Archive for the ‘ Pregnancy ’ Category

Another Reason Why Buying Breast Milk Online Is Not Safe

Monday, April 6th, 2015

Milk in bottleThere is no disputing that the benefits of feeding an infant breast milk are huge, but not all mothers are able to produce enough milk to feed their newborns. This has caused many mothers (approximately 55,000!) to turn to the internet to purchase milk from other nursing moms.

However, new research conducted by Nationwide Children’s Hospital has proved that this is a potentially harmful decision.

Researchers found that what was being advertised as pure human milk wasn’t at all. “We found that one in every 10 samples of breast milk purchased over the Internet had significant amounts of cow’s milk added,” said Sarah A. Keim, Ph.D., lead author of the study and principal investigator in the Center for Biobehavioral Health in The Research Institute at Nationwide Children’s. This is especially dangerous for infants under 12 months who lack the ability to digest cow’s milk properly, and for breastfeeding kids who may have a milk allergy or dairy intolerance.

“We don’t know for sure why cow’s milk was in the milk that we purchased, but because this milk was sold by the ounce sellers may have had an incentive to add cow’s milk or formula to boost the volume,” Keim told Parents.com. It’s likely that some sellers are profit-driven as breast milk is typically sold for $1-$2 per ounce.

And this is not the first time mothers have been warned against purchasing breast milk over the internet. In 2013, Keim and her team found that 75 percent of breast milk samples that had been bought online contained high levels of bacteria that could make an infant ill.

The only way to avoid contaminated, and possibly dangerous, breast milk, is to not purchase it at all. Mothers who are having trouble breastfeeding or pumping should seek the advice of a medical professional. “They should work closely with their pediatrician to come up with a plan for feeding their baby that meets their unique needs, in terms of how well they are growing, and if there are any medical conditions or allergies,” said Dr. Keim. “For mothers who want to breastfeed, early and high quality lactation support can be very helpful for many women in addressing problems that come up.”

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

Buying Breast Milk Online: What You Need to Know
Buying Breast Milk Online: What You Need to Know
Buying Breast Milk Online: What You Need to Know

Image: Bottle with milk via Shutterstock

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71 Percent of Millennials Believe Birth Control Is a Moral Right

Friday, March 27th, 2015

Birth control pillsIt’s been said that the millennial generation is the most pro-sexual health in history because of increased support for contraceptives and sex education. Millennials tend to brush off traditional religious beliefs when it comes to sex, and new research by the Public Religious Research Institute further proves that.

According to the research, seven out of ten, or 71 percent, of millennials (men and women) believe that the usage of birth control is morally acceptable, while only 9 percent say it is morally wrong. In the survey, 2,314 individuals between the ages of 18 and 35 were asked to answer multiple questions about reproductive health and sexuality.

As for emergency contraception, or the “morning after” pill, more than half (55 percent) of millennials believe a prescription should not be required to obtain it; 40 percent believe it should be a requirement.

Access to birth control is also extremely important to millennials. Eighty-one percent want all women to have access to contraception, even if they cannot afford it. Support for increasing access to birth control was across all racial, ethnic, religious, and political groups.

“Majorities of both women and men in the millennial generation believe access to contraception is critical, not just for reproductive health, but also for the financial well-being of women,” said Robert P. Jones, CEO of the Public Religion Research Institute.

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

Birth Control & Breastfeeding
Birth Control & Breastfeeding
Birth Control & Breastfeeding

Image: Contraceptive Pills via Shutterstock

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Good Timing and New IVF Test May Boost Pregnancy Success Rates

Monday, March 16th, 2015

Embryo CulturesIVF success rates depend on a number of factors such as the woman’s age, reproductive history, and lifestyle. In Britain, more than 60,000 cycles of IVF are performed every year, but only about a quarter (24 percent) of those treatments are successful.

Scientists believe that bad timing can be one reason for the lack of success, because an embryo wasn’t transferred to a woman’s body at the right time. To help improve IVF success rates, scientists in Madrid have now created a test that will identify the ideal window of time for transferring an embryo.

This test will analyze genes within the woman’s womb lining to determine when they have entered into a receptive phase.

“For most women there is a two to four day stretch when the lining, or endometrium, sends out crucial chemical signals that allow the embryo to attach. For some women the fertile window is shifted earlier or later in the cycle or is unusually brief, however,” reports The Guardian.

