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Wednesday, September 28, 2016

HAVING A HEART CENTERED SPIRITUAL PREGNANCY

A Heart Centered Approach to a Spiritual Pregnancy

Guest Post By Kelly Meehan
A spiritual pregnancy is a deeply unique experience that is lived by each woman who accepts pregnancy and prepares for motherhood. Many thoughts may come to mind when putting together spirituality and pregnancy. Does a spiritual pregnancy mean its time to begin meditating, praying for guidance, or chanting mantras? Yes and no. It can't hurt to meditate nor could it hurt to have a belief system that can offer inner guidance and a positive outlook about pregnancy.
The foundation of a heart centered approach during pregnancy starts with self awareness. Self awareness of: thoughts, feelings, sensations, and intuition. All those amazing parts of the human's capacity to reflect and move inward all create a harmonious system of understanding the natural spiritual aspects of motherhood. Awareness can help make the experience of pregnancy more peaceful as the body grows, emotions change, priorities shift, intuition strengthens, and receiving each day as it arrives.

 SEE ALSO: MEDITATION AND VISUALIZATION FOR FERTILITY, PREGNANCY (getpregnantover40.com)



Creating a pregnancy in awareness begins with inviting explored and unexplored experiences. It is having the ability to investigate beliefs, experience true feelings, dissect mental patterns, release old systems, and continue to move within the cycles of personal transformation. A spiritual pregnancy is not limited to blissful states of constant positive energy, but this includes feelings of uncertainty and fear. It is about accepting all experiences and knowing that each has purpose.
How does one stay connected to a spiritual pregnancy when cultures of society can easily impact how pregnancy looks and happens? Society can easily influence birthing and pregnancy with extensive books and experts all sharing information about the biological and emotional needs of a mother. Many of these so-called "experts" like to offer hard data with limiting forms of study or hard to understand data, but with great persuasive skills to fool the smartest and activate the energy of fear. The gift of negative images and media selling scare tactics around pregnancy is that the fear can bring about a lesson of personal discernment. It does not have to damage the mind and build fear, but it can challenge the mind into moving more deeply to tune into the internal intuitive system of information. Intuitive information lives within each person and always available for needed advice and wise knowledge.
Pregnancy must be about going with the flow and letting go into the unknown. The idea of letting go in pregnancy can feel scary. Actually, letting go in general can bring up feelings of personal loss and identity, but in the energy of birthing a new identity of mother is born. Letting go and letting birth is one way to welcome a new thought process. A spiritual pregnancy into spiritual birth requires the woman to pay attention to the wisdom of the body, while tuning into the wise callings of the ancient energies of labor that birthed before.
A heart centered approach to a spiritual pregnancy can be many things with many influential parts. It starts with the individual entering a state of self awareness, creating a system of prayer, meditation or mantras, making choices based on intuition, exploration of the psyche, embracing fears with acceptance, forgiveness, and letting go. It's good to remember that having a spiritual pregnancy is not about following ridged rules, orders, religious doctrines or archaic advice. It is about following the brilliantly divine information that comes from inside the energy of choices that lives within personal wisdom.
Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/expert/Kelly_Meehan/1406819
http://EzineArticles.com/?A-Heart-Centered-Approach-to-a-Spiritual-Pregnancy&id=7251168

Monday, September 26, 2016

WHAT IS A PREGNANCY TRIPLE SCREEN?

Pregnancy Over 40, Triple Screen

 Since I decided early on in my pregnancy to have an amniocentesis, I didn't go through the "triple screen".
My cousin, who is much younger than me did go through the triple screen, and she was told there might be a problem with her baby. She and her husband decided to do an amniocentesis to find out for sure. They went through weeks of sheer agony between the time of their triple screen results and their amniocentesis only to find out that their baby was fine. Although they were elated with the good news, it brings up the point that the triple screen is not always accurate as the article below explains:

SEE ALSO: EARLY WAYS TO KNOW YOU ARE PREGNANT (getpregnantover40.com)


"What is a triple screen?
A triple screen is a blood test that measures three things called alpha-fetoprotein, human chorionic gonadotropin and unconjugated estriol. The results of the blood test can help your doctor see if your baby may be at higher risk for certain birth defects such as Down syndrome and neural tube defects.

