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Postpartum Depression Can Do Long-Term Harm to Women's Finances

Besides its terrible impact on mental health, postpartum depression can also bring long-term financial struggles to affected women, new research shows.

"These findings highlight the importance of screening and expanding access to mental health support services for low-income pregnant and postpartum women," said study author Slawa Rokicki, an instructor at Rutgers School of Public Health i...

Fetal Infection With COVID-19 Possible, But Unlikely

There is a very low risk that pregnant women with COVID-19 will pass the virus to their unborn babies, researchers say.

The study should reassure expectant parents, said the British investigators.

To find out if and how the virus could pass from an infected pregnant women to her fetu...

Abortion Remains Medically Safe for U.S. Women

Debate rages over access to abortion, but experts say the collected medical evidence makes one thing clear — it is a fundamentally safe procedure for women.

Abortion is safer than childbirth and it's also safer than a host of other common procedures — colonoscopy, tonsillectomy and plastic surgery, said Dr. Sarah Prager, a professor of obstetrics and gynecology at the University of Wa...

Delta Variant Ups Risk of Stillbirth, Death During Pregnancy, Reports Show

The Delta variant is proving to be dangerous for pregnant women, raising the odds of both stillbirth and death, new government reports reveal.

In one study, researchers analyzed Mississippi State Department of Health data and discovered that among women with COVID-19, the death rate was three times higher among pregnant women than non-pregnant women of reproductive age, and the death rate...

Mom's Pre-Pregnancy Weight Could Affect Odds for Child's Asthma, Allergies

FRIDAY, Nov. 19, 2021 (HealthDay News) -- Can your weight before pregnancy determine your baby's chances of developing asthma or allergies?

Yes, claims a study that looked at that question, as well as whether weight gain during pregnancy might have an impact.

"We did find that there was a link between the mother's weight before pregnancy, entering pregna...

Pot Use in Pregnancy May Harm the Fetus

Marijuana use in pregnancy may increase your child's risk for stress and anxiety, a new study suggests.

Although some moms-to-be use pot hoping to relieve morning sickness and anxiety, they should know it may cause genetic changes in the uterus that result in children becoming anxious, aggressive and hyperactive, researchers say.

"People are saying that cannabis is benign, and take ...

A Little Coffee May Be Healthy in Pregnancy

Many women dread having to give up coffee during their pregnancy, but new research suggests that consuming a little caffeine while expecting might not necessarily be a bad thing.

"While we were not able to study the association of consumption above the recommended limit, we now know that low-to-moderate caffeine is not associated with an increased risk of gestational diabetes, preeclampsi...

A New Way to Spot Pregnancy Risks?

Two placenta-related markers could reveal older women's risk of serious pregnancy problems such as stillbirth and premature or very small babies, British researchers say.

They analyzed blood samples and medical data from 527 pregnant U.K. women, including 158 in their 20s; 212 in their 30s; and 157 in their 40s.

The...

Financial Stress Burdens More Than Half of New U.S. Moms: Study

The joys of motherhood may be overshadowed in the United States since as many as 50% of new or expectant moms can't pay their bills, including health care bills, new research suggests.

"Financial hardship is highly prevalent among pregnant and postpartum women," said study co-author Dr. Michelle Moniz. She is an assistant professor of obstetrics and gynecology at the University of Michiga...

A Faster, Cheaper Test to Gauge the Risk of Premature Delivery?

A two-minute test can accurately detect vaginal bacteria associated with preterm birth, researchers have found, pointing to a possible way to identify pregnant women at increased risk of early delivery.

In the United States, about one in 10 babies are born preterm, according to the nonprofit March of Dimes. Babies born preterm (before the 37th week of pregnancy) are at increased risk of h...

COVID Vaccination Does Not Raise Odds of Miscarriage: Study

COVID-19 vaccines don't increase the risk of miscarriage in early pregnancy, according to a study that adds to previous research showing the vaccines are safe for pregnant women.

An international team analyzed data from several Norwegian health registries to assess the risk of miscarriage in the first trimester among women vaccinated against COVID-19. Information from more than 18,000 wom...

Depression, Anxiety Could Raise a Pregnant Woman's Odds for C-Section

While anxiety and depression in pregnant women have already been linked to low birth weight and preterm birth, they may also contribute to higher rates of cesarean deliveries.

Researchers called the study among the largest to document a link between mood and anxiety disorders and first-time C-sections among low-risk pregnant women.

"Our findings reinforce the importance of better id...

Sex of Fetus May Matter When COVID Strikes in Pregnancy

When a pregnant woman is infected with COVID-19, the sex of the fetus may influence immune system activity, researchers say.

The new study included 68 mothers-to-be. Thirty-eight developed COVID-19 during their third trimester, while 30 remained virus-free. In both groups, half of the fetuses were male and half were female.

In the infected women, male placentas had significantly hig...

Pregnancy, Delivery Safe for Women Born With Heart Defects

Women who were born with heart defects may get some reassurance from a new study that finds they face no heightened risk to health during a pregnancy and delivery.

