Posts Tagged ‘
Monday, February 4th, 2013
NYC Teen Pregnancies Down Over a Decade
Teen pregnancies among New York public school students have dropped by 27 percent over a decade. Officials says the dip is due to contraceptives and delayed sexual activity, as reflected in new data released by the city Department of Health on Sunday. (via Fox News)
Insulin-requiring Diabetes Up in Young Children, Study Finds
The number of cases of insulin-requiring type 1 diabetes rose sharply in children under the age of Philadelphia over a two decade span, paralleling increases seen across the United States and in Europe, according to a U.S. study. (via Reuters)
Israeli and Palestinian Schoolbooks Fault Other Side in Conflict
Both Israeli and Palestinian schoolbooks largely present one-sided narratives of the conflict between the two peoples and tend to ignore the existence of the other side, but rarely resort to demonization, a U.S. State Department-funded study released Monday said. (via Huffington Post)
California Preschool, Rocked by Sex Sandal, Is Closing Its Doors ( VIDEO)
A California preschool is reportedly closing its doors amidst allegations of sexual activity among its young students. According to KABC-TV, at least two young boys say they received oral sex from a five-year-old girl on the premises of the First Lutheran Church of Carson School, where the three children are students. (via Huffington Post)
Key TB Trial Fails; More Waiting in the Wings
A highly anticipated study of the first new tuberculosis vaccine in 90 years showed it offered no added benefit over the current vaccine when it came to protecting babies from TB infections, a disappointing but not entirely unexpected outcome, researchers said on Monday. (via Reuters)
Junk Food in Schools: USDA Proposes Calorie, Sugar Limits
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Most candy, high-calorie drinks and greasy meals could soon be on a food blacklist in the nation’s schools. For the first time, the government is proposing broad new standards to make sure all foods sold in schools are more healthful. (via Huffington Post)
childhood diabetes, childhood obesity, diabetes, First Lutheran Church of Carson School, insulin, israel, junk food, obesity, palestine, Parents Daily News Roundup, Pregnancy, school lunch, TB vaccine, teen pregnancy, tuberculosis, vaccine, vending machines | Categories:
Wednesday, January 30th, 2013
Part of the reason why I love Downton Abbey is that it’s so real. No, of course there was no real-life Lady Mary, and the Dowager Countess never really asked, “What is a weekend?!” But the show is so well researched that I always feel I’m learning a bit of history while I’m getting my juicy TV fix. (Spoiler Alert! I will be divulging a major plot point, though won’t say which charatcer it affects.) This week’s episode was no exception, bringing maternal health into the spotlight when one of the characters died of eclampsia, a very serious complication of pregnancy that results from untreated preeclampsia.
Curious about what treatments were available for women suffering from preeclampsia in the times of Downton Abbey, I did a quick look into what maternal health practices were like back then. Turns out, preeclampsia wasn’t even a named disorder until 1920–the year this season is set in. Now I totally get why the attending doctor’s diagnosis of eclampsia was challenged on this week’s episode. Before 1920, eclampsia deaths were chalked up to “convulsions” and left at that, and even in 1920, since the identification of the disorder was so new, only the top doctors (like the ones the Crawleys have) were fully aware of it.
Luckily for moms-to-be everywhere, we’ve come a long way medically since the times of Downton Abbey. Although preeclampsia still affects five to eight percent of pregnancies according to the Preeclampsia Foundation–and yes, it still can be fatal–doctors know to screen pregnant women’s blood pressure and urine carefully at every office visit for signs of the disorder. Today, mild preeclampsia diagnosed pre-term can sometimes be held at bay through hospitalized bed rest, although many cases necessitate induced delivery to save the mother’s life.
Do you watch Downton Abbey? Were you as shocked by the eclampsia death as I was?
Image via PBS.
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Thursday, January 17th, 2013
Yesterday we brought you flu advice for kids, courtesy of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Today, we’re focusing on what pregnant women need to know, thanks to the March of Dimes. This post was written by Siobhan Dolan, M.D., M.P.H. Dr. Dolan is the author of the upcoming Healthy Mom, Healthy Baby: The Ultimate Pregnancy Guide, to be published on January 29 by HarperOne.
