How much should you exercise while pregnant?

(Brock Armstrong/ Scientific American) — The 2019 Canadian guideline for physical activity throughout pregnancy was recently published in the British Journal of Sports and Medicine—and it has some surprising recommendations for pregnant women. To get into the nitty-gritty of the new guidelines, I recently talked to one of the authors, Dr. Margie Davenport. Margie is […]

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3-D images show just how much a baby’s head changes during birth

(Brigit Katz/ Smithsonian.com) — As anyone who has gingerly handled a new baby will know, infants are born with soft skulls. Their heads need to be a bit squishy in order to make it through the relatively narrow birth canal. But the details of “fetal head molding,” as doctors call the shape changes that occurs […]

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Study: antibiotics after assisted birth reduce maternal infections

(Ashley P. Taylor/ The Scientist) — A single dose of antibiotics given to women undergoing assisted childbirth, in which doctors use forceps or suction to help the mother deliver the baby, nearly halved maternal infections, according to a trial published May 13 in The Lancet. Currently, without antibiotic use, up to 16 percent of women […]

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Men, too, need to think about their ‘biological clock’ when planning kids

(Tom Hale/ IFL Science) — When people talk about having a child slightly later in life, the emphasis is often put on women and their so-called “ticking biological clock.” However, new research has shown that men who delay starting a family can also experience fertility problems and run the risk of harming their kids’ health. […]

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Can pregnant women and babies be vegan safely? We asked an expert

(Clare Collins/ BodyAndSoul) — As more people opt for meat-free diets, some are cutting out animal products altogether and going vegan. But is this safe for pregnant women and babies? It is possible to meet the specific nutrient requirements of pregnancy, breastfeeding and infancy while following a vegan diet, but there is a catch: it […]

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Breastfed children less likely to be obese than bottle-fed babies, study reveals

(Kassidy Vavra/ New York Daily News) — Children who are breastfed are less likely to be obese during their childhood, compared to children who only bottle feed, a new study from the World Health Organization found. In a study across 22 countries, children in nearly every location had higher rates of obesity if they had […]

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Cesarean delivery associated with higher risk of severe complications for mothers 35 and older, study shows

(Kelly Grant/ Globe and Mail) — Women who deliver their babies by cesarean section are nearly twice as likely as those who deliver vaginally to suffer severe complications, according to a new study that comes as Canada’s c-section rate continues to climb. For mothers 35 and older, the odds of a serious short-term problem – […]

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Treating postpartum depression without pharmaceuticals: here’s what experts say

(Mary Sauer/ Romper) — With the release of the new FDA-approved medication, Brexanolone, which is indicated for the treatment of postpartum depression, treatments for perinatal mood and anxiety disorders are in the spotlight. While many voices in the medical community are excited about what this could mean for the future of postpartum depression treatment, the […]

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Three clues to raised risk of miscarriage

(Robert Preidt/ HealthDay) — A woman’s age and previous pregnancy complications influence her odds of miscarriage, a new study says. The findings suggest that miscarriage and other pregnancy complications share underlying causes that require further investigation, according to the researchers. “More focused studies of these associations might lead to new insights,” they wrote in the […]

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The stunning danger of smoking while pregnant

(Julia Belluz/ Vox) — While many people know that smoking is the leading cause of preventable death in the US, it’s less appreciated that some of those deaths are newborn babies. Researchers don’t fully understand why cigarettes increase the risk of infant death, but they think it has something to do with nicotine’s effect on […]

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