Why is it called a "screen"?
These test results can only show that there may be a problem -- they can't prove that there is one. An abnormal test result doesn't mean that your baby has a birth defect. Most often, the blood test results are abnormal because the baby is younger or older than your doctor thought. And some birth defects will not be detected by this test. Remember, this test does not screen for all birth defects."

 from familydoctor,org

Friday, September 23, 2016

OUR LADY OF PERPETUAL HELP, ST GERARD FOR PREGNANCY

Although I grew up Catholic but now consider myself somewhat non-denominational now, I still find it comforting to learn about and pray to saints with some of the many struggles in life.  Saint Gerard and Our Lady of Perpetual help are said to help protect pregnancy and they can help those who are trying to conceive.  I have a page on my website devoted to saints for infertility and I have a page devoted to prayers to St. Gerard and Our Lady of Perpetual Help.
Click Here for More (getpregnantover40.com):



http://getpregnantover40.com/saint-gerard-for-fertility.htm


Wednesday, September 21, 2016

PLACENTA RITUALS AFTER BIRTH

Placenta Rituals From Cultures Around the World

Guest Post By Jodi Selander

The placenta is an amazing, unique organ. It grows with the baby from the very first cell divisions, so it can begin its important work of providing nourishment as soon as possible.
It is the direct physical link between the mother and child, and as such, may even provide comfort to the baby. They grow together, entwined and connected in the womb. At the time of birth, the placenta maintains its connection to the womb as long as possible, to continue sustaining life until the baby's successful arrival into the outside world. Only then does it relinquish its grip on the mother and is also born. In the placenta's case, though, its birth will only hasten its death. Even so, the placental-child connection continues after the duo are born. If allowed to separate naturally, as in a lotus birth, the placenta will remain attached to the baby for several days before it inevitably severs their link.
Considering the powerful role of the placenta in the early, perfect and serene life of a child, it is easy to understand how the placenta is considered sacred in other cultures.
Eloquent ceremonies are performed to honor the placenta in countries all over the world, and even here in our own backyard. The Navajo of the American Southwest customarily bury a child's placenta within the sacred Four Corners region to bind the child to its ancestral land and to its people. The Maoris of New Zealand bury the placenta in native soil for the same reason. They even applied their word for land to the placenta - whenua. In certain regions of Siberia, the buried placenta is thought to be ill or uncomfortable if the baby becomes sick. The gravesite is treated, and the placenta may be reburied in another spot in hopes of curing the child. 1
Interpretation of the relationship between placenta and child varies widely around the world. The Ibo of Nigeria and Ghana consider the placenta to be the baby's twin. Aymara and Quecha peoples of Bolivia say that the placenta has its own spirit. Malaysians consider the placenta to be the older sibling to the child. When the baby smiles unexpectedly, it is said that he is playing with his brother. The Parigi of the Celebes Islands also view the placenta as the older brother. It is carefully preserved in a special pot, wrapped in white cotton, and is ritually buried by the mother. Palm trees are then planted to honor the burial site. Similar beliefs can be found in Java and Bali. The Toba-Bataks of Sumatra believe the placenta is the younger brother. It is also thought to contain one of the seven souls that each person possesses, which can act as a sort of conscience for the child. In Iceland, it is held that the child's guardian spirit resides in the placenta, leading them to name it "fylgia", which means "guardian angel". In western Australia, the placenta is considered to be the child's companion. It is stored in a covered pot for three days before burial, during which there is an honorary silence.
The Baganda of Uganda believe that the placenta is actually a second child. Not only is it the child's double, but the placenta also has its own spirit that resides in the umbilical cord. The portion of the cord attached to the baby must be carefully preserved to ensure the good health of the child. If the child is of royal blood, the placenta itself is ritually preserved and carried in processions by a high-ranking officer. This custom is remarkably similar to that of the Egyptians, although the Egyptians carried the placenta figuratively.
Ancient Egyptians believed in duality of the souls - one soul inhabited the body, the other the placenta. The placenta even had its own hieroglyph, which looked like a crosscut section of a human placenta. In royal processions, a high-ranking official would carry a standard representing the placenta. This standard, or symbol, is depicted as an organ with two lobes, an umbilical cord, and membranes folded back. In certain ancient texts this symbol is even the correct color; dark brown with touches of red. Entire tombs may have been built to house the royal placentas of the pharaohs. Neter-Khet of the Third Dynasty built the step pyramid of Saggara, but his body is interred at Bet Khallaf. Menkau-Ra of the Fourth Dynasty built Her, the smallest of the Giza pyramids, yet his body is entombed at Abu-Roash. Some experts interpret this to mean that the second tomb was created specifically for the placenta.

