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Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Prematurity: Autism Connection?

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Friday, April 26, 2013

How Old Is Too Old For A Pacifier?

Pregnancy Over 40-Babies and Pacifiers

Pacifiers can be great for babies and moms alike. 
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There are times when giving the child to suck on can be of comfort to them and a relief to mom.  But when is enough enough?  This article discuses the pros and cons:

Here is a trusted resource on the pros and cons of using a pacifier:

The pros

For some babies, pacifiers are the key to contentment between feedings. Consider the advantages:

* A pacifier may soothe a fussy baby. Some babies are happiest when they're sucking on something.
* A pacifier offers temporary distraction. When your baby's hungry, a pacifier may buy you a few minutes to find a comfortable spot to nurse or to prepare a bottle. A pacifier may also come in handy during shots, blood tests or other procedures.
* A pacifier may help your baby fall asleep. If your baby has trouble settling down, a pacifier might do the trick.
* Pacifiers may help reduce the risk of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS). Researchers have found an association between pacifier use during sleep and a reduced risk of SIDS.
* Pacifiers are disposable. When it's time to stop using pacifiers, you can throw them away. If your child prefers to suck on his or her thumb or fingers, it may be more difficult to break the habit.

excerpted from:

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Sleep to lose Pregnancy Weight

Pregnancy Over 40, Sleep and Weight Connection

One of my fears about getting pregnant was that I would never lose my "baby" weight.
My site:
 I did finally lose it all (and a bonus 2lbs extra), but little did I know the answer to weight loss was right on my pillow. Here is an article about how getting some sleep can help (I know, easier said that done!)

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Researchers presented a conundrum to new mothers on Monday, saying that women who want to lose the extra weight gained in pregnancy should try to get more sleep.

They found that mothers who slept five hours or less a day when their babies were six months old were three times more likely than more rested mothers to have kept on the extra weight at one year.

"We've known for some time that sleep deprivation is associated with weight gain and obesity in the general population, but this study shows that getting enough sleep -- even just two hours more -- may be as important as a healthy diet and exercise for new mothers to return to their pre-pregnancy weight," said Erica Gunderson of Kaiser Permanente, which runs hospitals and clinics in California.

Gunderson and colleagues studied 940 women taking part in a study of prenatal and postnatal health at Harvard Medical School in Boston.

The women who slept five hours or less a night when their babies were six months old were more likely to have kept on 11 pounds (5 kg) of weight one year after giving birth, they found.

Women who slept seven hours a night or more lost more weight, they reported in the American Journal of Epidemiology.

excerpted from:
Want to lose that baby weight? Get some sleep (

Monday, April 08, 2013

Blood test for Down Syndrome

Down Syndrome May Be Detected Earlier

I've heard before about this new blood test for detecting Down Syndrome prenatally. This article talks about the accuracy rate (which is 100%!)
My site:
  This is good news for women who previously had to undergo amniocentisis which, although usually safe, can cause miscarriage.  Read more:

From the article:

Scientists from Cyprus, Greece and Britain said the new technique correctly identified 14 Down syndrome cases and 26 normal foetuses in a blind test. They believe it will also be possible to diagnose the condition earlier on.

Study author Philippos Patsalis, of the Cyprus Institute of Neurology and Genetics, said: 'The method is simple and fast and easy to perform in every genetic diagnostic lab worldwide because it does not require expensive equipment, software or special infrastructure.
Actress Lauren Potter (right) has Down's Syndrome and plays a character in the popular comedy Glee

Actress Lauren Potter (right) has Down's Syndrome and plays a character in the popular comedy Glee

'The test is the first worldwide to demonstrate 100 per cent sensitivity and 100 per cent specificity in all normal and Down's syndrome pregnancies examined.'

