Archive for the ‘ Pregnancy News ’ Category

Severe Postpartum Depression May Actually Start in Pregnancy

Friday, February 6th, 2015

BellyPostpartum depression happens to between 15-20 percent of mothers, and it affects each woman differently. A recent study, published in Lancet Psychiatry, has found a link between when a woman’s symptoms set in and how severe her symptoms are—which may be the key in determining which women are at risk.

Related: Could Postpartum Depression Happen to You?

The study followed 8,200 mothers in seven different countries—some women were medically diagnosed, some were evaluated through a questionnaire, and others fell into both categories. The mothers were then split into smaller groups depending on the type of depression they suffered from: severe, moderate, and mild or clinically insignificant.

Researchers found that two-thirds of women who suffered from the most extreme symptoms, including suicidal thoughts, panic, and frequent crying, actually contracted these symptoms during pregnancy, reports the NY Times. Moderately depressed mothers typically reported their symptoms after childbirth.

Related: Postpartum Depression May Last Beyond the First Year for Some

Further research is needed to determine which biological factors contribute to postpartum depression—but Dr. Samantha Meltzer-Brody, the study’s corresponding author and director of University of North Carolina’s perinatal psychiatry program, believes this study could lead to answers about maternal depression.

“Ideally, you could determine who’s at risk,” she said. “What we do now is wait for people to get sick.”

Caitlin St John is an Editorial Assistant for Parents.com who splits her time between New York City and her hometown on Long Island. She’s a self-proclaimed foodie who loves dancing and anything to do with her baby nephew. Follow her on Twitter: @CAITYstjohn

Postpartum Depression: Postpartum Depression vs. Baby Blues
Postpartum Depression: Postpartum Depression vs. Baby Blues
Postpartum Depression: Postpartum Depression vs. Baby Blues

Image: Woman holding pregnant belly via Shutterstock

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Some Preterm Births May Actually Be Triggered by Babies, Not Moms

Monday, February 2nd, 2015

Premature babyPreterm birth is a nagging concern for many moms. So we try as hard as we can to do everything we think is right in efforts to keep those kiddos inside for the long haul.

Making every attempt to have a healthy and safe pregnancy is important, of course. But new research indicates that some preterm births may not even be in expecting moms’ control. Because rather than moms’ bodies being the cause for babies coming into the world too early, it cold actually be that some babies are themselves genetically predisposed to come out too soon.

This idea is the result of new research that shows it’s actually variations in the fetus’s DNA, rather than in the expecting mom’s, that causes some births to happen early.

Joseph Biggio, M.D., of the University of Alabama, and colleagues from the Eunice Kennedy Shriver Genomics and Proteomics Network for Preterm Birth Research helmed the study, which looked at blood or saliva from hundreds of babies as well as their mothers. While the researchers didn’t find a link between the number of copies of the mother’s genes and the chances of a baby coming early, there was a big increase in pre-term births before 34 weeks of pregnancy when variances were found in babies who were preterm, versus those who were carried to full term.

So how does this new outlook change things?

“While this work will not immediately change the way we are treating women at risk for preterm birth, it changes the way we have to think about approaches to treatment,” Dr. Biggio told Parents.com via email. “Instead of looking for medications that stop contractions, we may need to be looking for medications that can affect the fetal response that triggers preterm birth. Overall, our understanding of the things that initiate the process of preterm is primitive, but this research sheds new light on the process and opens new avenues for investigation and potential treatments. It also stresses the fact that we need to think about both maternal and fetal contributions to preterm birth.”

The great news overall is that the preterm birth rate in the United States dropped more than 10 percent between 2013 and 2006. However, more than 450,000 babies are still born too soon each year (before 37 weeks of pregnancy).

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Alesandra Dubin is a new twin mom. She’s also a Los Angeles-based writer and the founder of home and travel blog Homebody in Motion. Follow her on Facebook, Instagram, Google+ and Twitter.

Photo courtesy of Shutterstock

 

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Good News: Folic Acid Prevents 1,300 Birth Defects Each Year!

Friday, January 16th, 2015

Prenatal vitamins folic acidAmong all the (sometimes scary) new scientific pregnancy findings we sort through every day, there’s a new one to report that’s nothing but good news.

According to new data published by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, fortifying grain foods with the B vitamin folic acid has saved about 1,300 babies from being born with neutral tube defects—or serious problems in the brain and spine—each year since that program went into effect in 1998. Thanks to fortifying, the number of babies born in in this country with such issues has plunged 35 percent since that watershed year.

That said, about 3,000 pregnancies in the U.S. annually are still affected by neural tube defects. So want to make sure you’re getting enough of that folic acid good stuff? Here’s what to do, according to the March of Dimes’ recommendations:

  • Take a multivitamin containing 400 micrograms of folic acid every single day. That goes for all women who are capable of having a baby. (Currently only about a third of all women are doing this as recommended.)
  • Once you’re pregnant, take a prenatal vitamin that contains at least 600 micrograms of folic acid.
  • Eat as many foods as possible that contain folate, which is the naturally occurring form of folic acid. Such foods include leafy green veggies, black beans, OJ, and lentils. Enriched cereals, breads, and pastas also contain the nutrient.
  • If you have had a previous pregnancy affected by a neural tube defect, talk to your healthcare provider about starting a regimen of high-dose folic acid at least a month before you conceive, and all the way through your first trimester, per the C.D.C. guidelines.

