Posts Tagged ‘
Tuesday, July 17th, 2012
A new study from the University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston has found that delivering a high-birthweight infant more than doubles a woman’s breast cancer risk. The researchers suggest that having a large infant is associated with a hormonal environment during pregnancy that favors future breast cancer development and progression.
“We also found that women delivering large babies – those in the top quintile of this study, which included babies whose weight was 8.25 or more pounds – have increased levels of hormones that create a ‘pro-carcinogenic environment.’ This means that they have high levels of estrogen, low levels of anti-estrogen and the presence of free insulin-like growth factors associated with breast cancer development and progression,” said lead author Dr. Radek Bukowski, professor of obstetrics and gynecology in the Division of Maternal-Fetal Medicine in a statement.
“Women can’t alter their pregnancy hormones, but can take steps to increase their general protection against breast cancer,” Dr. Bukowski continued, noting that breastfeeding, having more than one child, following a healthy diet and exercising have been shown to reduce breast cancer risk.
Image: Pregnant woman, via Shutterstock.
Tuesday, November 22nd, 2011
Baby human beings and a number of other animals share the neural mechanism in the brain that allows them to walk, new research published in the journal Science has found. The development of human locomotion branches off from the other animals, which include cats, rats, and guinea fowl, as the animals mature, with larger-brained animals such as humans taking longer to learn to walk independently than smaller-brained animals like rats.
The “stepping instinct,” where a newborn baby automatically lifts his or her feet when they are rested on a surface, was found by researchers to have its roots in a neural pathway that is also found in the animals studied. Researchers say that the discovery can help further the development of tools to rehabilitate people who are paralyzed or otherwise cannot walk.
“We have a common history … a common ancestral network, which originated locomotion in the first animals, the first vertebrates,” study co-author Francesco Lacquaniti, scientist at the University of Rome Tor Vergata in Italy, told CNN.com. “Mother nature did not discard what it had. It does not scrap hardware,” he added. “Indeed, the adult locomotion of adults is unique. But it seems to derives from common ancestry, as for the other animals.”
Image: Baby walking, via Shutterstock.
Tuesday, August 16th, 2011
Researchers at the University of Ottawa School of Nursing have just released a study that suggests that parents might be made to worry unnecessarily if their newborn babies’ weight drops, if the baby was weighed mere moments after birth. The Boston Globe reports:
The researchers recorded the amount of oral and IV fluids mothers were receiving while in labor or before a C-section, and had parents weigh their babies every twelve hours in the weeks immediately after delivery. They found that the more fluids moms got in the two hours before delivery, the more weight their baby lost post-partum.
So what does that tell us about birth weight? It might be artificially high because of those fluids mom took in, say the authors. “Intuitively, clinicians and parents want to see the neonate return to birth weight,” they write in this month’s issue of the International Breastfeeding Journal. But, “if it is inflated, then the expectations for a return to birth weight in the first days are questionable.”
Instead of using birth weight as a baseline, the authors suggest, use the weight of the baby when it’s one day old. That gives the baby’s weight time to stabilize.
Wednesday, August 3rd, 2011
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has released a report stating that 80 percent of American hospitals supplement breastfeeding with formula when not medically necessary, which undermines recommendations from the American Academy and Pediatrics, the CDC, and the World Health Organization, all of which encourage that mothers exclusively breastfeed for the first six months of a baby’s life.
Fewer than 4 percent of American hospitals offer new mothers adequate support services to encourage breastfeeding, the report stated. Many hospitals send mothers home with free samples of formula and bottles provided by formula makers, and many fail to maintain a lactation support staff to help mothers learn to breastfeed comfortably. From Boston.com:
The report comes a day after the announcement of new federal guidelines that mandates insurance companies provide free breast pumps and lactation support to nursing mothers after they leave the hospital.
Breast milk, which is rich in antibodies, helps reduce the risk of childhood ear infections and diarrhea and has been linked to a lower risk of childhood obesity — possibly due to the nutritional content of the milk or the fact that breastfed infants are better able to self-regulate their intake compared with those fed from a bottle. Breastfeeding mothers enjoy a lower risk of breast and ovarian cancer.
(image via: http://blessedmom.hubpages.com)