Daily News Roundup

Simple blood test can reveal Down syndrome in pregnancy

The journal, Nature Medicine, published the latest of several recent studies that suggest scientists can spot Down syndrome through fetal DNA that has been shed into the mother’s bloodstream. Currently, pregnant women get blood tests and ultrasound to find out if the fetus is at risk for Down syndrome. For a firm diagnosis, doctors take a sample of amniotic fluid or the placenta. Those sampling procedures involve a small risk of miscarriage. A reliable diagnostic blood test also could give an answer earlier than the standard tests. (MSNBC)

Fewer Children Suffering From Ear Infections

In the past 15 years, visits to the pediatrician have declined nearly 30 percent for ear infections. Harvard researchers said because fewer adults are smoking, that’s less irritation to the child’s airways, and doctors are also using a vaccine against bacteria that cause ear infections. Breast-feeding is also an added protection. (Fox News)

Joy of parenting?  Moms, dads may be kidding themselves
As children’s economic value has plummeted, their perceived emotional value has skyrocketed, becoming, “the economically worthless but emotionally priceless child,” as Princeton sociologist Viviana Zelizer wrote in her book, “Pricing the Priceless Child” (Princeton University Press, 1994). If they are, many parents are in the dark about it. In a Pew Research Report, published in May of 2010, 87 percent of mothers giving birth in 2008 stated “the joy of having children” as the reason they decided to have their first (or only) children. (MSNBC)

Pregnant women: Secondhand smoke can harm your baby
Researchers from the Journal of Pediatrics found exposure to secondhand smoke increased a non-smoking pregnant woman’s changes of having a stillborn by 23 percent, and increased the risk of delivering a baby with birth defects by 13 percent. (CNN)

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