SEE ALSO: SAINT GERARDS FOR MOTHERHOOD, PREGNANCY, FERTILITY (getpregnantover40.com) 



It is clear that the placenta has held a place of honor throughout our history. Perhaps we should recognize the wisdom of the ancients, and see that the placenta is more than just some messy afterbirth to be discarded and ignored in the excitement and joy over the birth of a beautiful new child. An honoring ritual need not be elaborate; it could be as simple as looking over the placenta and silently thanking it for its role in bringing that beautiful baby into the light.
Other ritual ideas could be to bury the placenta and plant a tree on the same spot. The placenta can be dried and ground, and the granules scattered to the wind in a place that was meaningful to you during your pregnancy. The umbilical cord can be removed and twisted into a heart or wreath, then completely dried, leaving you with a lasting keepsake to remember this momentous time in your life.
The placenta serves an important, sacred purpose in fostering new life. I believe it is important to see our bodies as the beautiful, magical beings that they are. Let us honor that perfection of Nature in a meaningful way.
Jodi Selander is the founder of PlacentaBenefits.info. She provides placenta encapsulation services to new mothers in southern Nevada and is building a global network of Placenta Encapsulation Specialists. She lives in Las Vegas with her husband and two young daughters.
Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/expert/Jodi_Selander/271555
http://EzineArticles.com/?Placenta-Rituals-From-Cultures-Around-the-World&id=1636915

Sunday, September 18, 2016

FISH OILS IN PREGNANCY

Fish Oil for Pregnancy: The Benefits for Baby and Mother

Guest Post By James Diede

Every expecting mother knows there are certain nutrients she needs to include in her diet for the health of her developing baby. Among nutrients such as folic acid, vitamins, and calcium that the mother and baby needs, there is one called omega-3. Omega-3 is a polyunsaturated fatty acid that is essential for brain and eye development, and also has many different health benefits. While most doctors will make it a point to recommend the daily intake of prenatal vitamins, they often don't mention omega-3 supplements even though most American diets are deficient in this essential fatty acid.
What can fish oil do for pregnancy? Fish oil supplements are concentrated doses of omega-3 and are made from fish that are high in this essential nutrient. Pregnant women are often told to eat 2 servings of fish a week; they are recommended against eating more than that because of the risk of mercury. There are many other toxins that pregnant women should be wary of, especially in fish, and fish oil supplements are a great way to get the benefits of eating fish without the risks of ingesting the contaminants within them.

SEE ALSO: CAN FISH OILS HELP PREVENT MISCARRIAGE ? (getpregnantover40.com) 



However, not all omega-3 supplements are safe; you should only use fish oil supplements that have gone through molecular distillation. This process purifies the fish oil by separating out the toxins and contaminants, and it also makes the supplement less likely to go rancid.
How Baby Benefits from Fish Oil During Pregnancy
Throughout a pregnancy, the unborn baby gets sustenance from its mother, either through the foods that the mother eats or from her body itself. The baby absolutely needs omega-3 for the development of its brain and nervous system, so if the mother isn't getting an adequate amount in her diet, the mother's own supply of this essential fatty acid will be depleted. However, studies have shown that if the mother has a high amount of omega-3 during pregnancy, the baby will have a longer attention span and thus better learning skills. Visual learning skills were also shown to be better in the babies that were studied. Both of these traits can lead to the babies having higher IQ's, something every mother wants for her baby.
Many developmental disorders can be fought against by using omega-3 supplements in the form of fish oil capsules. Another thing that has an adverse effect on a baby's health is premature birth, and using fish oil for pregnancy can actually help in preventing that. Among women who had previously given birth prematurely, "the rate of preterm delivery was decreased to 21% in women supplemented with fish oil", one study found. One can even surmise that the high rate of premature births in the US coincides with the average American diet that's poor in omega-3.
Why Women Should Use Fish Oil for Pregnancy
Many pregnant women have heard the term "preggo-brain" and have attributed it to hormone increases, but it may actually be caused by lower levels of omega-3. After all, if a women isn't eating enough omega-3 then the baby takes it from the mother's own supply. The mother needs her omega-3 for brain function, which is essential in the regulation of mood, memory recall and learning. By taking a fish oil supplement, pregnant women can guarantee that their supply of omega-3 is replenished and that the baby will get enough omega-3 as well.
These fatty acids aren't only good for the brain, but for the heart as well. They lower blood pressure, decreasing the risk of preeclampsia. They also improve blood flow and can decrease inflammation. Omega-3 may also be used to prevent postpartum depression.
Fish Oil and Breastfeeding for Smarter Babies
Omega-3 are also important after pregnancy if a mother is breastfeeding, as it is passed along to the baby. The amount that gets passed to baby is in relation to the mother's diet so the more omega-3 she eats, the more the baby gets. This helps the child become smarter and, with the other benefits of breast milk, healthier too.
When breastfeeding a premature baby, omega-3 is even more significant. There was a six-year study conducted that had nursing women taking fish oil capsules for their pre-term babies. It showed about 50% fewer of these babies had delayed mental development compared to other babies that had a diet low in omega-3.
There is no doubt that this fatty acid is essential to the health of both mother and baby. It can probably be said that one of the most important things a mother can do to ensure a bright future for her child is to add omega-3 to both their diets. An easy and safe way to do that is through fish oil supplements.
James is a lifelong believer in the power of omega-3 for better health. He shares his research and personal knowledge of omega-3 and fish oil for pregnancy [http://omega3betterhealth.com/] on his website. There, you can see which fish oil supplement he uses and recommends.
Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/expert/James_Diede/1072120
http://EzineArticles.com/?Fish-Oil-for-Pregnancy:-The-Benefits-for-Baby-and-Mother&id=6311670

