Wednesday, July 2nd, 2014
Women who have a Cesarean section may, if they become pregnant again, face a slightly elevated risk of either an ectopic pregnancy or a stillbirth–but not a miscarriage, according to a new study of Danish mothers.
Recent research has also linked c-section delivery to an elevated risk that a child will later become obese, and found that overweight women are more likely to deliver via c-section. On a more positive note, another recent study found that the overall rate of Cesareans performed before a woman’s due date is on the decline nationwide.
HealthDay News has more on the Danish study:
Those whose baby was delivered by cesarean section had a 14 percent higher rate of stillbirth in their next pregnancy than those who had a vaginal delivery. A stillbirth is described as the death of a fetus at more than 20 weeks of gestation.
That works out to an absolute risk increase of 0.03 percent. That means that for every 3,000 cesarean deliveries, there would be one extra stillbirth in future pregnancies, the researchers explained.
They also found that women who had a cesarean delivery for their first baby were 9 percent more likely to have a future ectopic pregnancy than those who had a vaginal delivery.
That’s an absolute increased risk of 0.1 percent, which means that for every 1,000 cesarean deliveries, there would be one extra ectopic pregnancy in future pregnancies.
In an ectopic pregnancy, the fertilized egg grows in the fallopian tubes or other locations outside the uterus. It typically results in loss of the fetus and can be fatal for the mother.
Having a cesarean delivery for a first baby did not increase women’s risk of miscarriage in future pregnancies, according to the researchers at University College Cork in Ireland and Aarhus University in Denmark. A miscarriage is generally described as the spontaneous loss of a fetus before 20 weeks of pregnancy.
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Image: Cesarean section scar, via Shutterstock
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Friday, June 20th, 2014
Pregnant women who are overweight may have an electrical “switch” in their uterine muscle that makes Cesarean section delivery more likely, according to new research published in the journal Nature Communications. The switch is believed to play a role in the progression of labor, and in overweight women is often found to be faulty. More from ScienceDaily:
It’s well known that strong rhythmic contractions of the uterus are needed to allow the baby’s head to dilate the cervix. However little was known about what controls these contractions until now.The groundbreaking research from Monash University, the Royal Women’s Hospital and the Hunter Medical Research Institute, show that a potassium ion channel called hERG in the uterus is responsible.
Acting as a powerful electrical brake, hERG works during pregnancy to suppress contractions and prevent premature labour. However, at the onset of labour a protein acts as a switch to turn hERG off, removing the brake and ensuring that labour can take place.
The team, led by Professor Helena Parkington from the School of Biomedical Sciences at Monash University, found that in overweight women the switch doesn’t work, failing to turn hERG off.
“We’ve known for years that women who are overweight are much more likely to experience complications during pregnancy and labour — but we didn’t know why,” Professor Parkington said.
“Pinpointing the mechanism is a major breakthrough, not only does it ensure a smooth pregnancy, but knowing when contractions kick in at more or less the right time, is crucial to our understanding of the labour process.”
Image: C-section prep, via Shutterstock
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Wednesday, June 18th, 2014
The number of women who are having labor medically induced before their due dates is on the decline, according to a report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention–good news for the health of babies who may face risks if born prematurely. The rate of premature Cesarean sections is also falling, the CDC found. More from US News:
Rates of induced labor declined across the board since 2006 for expectant mothers at 35 to 38 weeks of gestation, with the greatest decline at 38 weeks, researchers with the CDC’s National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS) found.
This is good news for the health of these babies, who can face serious health problems when delivered preterm, said Dr. Edward McCabe, chief medical officer for the March of Dimes.
Babies born early are 1.5 to two times more likely to die during their first year of life, compared to babies delivered following a full term of 39 weeks or more, he said.
“There’s this feeling that we’ve done so well with our premature babies, we’ve been seduced by the advances and think it’s safe to induce delivery early,” McCabe said. “We’ve ignored the fact that there are significant risks of illness and death in late preterm and early term babies.”
The largest decline in induced labor occurred for early term births at 37 to 38 weeks, which fell 12 percent between 2006 and 2012, the CDC reports. Late preterm births at 34 to 36 weeks of gestation declined by 4 percent.
This decrease comes at a time when medical societies are raising concerns about unnecessary early deliveries.
The rate of induced labor more than doubled between 1990 and 2010, from nearly 10 percent of births to just under 24 percent. While some of these induced births were needed to preserve the life of mother and child, many also occurred to better fit the birth into the busy schedules of the parents or the doctor, McCabe said.
The American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists doesn’t recommend induced deliveries prior to 39 weeks of pregnancy without a clear medical reason.
Image: Woman in delivery room, via Shutterstock
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Wednesday, May 21st, 2014
Not one but two sets of “mono-mono” twins, a rare phenomenon in which twins share an amniotic sac, has been born this month at an Ohio Hospital. The first set was actually born holding hands, as ABC News reports:
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Amanda Arnold, 24, gave birth to identical twin daughters Thursday at Akron General Hospital in Akron, Ohio. The girls were monoamniotic or “mono mono,” which means they shared an amniotic sac and placenta in the womb. Experts say the rare condition affects roughly one in 10,000 pregnancies.
“If they can hold hands too, that would be great.” Arnold told ABC News affiliate WEWS-TV before the birth, referring to the viral photo of monoamniotic twin girls born one week earlier at the same hospital. “I’m ready to meet them.”
Dr. John Stewart, director of maternal and fetal medicine at Akron General Hospital, said the chance of two sets of monoamniotic twins being born at the same hospital is “probably in the order of one in a million to one in ten million.”
It took doctors only 19 minutes to deliver the twins via cesarean section. (NewsNet5)
Stewart added that the rare twins are usually scheduled for delivery between 32 to 34 weeks to avoid complications like becoming entangled in each other’s’ umbilical cords.
“The babies can cut of their blood supply to each other,” Stewart told ABC News.
Arnold was hospitalized for five weeks before the delivery so that doctors could monitor the twins’ blood supply. She gave birth by C-section at 32 weeks.
Friday, May 2nd, 2014
Almost a third of mothers say they like their bodies–stretch marks, scars, and all–after having had babies more than they liked their bodies before pregnancy, according to a new survey of 3,000 moms. More from Today.com:
Although 70 percent of women said they feel worse about how their body looks after having kids, 30 percent of moms like their body better and feel more “powerful and confident” in their looks, according to a 2013 TODAY.com survey of more than 3,000 women.
“I went through the body image thing a lot of girls go through in college, when I was fixated on my body and my weight,” says Leslie Goldman of Chicago, mom of a 2-year-old daughter who is expecting her second child in six weeks. “None of that was a part of my life after my late twenties, but postpartum is still so freeing and empowering for me to watch my body in a whole new light, healing from surgery and still producing food to feed my baby.”
While Goldman felt a bit self-conscious about her C-section scar in the beginning — when it was “very red and kind of puckery” — now, in the gym locker room, she’s happy she has a physical sign of motherhood and views other women with C-section scars as kindred spirits. “I’m sure many women working out are moms,” Goldman says. “But when I see the C-section scar, I know we went through the same thing and it’s a signifier we’re all in this together.”
Image: New mom, via Shutterstock
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