Flu is back in the headlines again. Epidemics, Emergencies, Shortages ……… the publicity can scare folks, especially pregnant women. Flu is taking its toll in 2013 and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is reporting widespread illness reported in 47 states and 20 pediatric deaths.
The concerns for pregnant women are real: Flu increases their risk for respiratory complications, preterm labor and delivery, and ICU admission. Newborns are also at an increased risk of severe illness and even death from the flu.
But the message for pregnant women is really clear: Prevention with a flu shot and early treatment of women with influenza-like illness is the best course of action. The American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG), March of Dimes, and CDC all endorse this message, so women should not feel uncertain.
The March of Dimes web site has practical information for women here.
The Immunization for Women website from ACOG reinforces the message:
“All women who will be pregnant during influenza (flu) season (October through May) should receive the inactivated influenza vaccine. The live attenuated influenza vaccine is contraindicated for pregnant women. The influenza vaccine is safe for pregnant women and their unborn children as well as postpartum and breast feeding women and can be given during any trimester. Immunizing pregnant and postpartum women against seasonal influenza can protect the mother and may help her baby by preventing the spread of the flu from mother to child following delivery. The seasonal flu vaccine has been given safely to millions of pregnant women over the past 45 years.”
Women are listening, with 47 percent of pregnant women surveyed by CDC in early 2012 reporting getting their flu shot, up from less than 30 percent four years ago.
So go get your flu shot. And tell your pregnant sister-in-law or co-worker to get hers, too. Let’s help keep pregnant women and newborns out of the headlines by spreading the word.
Photo: Pregnant with a cold via Shutterstock.
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Thursday, January 17th, 2013
Teachers With Poor Ratings Clustered In NYC, Charter School Quality: Ed Today
The New York Daily News takes another look at the StudentsFirstNY teacher distribution report and finds something stunning: 20 percent of teachers are “bad” teachers in each of 14 Brooklyn schools. (via Huffington Post)
Light Exposure During Pregnancy Key to Normal Eye Development
New research in Nature concludes the eye — which depends on light to see — also needs light to develop normally during pregnancy. (via Science Daily)
Wow—Obese Kids’ Health Is Much Worse Than We Thought
The research looked at over 43,000 kids ages 10 to 17 around the country and asked about kids’ health issues like asthma, diabetes, and pain, as well as developmental and behavioral issues. (via TakePart)
Kids at Center Stage in Emotional Gun Debate
“Dear President Obama,” began a letter from 8-year-old Grant Fritz, with the shaky printing — missed words, spelling errors — of someone just learning how to put thoughts down on paper. (via Reuters)
Flu Vaccine Not Linked to Fetal Death
Getting the flu vaccine while pregnant does not increase the odds that the fetus will die in the womb, according to a new study of tens of thousands of women in Norway. (via Reuters)
Can Children ‘Grow Out’ of Autism?
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New research has found that some children diagnosed with autism actually ‘grow out’ of their symptoms – as well as their diagnosis. (via Fox News)
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Friday, January 11th, 2013
The Queen of England officially announced Wednesday that under a new formal decree, should Kate Middleton’s new baby be a girl, she will hold the title of Princess.
Under the old decree of King George V, should the firstborn be a boy he would be given the title of Prince and referred to as “His Royal Highness,” while a girl would be called “Lady.” The Prince would be first in line to the throne, even if he was not the firstborn.
The announcement reads, “The Queen has been pleased by Letters Patent under the Great Seal of the Realm dated 31 December 2012 to declare that all the children of the eldest son of the Prince of Wales should have and enjoy the style, title and attribute of royal highness with the titular dignity of Prince or Princess prefixed to their Christian names or with such other titles of honor.”
This step towards gender equality in the royal line of succession echoes the recent—and heavily supported—push by Parliament to amend the law disallowing a firstborn girl to succeed the throne. The Succession to the Crown Bill, if passed, will allow Kate’s new baby, regardless of gender, to be the heir as well as enjoy all royal titles.