Friday, September 16, 2016

HOW ROSE QUARTZ CAN HELP PREGNANCY, BIRTH, NEWBORN

I frequently talk about healing stones that women can wear to not only make them more fertile, but also stones that can help them through their pregnancy.  Rose quartz is a stone that can not only help with getting pregnant, but it can help soothe during pregnancy and help soothe a newborn baby.

Rose Quartz is a mothering crystal, inspiring nurturing of the self especially if one has lost their own mother. If you have a newborn, placing baby milk or food within a circle of Rose Quartz for a few minutes helps ease colic or feeding difficulties. 
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It promotes bonding and is a good stone to place on the stomach during pregnancy, and to take to the hospital to be near the baby during birth. It is also soothing in the days to follow.
Rose Quartz is a wonderful sleep crystal for adults and children, providing beautiful dreams as well as preventing nightmares or night terrors. It also helps children to not be afraid of the dark.(from: crystalvaults.com)

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

PESTICIDES AND BIRTH DEFECTS

Pesticides Can Hurt Your Pregnancy

Yikes! Be careful if you live in an agricultural area.
 Sadly, the pregnant women mentioned in this article were exposed to unnatural levels of pesticides resulting in birth defects in their babies. Although most of us are not exposed to this high level of pesticides, it goes to show you that these are dangerous chemicals. Read more:

Two field workers who gave birth to deformed babies were illegally exposed to pesticides more than 20 times each while they picked tomatoes in Eastern North Carolina, N.C. Department of Agriculture data show.

SEE ALSO: ENVIRONMENTAL TOXINS AND PREGNANCY, FERTILITY (Getpregnantover40.com)

 

A third worker, who spent most of her pregnancy working in Florida, was exposed four times during the less than six weeks she worked in North Carolina, the data show.

All worked for Ag-Mart, a Florida-based tomato grower, and they were illegally exposed to a host of chemicals as often as three times a week, the documents show. Three of the 15 chemicals are linked to birth defects in lab animals.

Francisca Herrera, a former migrant worker who picked tomatoes for Ag-Mart in Florida and North Carolina, holds baby Carlos at 5 months. State data say she was exposed to pesticides during pregnancy. 
One baby had no arms or legs. Another had a deformed jaw. The third had no nose and no visible sex organs and died soon after birth.

The women's exposures were illegal because they worked fields too soon after pesticides were sprayed, agriculture data show. To protect workers from harmful effects, many pesticides require that workers be out of the fields for anywhere from a few hours to two days after spraying.

from
www.smfws.com

Monday, September 12, 2016

MUSIC BENEFITS PREGNANCY, MOM AND UNBORN BABY

Familiar Music Can Work Wonders For Your Pregnancy

Guest Post By Dr. Michele Brown OBGYN
Listening to Music. Pregnancy can be emotionally stressful due to the hormonal and physical changes that women experience during this special time. Mental changes that women experience can result in anxiety, depression, fear, and frustration which can have adverse effects on their infants. Poor eating and sleeping patterns can limit overall functioning which can be associated with a higher risk of prematurity and low birth weights along with delayed infant development and negative temperaments in children. Drug therapy in pregnancy to control stress always has risks of side-effects to both mother and child, making non-pharmacologic intervention a safer alternative.
Music has always been used as a form of therapy to reduce stress, pain, and anxiety by promoting relaxation through creation of a healing environment for physical, emotional, and spiritual well being. As early as 555 BC, a well known Greek philosopher and mathematician named Pythagorus felt that music was an important therapy in medicine to maintain good health and often recommended music to maintain harmony and healing in the body.

