Exposure to chemicals in the womb linked to reduced lung function in children

(Olivia Petter/ The Independent) — Pregnant women who use household products containing certain chemicals could be putting the health of their child’s lungs at risk, new research has found. A study published in The Lancet Planetary Health journal looked at data from more than 1,000 mother-child pairs and found links between prenatal exposure to parabens, […]

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A rising threat to pregnant women: syphilis

(Nicholas Bakalar/ New York Times) — Syphilis continues to make a dismaying comeback in the United States. Between 2012 and 2016, the rate of primary and secondary syphilis among women increased 111 percent. Over the same period, the rate of congenital syphilis increased by 87 percent. The sexually transmitted disease is caused by infection with […]

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Delaying baby’s first bath may bring benefits

(Robert Preidt/ Health Day News) — If you want breastfeeding to go smoothly, you might want to ask the hospital to delay that first bath for your newborn, new research suggests. For decades, it’s been standard procedure to give newborns a bath within the first few hours after birth, but the new finding suggests that waiting […]

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At peak RSV season, do you know what to watch for?

(WebMD) — You might have heard about respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) on your local news, or have friends with kids who are sick. Although this common virus spreads from fall to spring, right now — from late December to mid-February — is peak RSV season. Sarah Ash Combs, MD, a pediatric emergency medicine doctor at Children’s […]

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Micro-needle patch could offer long-term birth control

(John Toon/ Futurity) — A new long-acting contraceptive patch that women administer themselves could eventually provide a new family planning option, particularly in developing nations with limited access to health care. The patch uses microneedle technology originally developed to painlessly administer vaccines. Long-acting contraceptives now available offer the highest level of effectiveness, but usually require a […]

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Thousands of women are born without a uterus. A new procedure offers them hope

(Alexandras Sifferlin/ Time) — On an afternoon in November, a couple hosted a birthday party for their 1-year-old son. As family and friends gathered around the child to sing “Happy Birthday,” his parents addressed a milestone that reached well beyond the room. “It was emotional,” recalls the mother. “It took a lot more than a nine-month […]

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Lab-grown placentas ‘will transform pregnancy research’

Cambridge team develops organoids or mini placentas to advance knowledge of stillbirth and pre-eclampsia (Ian Sample/ The Guardian) — Scientists have grown “mini placentas” in a breakthrough that could transform research into the underlying causes of miscarriage, stillbirth and other pregnancy disorders. The tiny organoids mimic the placenta in the early stages of the first […]

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Omega-3s may lower the risk of pre-term birth

(Nicholas Bakalar/ New York Times) — Taking omega-3 supplements during pregnancy may lower the risk for preterm birth, a review of studies has found. The analysis, in the Cochrane Reviews, considered 70 randomized trials that included almost 20,000 women. A few studied fish consumption, but most tested supplements of omega-3 fatty acids, the fats found in […]

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Pregnancy high blood pressure linked to dementia decades later

(Cheryl Platzman Weinstock/ Reuters Health) — Pregnant women who develop preeclampsia, a condition involving dangerously high blood pressure, have more than three times higher risk of dementia later in life than women who don’t have this pregnancy complication, researchers say. A leading cause of pre-term birth, preeclampsia is an inflammatory blood vessel disorder that occurs in […]

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Having babies less than a year apart ‘poses risks for mother and child’

Study of nearly 150,000 pregnancies in Canada finds the safest interval between births is 12 to 18 months (Sarah Boseley/ The Guardian) — Having babies less than a year apart poses risks for both mother and child, whatever the woman’s age, according to new research. The authors of a big study of nearly 150,000 pregnancies […]

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