Thursday, April 04, 2013

Why There Are More and More Mothers Over 40

Having A Baby Over 40 - A Common Thing

I remember thinking on my 40th birthday...I don't know how I got seems like just yesterday I was graduating from college, getting my first job...etc..." I got so wrapped up in life that the time just flew by.
My site:
 In retrospect, I'm glad I didn't have children when I was younger, because it would have been disasterous. However, many women find themselves in their 40's and finally ready to have a baby. I'm so glad I waited...I see some other couples in my age group and they're acting like "old people". My daughter is going to keep us young! Here is an article from BBC News about what they call, the "New Late Boomers":

From the article:

"Penny Wall, 31, of Leicester, is expecting her first child in the New Year, but says pregnancy is not currently on the agenda for many of her friends.

"They are just not really think of it, they are having a nice time and developing their careers and doing other things," she said.

"It is the right time for me, because I have strong feelings towards doing it."

She added that although a lot of her friends had partners, they were "taking advantage of different opportunities and spending their money in different ways, not being committed... because life will change so dramatically once you have a baby."

Ms Wall believes a change in attitude towards age is one of the main reasons for the increase in older women becoming pregnant.

"I don't think it really makes any difference what age people are, it all comes down to personal choice now," she said."

excerpted from:
The new, late baby boomers
By Clare Babbidge
BBC News

Tuesday, April 02, 2013

Radiation In Pregnancy - What You Should Know

Pregnancy Over 40, Avoid Radiation

I avoided all types of x-rays (including dental x-rays) and I tried to stay away from excessive computer use and I kept my distance from operating appliances when I was pregnant.
My site:
 Here is an article about radiation in pregnancy and some of the affects on the fetus:

Increased Cancer Risk

Radiation exposure before birth can increase a person's risk of getting cancer later in life.
Unborn babies are especially sensitive to the cancer-causing effects of radiation. However, the increased risks depend on the amount of radiation to which the baby was exposed and the amount of time that it was exposed. For example, if the radiation dose to the fetus was roughly equivalent to 500 chest x-rays at one time, the increase in lifetime cancer risk would be less than 2% (above the normal lifetime cancer risk of 40 to 50%).
Other Risks from Radiation Exposure

Health effects other than cancer from radiation exposure are not likely when the dose to the fetus is very low.

Most researchers agree that babies who receive a small dose of radiation (equal to 500 chest x-rays or less) at any time during pregnancy do not have an increased risk for birth defects. The only increased risk to these babies is a slightly higher chance of having cancer later in life (less than 2% higher than the normal expected cancer risk of 40 to 50%).

During the first 2 weeks of pregnancy, the radiation-related health effect of greatest concern is the death of the baby.
The fetus is made up of only a few cells during the first 2 weeks of pregnancy. Damage to one cell can cause the death of the embryo before the mother even knows that she is pregnant. Of the babies that survive, however, few will have birth defects related to the exposure, regardless of how much radiation they were exposed to.

Large radiation doses to the fetus during the more sensitive stages of development (between weeks 2 and 15 of pregnancy) can cause birth defects, especially to the brain.
When a fetus is exposed to large doses of radiation (above the dose received from 500 chest x-rays) during the more sensitive stages of development (especially between weeks 8 and 15 of pregnancy), the health consequences can be severe, especially to the brain. Babies exposed to the atomic bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki during the 8- to 15-week stage of pregnancy were found to have a high rate of brain damage that resulted in lower IQs and even severe mental retardation. They also suffered stunted growth (up to 4% shorter than average people) and an increased risk of other birth defects.

Between the 16th week of pregnancy and birth, radiation-induced health effects (besides cancer) are unlikely unless the fetus receives an extremely large dose of radiation.
In the 16- to 25-week stage of pregnancy, health consequences similar to those seen in the 8- to 15-week stage could occur, but only when the doses are extremely large (more than about 5,000 chest x-rays received at one time). At this dose level, the mother could be showing signs of acute radiation syndrome, which is sometimes known as radiation sickness.

After the 26th week of pregnancy, the radiation sensitivity of the fetus is similar to that of a newborn.
At the 26th week of pregnancy, the fetus is fully developed though not fully grown. Unborn babies exposed to radiation in the womb during this stage of pregnancy are no more sensitive to the effects of radiation than are newborns. This means that birth defects are not likely to occur, and only a slight increase in the risk of having cancer later in life is expected.

excerpted from:

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