 

SEE ALSO: STRESS, MISCARRIAGE AND THE CONNECTION (getpregnantover40.com) 



Stress can effect the hypothalamus, pituitary, and adrenal cortex arousing the sympathetic nervous system. Music can cause a pituitary response with release of hormones and endorphins which are natural opiates that can relieve pain. It stimulates the thalamus and limbic areas of the brain, stimulating good feelings and emotions. Music has been shown to effect blood pressure, heart rate, and respiration along with emotional balance in adults.
Pregnancy, delivery, and newborn care are likely areas to complement and expand conventional medical care by using alternative therapy such as music to reduce stress, anxiety, and pain. Music has been found to stimulate pleasure response and distract from labor pains. Sidorenko published a paper in 2000 showing that music improved relaxation in pregnant women by decreasing heart rates, blood pressure, breathing patterns, and pulse. In addition there was a a reduction in the need of pain killers and improved sleep patterns, and reduction in the number of premature births. Women who listen to music during labor and delivery had reduced anxiety and decreased pain during childbirth for both vaginal and cesarean deliveries. It also allowed for decreased labor time and shortened hospital stay.
The choice of music has been found to be important to its success. The most beneficial responses occur when the music is familiar, desirable and meaningful. Browning in Canada conducted a study demonstrating that music can be an important adjunct to pain and stress management during labor when the music was chosen by the mother, with emphasis on pieces that have significant meaning to both mother and her partner. Daily listening should begin by the third trimester to gain familiarity prior to labor in the hopes of promoting a positive conditioned response during labor.
Music has also been found to be therapeutic to infants. Studies on premature and low birth weight infants have shown shorter hospital stays, less weight loss and fewer apnea episodes when taped music was played in intensive care unit settings. (Casino 1992, Stardley and Moore 1995) A study by Keith in 2009 showed significant reduction in frequency and duration of inconsolable crying in infants as result of music intervention, as well as improved heart rate, respirations, oxygen saturation and mean arterial pressure. Other studies showed an increase in head circumference and decreased heart rate in premature infants in the newborn intensive care unit between 28 and 32 weeks when listening to music. (Cassidy 2009)
A newborn infant has a predilection for the maternal voice and also to musical pieces to which they have been exposed to in utero indicating that the fetus may have a capacity to learn in utero. (Gerhardt, 2000) It is believed that the fetus can hear by late gestation. Studies from Canada have shown heart rate increases in response to Brahms' Lullaby starting at 28 weeks.
Some additional guidelines published in the Journal of Perinatology in 2000 by the Physical and Developmental Environment of the High Risk Infant Center Study Group on Neonatal Intensive Care Unit Sound and the Expert Review Panel recommend that:
1. Pregnant women avoid prolonged exposure to low frequency sound levels (

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/expert/Dr._Michele_Brown_OBGYN/448251


http://EzineArticles.com/?Familiar-Music-Can-Work-Wonders-For-Your-Pregnancy&id=3453671

Thursday, September 08, 2016

ALL ABOUT DOWN SYNDROME

Down Syndrome: Trisomy 21

Guest Post By Navodita Maurice
Down syndrome, also known as Down's syndrome particularly in the United Kingdom or trisomy 21, is a chromosomal condition which arises due to the presence of all or an extra part of chromosome 21. The syndrome is named after the British physician John Langdon Down who first gave the description of this condition in 1866. The clinical details of this condition were given in the nineteenth century by Jean Etienne Dominique Esquirol in 1838 and Edouard Senguin 1844. Dr. Jerome Lejeune in 1959 identified that Down syndrome crops up due to trisomy of chromosome 21. The identification of this syndrome in the fetus can be done by chorionic villus sampling or amniocentesis in pregnancy or after the birth of the child. The effects and extent of the extra copy of chromosome 21 vary among individuals and may depend upon the genetic history and pure chance.
The incidence of this syndrome is estimated 1 per 733 births but the statistical data suggest that the incidence increases in case of older parents as the chances of mutation increases in the reproductive cells of such parents. Down syndrome has been reported in other mammalian species like chimpanzees and mice also.
English physician John Langdon Down first identified this syndrome as a kind of mental disability and published a report in 1866 about it. He used the term mongoloid for the children suffering from this syndrome as they have facial similarity with the Blumenbach's Mongolian race. By the 20th century this syndrome became popular as form of mental disability. The sufferers were treated medicines but majority of them either died in infancy or in early adulthood. With the rise of the eugenics movement, 48 states of United States began the sterilization of such individuals and Action T24 in Nazi Germany made the program of systematic murder of such individuals. Until the middle of the 20th century the exact reason for the occurrence of Down syndrome remained unknown but its relationship with the maternal age was noticed very soon. It affects people of all races. Many theories advocated that it is caused by unknown inherited factors while others believed that it is the result of injuries caused at the time of birth.
With the advent of the karyotype techniques in 1950s it became possible to identify the abnormalities associated with chromosome number and shape. In 1959, J�r�me Lejeune discovered that Down syndrome is the result of presence of an extra chromosome. The extra chromosome was identified as 21 and the condition was named as trisomy. In 1961, 18 geneticists wrote to the editor of The Lancet that term Mongolian idiocy must be changed and it was named as Down syndrome later. In the present scenario the incidence of Down syndrome is estimated at 1 per 800 to 1 per 1000 births. In the United States about 5429 individuals are born by this syndrome as calculated by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in 2006. Approximately 95% of these cases crop up due to trisomy of chromosome 21 and it occurs in all races and all economic classes.
Maternal age strongly influences the chances of conceiving a baby with Down syndrome. At maternal age the chance is 1 in 1562, at the age of 35-39 the rate is 1 in 214 and above the age of 45 the chance is 1 in 19. According to a report about 80% of the babies born with Down syndrome belonged to the maternal age group of 35-39. Recent data also suggest that paternal age also influences the chances of occurrence of this syndrome. Fathers with the age group of above 42 are at the risk of giving birth to children with this syndrome. Current research indicates that Down syndrome occurs due to a random event during the formation of sex cells or pregnancy. There is no evidence that whether it is caused due to parental behavior or environmental factors. Individuals suffering from Down syndrome suffer from mild to moderate learning disabilities, developmental delays, low muscle tone in early infancy and characteristic facial features. Some individuals also suffer from heart defects, leukemia, early onset Alzheimer's disease, gastrointestinal troubles and other defects. The symptoms of the syndrome may vary from mild to severe.

