specialized event. Plus, how cute would it be to photograph your little monkey next to it's real poo-flinging inspiration?

  3. Have your baby hand out candy, or help anyway. You can have fun at home, dressing up your cutie pie and have them assist you in doling out the candy. Just be careful not to let any bigger kids scare them!

  4. Go to a hospital or nursing home and hand out candy to the elderly. Call ahead to make sure this is okay first, of course, and make sure to ask what kind of treats are okay to bring, but people love getting visitors, especially when they'd got big squishy cheeks and are wearing an adorable little costume. Also, check out children's hospitals and see if you can do something fun for children there at Halloween, too.

  5. Take your baby to a pumpkin patch. Get adorable pictures of your munchkin amongst pumpkins, and extra fun can be had if it's on a farm with animals or hay rides.

  6. Have your own baby-party. Host a safe and fun Halloween event for locals with babies, or even just your close family and friends. If you're feeling super generous, you could even offer to watch some small fries while families take the older siblings out for trick-or-treating.

  7. Do non-door-to-door trick or treating. If your aversion to trick-or-treating with a baby is just not wanting to go door-to-door, check out malls and elementary schools which often host little mini-parties or trick-or-treat lanes.


Study: Most Babies Sleep Through the Night (But Not Mine)

I have read all the sleep bibles. I can properly conjugate "Ferberize." I love my three children. Though, consistently good sleepers they are not.

But enough about my family's sleep woes. Let's scurry to New Zealand, where the parents of 75 infants kept sleep journals whose accuracy was confirmed by time-lapse video recorders.

Researchers at the University of Canterbury in New Zealand reported that the fastest consolidation in infant sleep regulation took place during the first four months, which makes sense taking into account the stark transition from the initial weeks when newborns sleep in round-the-clock chunks. By four months, babies have established more typical sleep patterns, with most meeting three different criteria: sleeping from midnight to 5 a.m., sleeping for any eight hours at night, or — drumroll, please, for the elusive Holy Grail of parenting —  going to sleep and staying horizontal for the coveted 10 p.m. to 6 a.m. stretch.

Researchers found that the babies were most likely to achieve the latter milestone between two to three months, although it wasn't until five months that more than half of infants achieved this goal. By 12 months, more than 85% of babies were sleeping either midnight to 5 a.m. or eight hours; 73% were sleeping from 10 p.m. to 6 a.m.

To really put the pressure on, the authors argue that “sleeping through the night” should be redefined to refer exclusively to the period from 10 p.m. to 6 a.m. for babies four months old and older. “The alternative criteria lack social validity in that they ignore congruence with family sleep patterns,” they write.

I have friends who've adhered to the authoritarian and controversial tenets of On Becoming Baby Wise and boast their babies slept through the night at six weeks. But they are the exception. Most parents I know complain that their babies wake, night after night, far beyond the magical three-month mark. Unable to function as my maternity leave waned, I opted for the cry-it-out method — espoused by Richard Ferber — with my oldest; he cried on-and-off for five hours the first night, but it worked. He quickly learned to sleep through the night like a champ, and he (my son, not Ferber) still smiled at me the next morning when I came to pluck him from the confines of his crib. So, yes, sleep-training can work, but the emotional cacophony of crying was an agony I was not willing to revisit with either of my daughters.

Perhaps the key to solid nighttime sleep lies in prevention, suggest the authors. They recommend intervening in the first three months, “beginning as early as 1 month for intervention to be synchronous with the onset of sleeping through the night.” One month? Even the alternately revered/feared Ferber doesn't advocate starting that young. “Would I put my kid on a strict schedule and let him cry it out at one month?” says Kim West, a.k.a. The Sleep Lady. “No, I wouldn't.” One bit of across-the-board advice she endorses involves putting your child to bed drowsy but awake so that they learn how to soothe themselves to sleep. Don't do anything — play a song, for example, or rock them to sleep — that they can't recreate on their own in the middle of the night. Even at one month, you can encourage a baby to self-soothe by putting him to sleep before he's actually asleep. If he squalls, pick him up. But he might surprise you and fall asleep on his own. It's a strategy that West, a clinical social worker who's built a healthy sleep consultation business, calls “sleep-shaping.” “If you can gently shape and guide their sleep,” she says, “you never have to sleep-train them.”

Meanwhile, the New Zealand researchers divulge nary a tip — no do's or don'ts — as to what they mean by "intervention," although they do acknowledge there's research to be done on what exactly predicts and precipitates sleep problems.

Some of the biggest sleep mistakes West sees parents make:

Inconsistency. Parents are often inconsistent both at bedtime and in how they respond to night wakenings. For example, one night a mother might feed a child back to sleep, other times she will rock the baby, and another time she will bring the baby into the parents' bed in desperation.  Even a very young child can get confused and inconsistency can lead to more tears, not less.

Letting children use “sleep crutches”. If babies or toddlers are allowed to  fall asleep being nursed, bottled fed, rocked or walked to sleep at bedtime, they won't learn how to fall asleep on their own. And when they wake up during the night (as we all do) they won't be able to go back to sleep without being nursed, fed, rocked or walked to sleep again.

Late bedtimes. Children need on average 10-11 hours of sleep at night for the first 9 years of their life! Too late a bedtime and skipped naps will create poor quality sleep, more night wakenings, and an overtired child!