A preliminary study was conducted on 85 women who had previously gone through multiple rounds of IVF with no success. But when gene analysis was used, one-third of the participants became pregnant.

If approved, this test is likely to increase IVF success rates significantly, which may be beneficial for millennial women who are choosing IVF.

“I think it will make a significant difference in the expectations of couples and how we can explain failures,” said Professor Juan Garcia-Velasco, who is currently leading an international trial of the test. “Until now, the endometrium was kind of a black box. Now we can say this was the problem and this is what we can do about it.”

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

Trying to Conceive: 5 Common Fertility Mistakes
Trying to Conceive: 5 Common Fertility Mistakes
Trying to Conceive: 5 Common Fertility Mistakes

Image: Preparing cultures via Shutterstock

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Pregnant Women Are Gaining More Weight Than Needed

Thursday, March 12th, 2015

Pregnant BellyGaining weight during pregnancy is inevitable—after all, your body is carrying another human—but moms need to be careful about packing on unneeded pounds or extra “baby weight.”

New research confirms that nearly half of women (47 percent) gain more than they should while pregnant, which can have a potentially negative impact on both the infant and mother.

Many professionals, including Dr. Karen Cooper, ob-gyn and director of the Cleveland Clinic’s Be Well Moms program, believe misconceptions are to blame. “Most women feel that pregnancy is the time when weight does not matter and it is an opportunity to eat as much as desired,” she said. “Most believe the myth that the weight will be lost quickly and easily after delivery.”

The study, which was published in the journal Obstetrics & Gynecology, collected information from more than 44,000 mothers who gave birth between 2010 and 2011. The women were separated into categories based on whether their body mass index (BMI) were deemed underweight, at a normal weight, overweight, or obese.

Only 32 percent of the study’s participants gained an amount that fell within the recommended guidelines for their weight category. According to Health Day, the “Institute of Medicine guidelines recommend gaining 25 to 35 pounds if normal weight at the start of pregnancy; 28 to 40 pounds if underweight; 15 to 25 pounds if overweight; and 11 to 20 pounds if obese at the start of pregnancy.”

The findings showed a direct relationship between high BMI and more weight gain during pregnancy than was recommended. Those who were overweight or obese prior to becoming pregnant were two to three times more likely to gain excess weight, than those at a normal weight.

Not only does a mother’s weight influence how large the newborn will be, but gaining too much weight can increase the risk of premature birth. The newborn is also more likely to develop conditions like hypertension and gestational diabetes, according to Dr. Cooper.

Experts do not recommend dieting during pregnancy, so it’s best to regulate your weight by making health-conscious choices when it comes to eating food and staying active—and to not let any weight worries get the best of you.

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

Weight and Pregnancy: Gain Only What You Need
Weight and Pregnancy: Gain Only What You Need
Weight and Pregnancy: Gain Only What You Need

Image: Pregnant belly via Shutterstock

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More Millennial Women Choosing IVF Than Ever Before

Tuesday, March 3rd, 2015

Pregnant CoupleIn vitro fertilization is becoming increasingly popular in the United States, especially in millennial women, according to a new report by the Society for Assisted Reproductive Technology (SART).

In 2013, 2,000 more babies were born through the use of IVF than in 2012. Approximately 175,000 cycles of the treatment led to more than 63,000 infants being born. The report also notes that more women, especially those under 35, are choosing to transfer a single embryo, rather than multiple embryos—which eliminates the possibility of multiple pregnancies through one IVF cycle.

“The goal of reducing the incidence of multiple pregnancies is extremely important, and patients can see from the data that fewer embryos transferred do not mean a lower chance of pregnancy,” said James Toner, M.D., president of SART.

Since fewer women are transferring multiple embryos, twin and triplet birth rates resulting from IVF have noticeably decreased. The report also states that from 2012 to 2013, the number of twins dropped from 12,436 to 12,085, and the number of triplets fell from 411 to 376.

These trends are likely to continue along the same patterns in the coming years—especially with more advanced IVF techniques, like Britain’s newly approved “three-parent” IVF technique and the newest stem cell and IVF technology that may lead to same-sex couples having a biological child.

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

Trying to Conceive: 5 Ways to Get Pregnant Faster
Trying to Conceive: 5 Ways to Get Pregnant Faster
Trying to Conceive: 5 Ways to Get Pregnant Faster

Image: Pregnant couple via Shutterstock

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