 

SEE ALSO: THE REAL RATE OF BIRTH DEFECTS IN WOMEN OVER THE AGE OF 40 AND THE RATE OF PREGNANCY COMPLICATIONS (getpregnantover40.com) 



Genes present on an extra copy of chromosome 21 are mainly responsible for Down syndrome. As a general rule all human beings contain 23 pairs of chromosomes and all these bear specific genes needed for the proper functioning of all the vital activities of body. All humans inherit 23 chromosomes from the father through sperm and 23 from the mother through egg cell during the act of fertilization but sometimes an extra copy is also inherited from one of the parents. In Down syndrome the offspring generally inherits two extra copies of the chromosome 21 from the mother and one from the father and for this reason the disorder is also known as trisomy 21. About 95% of the persons with this disorder inherit an entire extra chromosome 21.
About 3-4% of the individuals with this syndrome does not inherit the entire extra chromosome 21 but inherit some extra 21 chromosome genes that are generally located on the chromosome 14. This phenomenon is known as translocation and the chances of their occurrence are random for example, if the parent has exactly two copies of chromosomes but some of the genes are also distributed on other chromosomes and if the baby inherits chromosome with extra genes from chromosome 21 then he or she will suffer from Down syndrome. About 2-4% individuals with this disorder inherit additional genes from chromosome 21 and then the condition is identified as mosaic Down syndrome. The percentage of occurrence of mosaic Down syndrome varies and so the individuals do not have typical physical characteristics as found in the individuals with full trisomy 21. Sometimes the symptoms are so mild that this syndrome may remain undetected. If proper genetic testing is not done then this condition may be often confused with trisomy 21.
The exact reason how extra genes on chromosome 21 result in Down syndrome is not yet clear. Scientists believe that the presence of extra gene interfere with the normal functioning of other genes or there are chances that these extra genes may become more active than other genes that may alter some vital functions of body and so resulting in this disorder. Scientists are still working to find out which genes from chromosome 21 are exactly inherited that develop the symptoms of this disorder. About 400 genes have been identified on chromosome 21 but the function of majority of them is not clear. With the help of human studies and animal models scientists are trying to reveal the mystery of these genes. The only known reason why a child with Down syndrome is born is the increased maternal age. The woman who conceives very late is generally at a very high risk of giving birth to a child with this disorder. Parents who have conceived a child with Down syndrome have 1% chance of giving birth to another with this disorder. If a parent is a carrier of a chromosome 21 translocation then the risk of giving birth to a child with this disorder is 100%. A woman suffering from Down syndrome is at 50% risk of giving birth to a child with this syndrome. If the father is suffering from this disorder then the chances of child with this disorder are also increased.
The severity of Down syndrome may vary from mild to severe but the individuals share some widely recognizable features. These features include flattened face and nose, short neck, small mouth with protruding tongue, small ears and small eyes with many folds of skin present at the corner of the eyes. White spots may be identified near the colored part of the eyes. The hands are short with broad and short fingers. The muscle tone is poorly developed with loose ligaments. Growth and development also delayed and height less than average. Many noninvasive screening techniques are now available by which the parents can identify if the chances of a baby with Down syndrome are suspected. This helps the parents to decide the fate of the baby. The prenatal screening tests include expanded alpha-fetoprotein (AFP) screening test, nuchal translucency test and additional ultrasound screens that detect certain important anatomical features of the fetus. These tests give a prediction that there are chances of Down syndrome to occur in the fetus but the results may not be 100% true.
The most widely used test is the expanded alpha-fetoprotein test (AFP). A blood sample of the mother who is pregnant for 15-20 weeks is taken out and examined. The levels of alpha-fetoproteins and three hormones namely unconjugated estriol, human chorionic gonadotropin and inhibin-A are measured in the blood sample. If the levels of these proteins and hormones are elevated then Down syndrome is suspected but cannot be predicted with 100% surety. The nuchal translucency test measures the thickness of the fold in the neck with the help of the ultrasound. This test can be performed within 11-13 weeks of pregnancy. If mother's age is also taken into consideration then this test gives about 80% accuracy of chances of the birth of a chile with Down syndrome.
Women identified with high risk of giving birth to a child with this disorder can be suggested to undergo more ultrasound screens between 18-22 weeks of pregnancy. Some characteristic markers that detect that the child will suffer from Down syndrome are length of long arm or femur, length of nasal bridge, size of renal pelvis, small bright spots in heart and small middle section of the little finger. Other markers include presence of a large gap between the first and the second toe, increased brightness of bowel and widened iliac angle.