Another heads up for Hispanic women in particular: The new research shows that this group is about 20 percent more likely to have a child with such a defect than causasian women, and the reason for that is likely dietary: Wheat flour is fortified with folic acid, but corn masa flour isn’t (although the March of Dimes and other groups are working to make the F.D.A. fortify that, too.)

Just one more (encouraging) reminder to take those prenatal vitamins and eat a healthy diet during pregnancy!

Sign up for our pregnancy newsletters and keep up with the latest pregnancy news.

Alesandra Dubin is a new twin mom. She’s also a Los Angeles-based writer and the founder of home and travel blog Homebody in Motion. Follow her on Facebook, Instagram, Google+ and Twitter.

Photo courtesy of Shutterstock

How to Eat Healthy During Pregnancy: Making a Healthy Dinner
How to Eat Healthy During Pregnancy: Making a Healthy Dinner
How to Eat Healthy During Pregnancy: Making a Healthy Dinner

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Kelly Clarkson Opens Up About Her “Horrible” Pregnancy

Tuesday, January 13th, 2015

Kelly Clarkson River RoseIf you didn’t have a blissful pregnancy experience, you’re not alone. Kelly Clarkson is the most recent celebrity mama to open up about the major challenges she faced while pregnant, in fact going so far as to call that period of her life “horrible” on BBC’s Radio 1 Breakfast Show.

She told host Nick Grimshaw on the program, “I was hospitalized. It was just kind of a bad pregnancy, so I had to take off way more time than normal.”

While she doesn’t give us a lot of details in the latest interview (and admits that the experience hasn’t scared her off from wanting baby number two “…in like a year”), we know she struggled with acute morning sickness, as she gave plenty of candid interviews on the topic throughout her pregnancy with daughter River Rose.

I vomit a good dozen times a day. It’s like bad. I vomited before coming out here,” she told Ellen DeGeneres in December 2013. “I’m not even kidding, it’s so bad. It’s so bad. It’s, like, so gross.”

She added, “My nails are short, my hair still falls out—it’s not all lush and beautiful. And I have no glow. Unless it’s, like, something left over from a bad throw up. It’s horrible.”

Clarkson, of course, isn’t the only mom in the public eye to have a tough go of pregnancy. Kate Middleton famously suffered hyperemesis gravidarum, or morning sickness so severe as to be debilitating. Gwyneth Paltrow, Molly Sims, Mariah Carey, and Kate Winslet are also all among the stars who have copped to suffering bad morning sickness during their pregnancies.

Did you?

Sign up for our pregnancy newsletters and keep up with the latest pregnancy news.

Alesandra Dubin is a new twin mom. She’s also a Los Angeles-based writer and the founder of home and travel blog Homebody in Motion. Follow her on Facebook, Instagram, Google+ and Twitter.

Snacks That Fight Morning Sickness
Snacks That Fight Morning Sickness
Snacks That Fight Morning Sickness

Photo courtesy of Instagram/KellyClarkson

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Zooey Deschanel Is Pregnant!

Tuesday, January 13th, 2015

Zooey Deschanel and Jacob PechenikWe’re ridiculously excited about the latest celebrity pregnancy newsNew Girl star Zooey Deschanel, 34, has confirmed that she is pregnant with her first child! She and boyfriend Jacob Pechenik, 42, are expecting their new addition sometime this summer.

The couple begun dating in mid-2014 after they met on the set of Rock the Kasbah, which Pechenik co-produced.

Deschanel recently confirmed the couple’s exciting news to PEOPLE.com, saying, “Jacob and I are over the moon. We are so excited to meet our little one.”

We’re over the moon, too! And how fun is it that Zooey’s sister (and star of Bones), Emily Deschanel, is also pregnant at the same time? Emily is expecting her second child with husband and It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia star, David Hornsby, later this year, and is already mama to a 3-year-old son named Henry. Talk about a ready source of pregnancy advice and mom-advice—not to mention a sympathetic ear when it comes to morning sickness (if she’s having any), weird pregnancy symptoms, and kooky cravings.

Now, we can only hope a She & Him lullaby album is also in Zooey’s future…

Congrats to Zooey (and Emily, too)!

Sign up for our pregnancy newsletters and keep up with the latest pregnancy news.

Fun Ways to Flaunt Your Bump
Fun Ways to Flaunt Your Bump
Fun Ways to Flaunt Your Bump

Image: Shutterstock

Caitlin St John is an Editorial Assistant for Parents.com who splits her time between New York City and her hometown on Long Island. She’s a self-proclaimed foodie who loves dancing and anything to do with her baby nephew. Follow her on Twitter: @CAITYstjohn

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