Practicing “reactive co-sleeping”. Some couples decide they want to have their child sleep in their bed, for the first few months or for a few years. That's fine, if you both agree and you know all the safety precautions. But “reactive” co-sleeping is when the baby is in your bed as a last resort because you just don't know how else to get him or her to sleep, not because you have chosen the family bed.

Impatience. Families need to dedicate two or three weeks of their time, energy and consistency to sleep coaching to see significant changes in night sleep and naps.

Read more:

Toni Collette Expecting Baby No. 2!

United States of Tara star Toni Collette and her husband, musician Dave Galafassi, "are very happy to be expecting our second child together," the pair tells PEOPLE.

The happy couple - who wed in 2003 - are already parents to daughter Sage Florence, 2½.

The 37-year-old About a Boy star is due in the spring.

Congratulations to the Collette-Galafassi family!


Monday, October 25, 2010

Celine Dion Gives Birth To Twin Boys!

Celine Dion has given birth to healthy twin boys, her rep has announced. Us is reporting that the singer gave birth at 11:11 a.m. - and then again at 11:12 a.m.. - at a hospital in West Palm Beach, Fla.

No names have been announced for the fraternal twins.
Celine and husband/manager Rene Angelil also have a son Rene-Charles, 9.

In a recent interview Celine talked about the sleeping arrangements she'd already planned for the twins. "We'll do the same thing we did with René-Charles, who stayed with us in our bedroom for the first year," the singer said. "We'll keep them near us, too, because we have a big bed."

Congratulations to the songstress and her family!


First four months critical for new baby's sleep habits

One of the challenges faced by new parents is getting their infant to sleep through the night and on to a sleep schedule similar to that of mom and dad. A new study in the journal Pediatrics finds that most babies will sleep five to eight hours per night by their fourth month of life.

"Most newborn babies sleep about 16 to 20 hours per day (ie, more asleep than they are awake) and by a few weeks of age they already tend to sleep more at night than in the day. There can definitely be some differences, however, with some babies needing less sleep overall or less daytime sleep than others," said Dr. Jennifer Shu, a practicing pediatrician.

The researchers asked parents of 75 babies to keep sleep diaries. Parents kept diaries of their infants for six days per month for the first 12 months of the babies' lives. The parents were also invited to shoot time-lapse video of their child's sleep, to help verify the results of the diaries.

Three criteria were used to judge whether the baby was sleeping through the night: Sleeping uninterrupted from midnight till 5 a.m., sleeping uninterrupted for eight hours, or sleeping uninterrupted from 10 p.m to 6 a.m.

The study found the most babies will sleep five to eight hours per night by about the age of four months. Many babies will sleep while the rest of the family is sleeping–50 percent of babies at age five months.

"There is always a caveat," Shu notes:  "It's important to note that babies are different and we shouldnt expect or force all of them into a cookie-cutter sleep mode. Some babies just don't respond to the 'cry it out' method."

Shu notes that she talks to many parents with concerns about a new baby's sleep patterns.

"What’s normal for your baby is very individual," she tells parents. "If baby is thriving and happy, then it’s normal! There’s almost no such thing as getting too much sleep—that is, if your baby sleeps a lot and is feeding/growing/acting well then be grateful!

"Also, it’s helpful to build good sleep habits by giving baby the opportunity to sleep in the same place at roughly the same time every day and night. Also offer a routine that involves helping the baby relax (by cuddling/holding/rocking for example) and putting them into the crib slightly drowsy but not completely awake. Consistency really helps.

"One problem I see is that parents may give up on the routine too soon and hold the baby for a long time so the baby sleeps, or put baby into bed with them, etc. This is a short-term patch but not a good long-term solution. If they keep trying to put baby down drowsy but awake, baby will eventually learn how to self-soothe and fall asleep (and get back to sleep since we all have brief nighttime awakenings) on her own."

The Pediatrics study confirms what pediatricians generally tell parents about sleep and their baby, according to Shu, "I usually tell parents that most babies can sleep at least five-hour stretches by four months. Knowing that many will sleep for 8 hours straight is icing on the cake. Having those eight hours fall during the time when the rest of the family is asleep is a touchdown!"

And she warns that parents shouldn't feel guilty if their child is taking longer to get onto a sleep schedule, saying "Parents should not feel bad if they've tried everything, yet their baby still won't sleep. It may help to readjust their expectations. It can take time for a baby to mature and learn to 'self-regulate'.  A parent of a one-month old can take comfort in knowing that in most cases, their baby’s sleep will improve within a few months. However, the first month is an ideal window to help promote good sleep habits in babies so they are more likely to self-regulate within the expected four-to-five-month period. It’s important to be consistent in the first few months to help babies develop this self-regulation but to keep in mind that there are definitely some outliers—some babies will continue to have sleep difficulties even if parents are doing everything 'right' although the majority will have a good sleep."


Matt Damon & Wife Welcome Fourth Daughter

Matt Damon and his wife Luciana have welcomed another baby girl!

Stella Zavala Damon was born on October 20 in New York, a rep for the Invictus star confirms.

"Mom and baby are both healthy," the rep tells PEOPLE. "The whole family is thrilled."

Stella joins big sisters Isabella, 4, Gia, 2, and Alexia, 11, Luciana's daughter from a previous relationship.

The devoted dad recently talked about having a house full of girls, saying, "I’m surrounded by beautiful girls. I’m a lucky guy."

Congratulations to Matt, Luciana and family on the new arrival!