The diagnosis of Down syndrome in the fetus can be made before birth but the diagnostic tests carry a small risk of miscarriage. If Down syndrome is suspected after the birth of the child then the diagnosis can be done by using chromosome analysis. Amniocentesis is performed between 16-20 weeks of pregnancy in which a thin needle is inserted into the amniotic cavity through the abdominal wall and a small amount of the amniotic fluid is taken out. This sample is then analyzed to identify chromosomal abnormalities. Chorionic villus sampling (CVS) is another technique that is generally carried out between 11-12 weeks of pregnancy. This test involves collection of the chorionic villus cell sample from the placenta that can be taken out by inserting a needle in the abdominal wall or through a catheter in the vagina.
The chromosomes collected in the sample are checked for abnormalities. Percutaneous umbilical blood sampling (PUB) can be carried out where the fetal blood sample can be collected from the umbilical cord by the insertion of needle in the abdominal wall and then the sample is analyzed for abnormalities. This test is generally performed after 18 weeks of pregnancy.
Cognitive impairment is the most common condition associated with Down syndrome. The process of cognitive development in such individuals is generally delayed and the symptoms may vary from mild to severe as they find difficulty in learning things. How trisomy of chromosome 21 leads to cognitive impairment is still a mystery. Scientists have found that the average brain size of a person with this disorder is generally small and certain areas of brain especially the hippocampus and the cerebellum also show alterations in their normal functioning. Defect in hippocampus results in impairment of learning and memory formation. Scientists are tirelessly working to find out which genes are present on the chromosome 21 that result in cognitive impairment. The other health problem associated with Down syndrome is congenital heart defect. Majority of the individuals born with this syndrome generally suffer from atrioventricular septal defect. Other heart defects that can be coupled with this disorder are ventricular septal defect, atrial septal defect, tetralogy of Fallot and patent ductus arteriosus. Some babies are suggested to undergo immediate heart surgery soon after their birth in order to cure these heart defects.
Gastrointestinal troubles are also associated with Down syndrome and they commonly include esophageal atresia, tracheoesophageal fistula, duodenal atresia, Hirschsprung disease and imperforate anus. Individuals suffering from Down syndrome are at higher risk of getting infected with celiac disease. Sometimes surgery is required to get rid of these problems. Certain kinds of cancer are very frequently found in individuals suffering from Down syndrome for example, acute lymphoblastic leukemia, myeloid leukemia and testicular cancer. Solid tumors rarely make their appearance in such individuals. Other conditions that can also arise in individuals with this disorder are hearing loss, frequent ear infections, hypothyroidism, cervical spine instability, visual impairment, obesity, constipation, infantile spasms, dementia and early-onset Alzheimer's disease. About 18-38% of the individuals with this disease also suffer from behavioral defects like attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), depression and stereotypical movement disorders.
In the present context although the genetic cause of Down syndrome is known but there is no possible cure for this disorder. Scientists are continuously working to find out the mystery of the genes responsible for this disorder but it will take some more years to solve this riddle. Corrective surgery to cure heart defects, gastrointestinal problems and other health issues is mandatory in case of some individuals. Regular health checkup is required in order to keep a track over hearing aids, hypothyroidism, visual impairments, obesity, ear infections and other medical conditions.
Such individuals should be fully welcomed in the family and community. It is very important that proper care of the children suffering from Down syndrome must be taken and they must be stimulated, encouraged and educated from their childhood. Physical therapy, occupational therapy and speech therapy are very beneficial for the treatment of such children. Children with Down syndrome are able to learn like normal children and if they are encouraged they give good results also. Social development and social learning of such children are generally normal but the motor skills, speech and language associated features are delayed.
Adults with Down syndrome attain same hormonal changes during puberty like the normal individuals. Girl with this disorder have normal menstrual cycle although they are less fertile and may also become pregnant. Males have low sperm count but can become fathers. Proper education of such individuals about sexual development and contraception is very important. Individuals with this disorder generally live normally and with proper support they enjoy life, relationships and work. Such adults generally undergo ageing faster than normal individuals. As they grow old the risk of memory impairment, hypothyroidism and dementia increases.
By the age of 40 these individuals show signs of dementia and early onset of Alzheimer's disease. By the age of 60 about 50-70% of the individuals develop Alzheimer's disease. The reason why the individuals with Down syndrome age prematurely and develop Alzheimer's disease is not known. Since individuals with this disease have three copies of chromosome 21 and the genes present on these chromosomes generally increase the chances of onset of Alzheimer's disease. Although many individuals with Down syndrome get paid employment while others remain unemployed and those who wish to do job are provided adequate training.
Navodita Maurice
Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/expert/Navodita_Maurice/327064