The good news comes after the Duchess was recently hospitalized due to complications with hyperemesis gravidarum, or severe morning sickness.
The palace has been keeping Kate’s due date under wraps, but by about week 18 she should find out whether she’s expecting a little Prince or Princess.
Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge attending The Epsom Derby Meeting at Epsom Downs Racecourse in Surrey. 4th June 2011. 05/06/2011 via Shutterstock.com
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Tuesday, December 11th, 2012
Kristen Kemp, author of the Parents.com blog Mom Must Read, knows the torture the Duchess is experiencing right now. She had hyperemesis gravidarum—through two pregnancies—too. She shares her experiences:
I wouldn’t wish hyperemesis gravidarum even on evil people. Not on my former coworker who told our boss that I sucked and should be fired (and then stole my sweater); not on the girl who burned my eyebrow skin off last week during a wax; and not on the young woman who stole my Visa and charged $2,357 at Target. I would never hope for a royal like Kate Middleton to have hyperemesis, no matter how much I covet her clothes and her seats at the Olympics. But since Kate does have this nightmare illness through no ill will of mine, I am glad. While I ache when I think of her public suffering, I also feel vindicated. What I went through is difficult to explain, and most people don’t believe my condition was real. It was not all in my head—Kate is proof.
Hyperemesis gravidarum (HG) tried to kill me during both of my pregnancies. I took gobs of medication, checked in for several stays at the hospital and, as a last resort, considered abortion at the suggestion of my ob-gyn. I could not eat or drink a thing, so I fought dehydration. Worse though, I was nauseous every second of the day. Imagine having food poisoning for 13 weeks straight. Vomiting offers no relief. Your stomach is an empty pit, so all you feel is acidic and painful gagging.
I am sorry if you’re eating right now.
I try not to use the words hyperemesis and morning sickness in the same sentence (minus this exception). The two conditions share one only one trait—they come on in early pregnancy. Otherwise, they are distant cousins, 100 times removed. Barfing your head off nonstop causes a ridiculous amount of physical and emotional pain.
The first time I got pregnant, I found out I was having twins, which meant double the hormones and an increased risk of HG. My doctor and I hoped I wouldn’t have hyperemesis again if I got pregnant with a singleton. So I did. And the second time, it was worse. At about 6 or 7 weeks, my sense of smell turned prophetic. I could sense food rotting in my husband’s stomach. I had to run out of Ikea because I couldn’t handle the odors of the shoppers. By week 7, all smells were intolerable, and even a whiff of sugary vanilla milkshake would send me over the edge. Garlic, coffee, and my toddlers’ diapers might as well have been explosive devices.
My husband made me a hyperemesis nest on the third-floor attic of our house. He dragged a mattress upstairs because I couldn’t stand the smell of him while he slept. He set up a TV that I could barely watch because the images made me dizzy. He gave me a bottle of Lysol to battle the evil that lurked in the air. He and the kids had to stay on the first floor eating fragrance-free cold sandwiches or going to restaurants. We spent thousands of dollars on babysitters who watched the twins during his work hours. I was useless.
I dove into a deep depression. My body emphatically hated being pregnant. I couldn’t hold down food, so I worried that I wasn’t nourishing my fetus. I couldn’t be anywhere near another person from Week 7 through Week 18, so I was lonely. I was so dehydrated that I started seeing bright colors and flames (dehydration can cause hallucinations), and there were crystals in my pee from the uric acid buildup.
Those were the signs that I had to go back to the hospital for IV fluids and nutrition. My husband and my ob-gyn took me seriously, but no one else did. In the maternity unit, nurses left me in the corner barfing for hours while they saw other patients. One told me I just needed to take ginger, remember how lucky I was to be pregnant, and eat ice chips. I wanted to puke on her—and I probably did. Did she really believe I hadn’t thought of those things a million times before?
My doctor gave me a prescription for Zofran, a drug used to ease nausea for people on chemo. It didn’t help the nausea, but I could keep down small bits of food—mainly Fritos—and watch TV. He ordered me to get a PICC line—a tube surgically inserted into a vein in my upper arm—so I could be hooked up to an IV bag 24 hours a day. Thank goodness for our health insurance that paid for all of this and also my daily home nurse. If only they had covered the sitters.
