Tuesday, November 19th, 2013
Women who have had bariatric surgery as a weight loss solution may face an elevated risk of some pregnancy complications, including giving birth to babies who have low birth weight and are born prematurely, a new study has found. More from The New York Times:
The authors of the research, published in BMJ, looked at roughly 15,000 births that took place in Sweden between 1992 and 2009, including about 2,500 among women who had had had weight loss surgery. On average, the women delivered about five years after the surgery.
After controlling for age, smoking and other factors that could influence pregnancy complications, the researchers found that 10 percent of children born to women who had undergone bariatric surgery were delivered prematurely, compared with 6 percent in the other group.
A similar pattern was found for low birth weight. Five percent of children born to mothers in the surgery group were small for their gestational age, compared with 3 percent in the other group.
The researchers speculate that the trends could be driven by deficiencies in vitamins and minerals, which occur after bariatric surgery and could affect fetal and placental growth.
Image: Pregnant belly, via Shutterstock
Add a Comment
Friday, November 15th, 2013
An Australian woman who is blogging about her lifestyle during pregnancy is stirring up major debate because of her “healthy” eating plan that many are calling extreme. More from The Huffington Post:
Loni Jane Anthony, a 25-year-old Australian woman who is 26 weeks pregnant, made headlines after giving an interview to News.com.au about her atypical diet, part of which includes a morning meal of 10 bananas.
The nutrition plan is called the 80:10:10 Diet, which is 80 percent carbs, 10 percent fat and 10 percent protein. It was founded by Dr. Douglas Graham, a raw foodist who doesn’t associate the plan with fruitarianism.
Anthony, who claimed to have had health problems in the past because of her poor diet, told News.com.au that transforming her eating habits about three years ago saved her life. Now, her average day starts with warm lemon water in the morning, followed by either half a watermelon, a banana smoothie or whole oranges, then five or six mangos for lunch and a large salad for dinner. She said she has an alcoholic drink once every five months….
But the young mom-to-be’s diet has some raising their eyebrows and wondering if the meal plan is healthy for her unborn child.
“I feel uncomfortable with Loni’s ‘transformation’ because it doesn’t sound safe for her baby,” blogger Ami Angelowicz of The Frisky wrote. “I’m not a doctor, of course, but common sense and the little knowledge I have about nutrition tells me that you have to consume more than bananas and mangoes each day when you’re eating for two. I really try not to concern myself with what other people eat (or how much CrossFit they do), but it seems irresponsible to glorify the extreme fruitarian lifestyle for pregnant women.”
A commenter questioned if her banana intake could lead to hyperkalemia, or high potassium in the blood. Information from the Mayo Clinic on the condition, however, does not suggest it would.
Others, like Mommyish blogger Eva Vawter, doesn’t think Anthony’s diet is anyone’s business. Vawter wrote that even if the 6-month-pregnant woman “ate 90 bags of Cheetos and had an IV of Mountain Dew hooked into her vein” it still wouldn’t be anyone’s business.
The Mayo Clinc advises pregnant women to maintain a diet that includes fruits, vegetables, whole grains and lean protein. It also says that nutrients like folic acid, calcium, vitamin D, protein and iron are important during pregnancy. These can be obtained via foods like spinach, beans, milk, yogurt, salmon, eggs, lentils and poultry.
Could you be pregnant? Take our quiz and find out! We’ve planned your week of pregnancy meals (and snacks).
Image: Mound of bananas, via Shutterstock
Add a Comment
Wednesday, November 13th, 2013
A recent Gallup poll has found that they a majority of Americans believe that age 25 or younger is the ideal time for women to start a family, while men should wait until they are age 26 or older. More from Today.com:
The majority of Americans, 58 percent, believe the ideal age for women to start having children is 25 or younger, while the majority, 52 percent, said men should start having children at 26 or older, a recent Gallup poll found.
The average perceived ideal age for each gender to have children differs only slightly: 25 for women and 27 for men, Gallup found. Some 5,100 U.S. adults took part in the survey.
Gallup acknowledged “tension between biology and societal norms” in the results, noting young women may have the best odds of conceiving a healthy child but that rushing to become a parent “doesn’t square with modern Western sensibilities about pursuing higher education and career goals, finding the perfect partner, or simply relishing the experience of young adulthood.”
Gallup also found “significant differences by education and race” in the poll. The proportion of respondents saying the ideal time for a woman to have her first child by age 25 was greater among blacks and Hispanics than among whites.
Image: Expectant couple, via Shutterstock
Add a Comment
Monday, November 4th, 2013
Babies who are exposed to melodies while still in the womb may be able to learn it–and to recognize it when they hear it after they’ve been born, according to a new Finnish study published in the journal PLOS One. More from The New York Times:
For the study, published online last week by PLOS One, Finnish researchers divided 24 pregnant women into two groups. Five times a week, the “learning group” played a CD that included a one-minute rendition of “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star,” which the unborn children heard an average of 170 times before birth. The control group did not hear the recording.
Then the scientists did EEG tests on the children at birth and again at 4 months as they listened to the original tune and a version in which several notes were altered.
The learning group had a larger response to the melody than the control group did, and the difference was still apparent at 4 months. And the amplitude of response to the changed melody correlated with the number of times the infants were exposed to the original melody in utero.
Image: Pregnant woman with music, via Shutterstock
Add a Comment
Thursday, October 24th, 2013
The definition of a “full term” baby is being honed by the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, who are adjusting the definition in order to better equip parents and hospitals with the knowledge they need to care for babies born between 37 and 42 weeks gestational age. More from Reuters:
“We have increasingly recognized that newborn outcomes are not uniform between 37 and 42 weeks,” Dr. Jeffrey Ecker said.
Babies delivered between 37 weeks and 39 weeks of pregnancy will now be considered “early term,” according to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists.
“Full term” infants will be those born between 39 and 41 weeks.
Babies born between 41 and 42 weeks of pregnancy will be thought of as “late term.” Finally, those born at 42 weeks or later will still be considered “postterm.”
Ecker is the chair of The College’s Committee on Obstetric Practice. He is also a high-risk obstetrician at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston.
“Language is important in communicating that it’s not just one period of time and to recognize that outcomes do differ,” he told Reuters Health.
A growing body of research has found babies born before 39 weeks are not as developed as those born later.
Babies born after 39 weeks have fewer poor outcomes such as breathing, hearing and learning problems, The College says in its joint statement with the Society for Maternal-Fetal Medicine. The statement was published Tuesday in Obstetrics and Gynecology.
The brain grows by about a third between week 35 and week 39 of pregnancy, according to The College. And a layer of fat to help keep the body warm is added during the last weeks of pregnancy.
Pregnant? Calculate your due date, or find your due-date club.
Image: Pregnant woman’s belly, via Shutterstock
Add a Comment