http://EzineArticles.com/?Down-Syndrome:-Trisomy-21&id=6468467

Monday, September 05, 2016

FAMOUS MOMS OVER 40

Of course we hear about famous mothers over the age of 40 or celebrities who have their television amd movie career and then start motherhood a little later.  But there are always questions about whether or not they had fertility treatments.  I don't really care how women become mothers, some are natural some or not, the outcome is the same.  But just like the general population, there are some celebrities who become pregnant by surprise and some of the celebrities of the 50's and 60's had babies in their forties before fertility treatments were even invented!  Read more:

SEE CELEBRITIES AND FAMOUS MOMS OVER 40 (getpregnantover40.com)

Friday, September 02, 2016

MYTHS ABOUT OVER 40 PREGNANCIES

I found a great article from abc news (link below) which is somewhat of a "mythbuster" about all of the stereotypes we frequently hear about women who delay childbirth until their upper 30's and into their 40's.  It actually turns out that women who have children later in life earn more and have perfectly fine and sometimes better childhood outcomes.  Read more:

MYTHS ABOUT CAREER WOMEN:

One study in the July 2011 Journal of Population Economics found that college-educated women gain 12 percent in long-term earnings per year of delay. That means a woman who starts her family at 30 makes about twice as much in the long term as she would if she had started her family at 22, and so on with each additional year of delay. The average female college grad (of any race) starts her family at 30 and many wait longer, according to the CDC.

MYTHS ABOUT PREGNANCY OUTCOMES:

SEE ALSO: THE REAL RATE OF BIRTH DEFECTS AND PREGNANCY COMPLICATIONS OVER AGE 40 (getpregnantover40.com)

 

 Though autism risk increases with maternal age, the rate of increase is often blown out of proportion, according to a UC Davis Autism study. The increased risk attributable to mom's age appears to be one-half of 1 percent. Older fathers, often partnered with older mothers, have been linked to a somewhat higher risk. While reported cases of autism increased by 600 percent in the 1990s, less than 1 percent of the total rise was due to maternal age.
On the other hand, children's test scores and IQ improve with each year of motherhood delay, due to the mother's increased education and experience, a 2009 paper in the American Economic Review reported.

from: cbs news

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

PROLONGED STANDING AND WORK MAY HARM PREGNANCY

  If you have a job that requires that you stand for many hours per day, you may want to see if there is some way you can rotate sitting walking and standing.  Prolonged standing in pregnancy can lead to slower growth of your baby during pregnancy and babies with smaller heads.  Read more:

 SEE ALSO: EARLY SIGNS THAT YOU MIGHT BE PREGNANT (getpregnantover40.com)



In the new study, researchers at the Erasmus Medical Center in the Netherlands analyzed the growth rates of babies from more than 4,600 mothers-to-be. During pregnancy, the growth was measured by ultrasound.
Halfway through pregnancy, women were asked about the conditions of their work environments, and the physical demands of their jobs, including whether their jobs required lifting, prolonged periods of standing or walking, night shift work or long working hours.
About 38 percent of women said they spent a long time standing at work, in jobs such as sales, childcare, and teaching. About 45 percent said they spent long periods walking at work, 6 percent said did heavy lifting, and 4 percent worked night shifts.
Long periods of standing was associated with slower rates of fetal growth, and with a smaller head size at birth. Working more than 25 hours per week also was also linked with fetal head circumference and growth, the researchers said.

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