I fell in love with my IV bag.
I stopped contemplating abortion and started telling myself I could get through the second pregnancy. I’d already given birth to my twins, so I knew the absolute joy of hugging new babies. As I convalesced on the third floor, I repeated the mantra: New babies are fun to hug; new babies are fun to hug. And I watched the movie Garden State 17 times. I waited it out. By 18 weeks, the hyperemesis vanished as quickly as it had come on. I had an easy delivery with my baby son. I figured I had earned that much.
Taking care of a newborn was cake compared to living with hyperemesis, so I rocked at infancy. But my husband didn’t want me to rock too much. He said he’d go nuts if he had to live through another pregnancy, so he had a vasectomy within the month. He is smarter than I am, and that’s why I married him.
The more Kate Middleton pukes—I just read she was unwell again after her four-day stay in the hospital—the more people will sympathize with insanely sick pregnant women. We aren’t crazy. We don’t secretly hate our fetuses—a real comment I recently read. We aren’t making up our misery. I wish other women would’ve said, “God, that’s awful. I can’t imagine. Would it help if I invited your husband and kids over for dinner?” I needed to borrow DVDs and gossip magazines. But mostly I got saltine cracker advice and dirty looks when I barfed on the street.
I had a freak illness, but I was not a freak. Just ask Kate Middleton.
Image of Kate Middleton via Featureflash / Shutterstock.com
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Thursday, December 6th, 2012
New Prenatal Test Could Improve Detection of Congenital Diseases
A new genetic test that analyzes fetal DNA in more detail than current prenatal tests can detect additional abnormalities, including those associated with autism and other intellectual disabilities, making them a potentially more accurate way of predicting disease risk. (via Time)
An Inadequate Diet During Pregnancy Predisposes the Baby to Diabetes
A study now insists on the importance of a healthy diet as a way of avoiding increased insulin and glucose levels in the child, both of which are indicators of diabetes and metabolic syndrome risk. (via ScienceDaily)
Baby Deaths Prompt CPSC to Sue Nap Nanny Maker
Makers of the popular Nap Nanny infant recliner seats, which have been tied to the deaths of five babies, have failed to do enough about the potential hazard, the Consumer Product Safety Commission said Wednesday. (via NBC News)
A Blood Test for Autism?
Earlier detection of autism, relying on markers in the blood, may help more children to take advantage of helpful behavioral therapies. (via Time)
Teen Fistfights Down in Many Nations, But Not US
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Fistfights among children have become less common over the last decade in 19 out of 30 countries surveyed in a Canadian study – but fighting in the United States and Canada has remained steady. (via NBC News)
autism, Babies, congenital diseases, CPSC, nap nanny, Noelia de la Cruz, Parents Daily News Roundup, Pregnancy, prenatal test, teens, U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission | Categories:
Monday, December 3rd, 2012
The future heir to the English throne is already causing trouble—Kate Middleton has reportedly been hospitalized with severe morning sickness (also called hyperemesis gravidarum). While most pregnant women experience some of the nausea and vomiting that are thought to be associated with the surges in levels of the human chorionic gonadotropin (HCG) in the first trimester, women who experience hyperemesis gravidarum far exceed the standard morning sickness that most women experience.
A diagnosis of hyperemesis gravidarum usually means that the pregnancy has brought on serious vomiting and nausea that doesn’t improve with changes to the diet and continues beyond the 12th week of pregnancy. It can cause severe dehydration and an inability to keep any food down—a serious issue when you’re trying to eat for two.
Likely, Kate’s been hospitalized so they can give her IV fluids to treat dehydration, and medications that can quell the nausea and vomiting. That’s the standard of treatment for any woman who gets this diagnosis.
Hopefully, with a little time and TLC, Kate’ll be on the mend soon—many women who develop severe morning sickness often find that it disappears on its own later in the pregnancy.
Photo: Kate Middleton by Featureflash / Shutterstock.com
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