According to the researchers, doctors may often advise these women against getting pregnant due to the potential risks for them and their babies, but until now those risks have been unclear.

"The most important finding fr...

Symptomatic COVID Could Bring on Emergency Delivery in Pregnant Women

Pregnant women suffering from COVID-19 with symptoms are more likely to experience complications that call for an emergency delivery, a new study suggests.

On top of facing a slightly higher risk for needing an unexpected cesarean section, women with symptomatic COVID-19 were more likely to need oxygen support and their infants were more likely to need care in a neonatal intensive care un...

COVID Hospitalizations Are Rising Among Unvaccinated Pregnant Women

Since the rise of the Delta variant, one Texas hospital has seen a surge in severe COVID-19 among pregnant women — nearly all unvaccinated.

Researchers at the Dallas hospital found that in late August and early September, 10% to 15% of pregnant patients who tested positive for COVID-19 needed to be hospitalized for severe illness.

That was more than double the percentage of a year...

Flu Shot Even More Important During Pandemic: Expert

Although the focus is on the COVID-19 vaccine, don't forget to also get your flu shot — it's important, an expert says.

"In the United States, it is recommended that everyone over the age of 6 months be vaccinated against the flu, and there are many vaccines available that will fit your need based on age and other important risk factors," said Dr. Pedro Piedra. He is a professor of mole...

Breastfeeding Longer May Lower Postpartum Depression Risk

Besides the long-established benefits of breastfeeding for baby and mom, a new study reports one more: Nursing could help chase the blues away.

It is linked to a lower risk for postpartum depression -- the so-called "baby blues" -- and nursing for a longer time may further ease depression symptoms, according to the findings.

"Women suffering from postpartum depression, which occurs ...

CDC Pushes Hard on Vaccination for Pregnant Women in New Advisory

The country's leading health agency on Wednesday implored all Americans who are pregnant, breastfeeding or planning to become pregnant to get a coronavirus vaccine.

COVID-19 poses a serious risk to women who are expecting, since they are vulnerable because of pregnancy's dampening effect on their immune system, experts say.

But less than one-third of pregnant women have received cor...

Pot Use by Pregnant Women Rose During Pandemic: Study

Marijuana use by mothers-to-be may have increased by as much as one-quarter during the pandemic, a new study suggests.

Researchers found a substantial increase in the number of women in Northern California using pot early in their pregnancies after the pandemic emerged compared to the previous year.

"Our previous research has shown that the prevalence and frequency of prenatal canna...

Air Pollution Linked to 6 Million Premature Births in 1 Year

Air pollution impacts the youngest humans, with new research linking dirty air to almost 6 million premature births and almost 3 million underweight babies worldwide in 2019.

More than 90% of the world's population lives with polluted outdoor air, a new study points out. And its effects continue through the years: Preemies or children with low birth weight have higher rates of major illne...

Low-Dose Aspirin Guards Against Preeclampsia: Task Force

Pregnant women at risk for a serious high blood pressure disorder called preeclampsia should take low-dose aspirin after their first trimester, according to the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF).

The recommendation, announced Sept. 28, updates and is consistent with the task force's 2014 sta...

Depression During Pregnancy Raises Risk of Mood Disorder in Kids

When mothers suffer depression during or after pregnancy, their kids may be at heightened risk, too -- all the way into young adulthood, a new study suggests.

Of more than 5,000 kids researchers followed until age 24, those whose moms had depression during or after pregnancy tended to report more depression symptoms themselves.

That was true in their teens, but particularly in young...

Pregnant Women Who Get COVID Vaccine Pass Antibodies to Newborns

One way to help protect newborns from COVID-19 is for women to get their COVID vaccine while pregnant.

A new study found that mothers-to-be who had either the Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna vaccine passed high levels of antibodies to their infants.

Researchers from the NYU Grossman School of Medicine discovered that 100% of 36 newborns tested at the time of birth had protective antibo...

AHA News: Clot-Removing Procedure Appears Safe for Pregnant Stroke Patients

Physically removing a blood clot in the brain is a safe and effective treatment for pregnant women having a stroke, a new study suggests.

Stroke during pregnancy remains rare, but the risk increases during pregnancy and for up to 12 weeks after giving birth, or postpartum.

The most common type is ischemic stroke, where a clot blocks blood flow in the brain. Mechanical thrombectomy ...

Pandemic Has Many Women Holding Back on Motherhood, NYC Study Finds

The COVID-19 pandemic has many women thinking twice about having more kids.

In a survey of close to 1,200 New York City women with young children, one-third of respondents who had been thinking about having another baby before the pandemic but hadn't started trying said they were no longer considering it.

For women who stopped trying to become pregnant when the pandemic began, fewer...

Are Stillbirths More Common in Women Infected With COVID?

COVID-19 is surging in U.S. states with low vaccination rates, and these places may also be seeing a higher-than-usual number of stillbirths linked to the virus.

While the number of stillbirths is still very low nationally, doctors in the Deep South have noticed increases in stillbirths, NBC News reported.

One of those states is Alabama. But the numbers are too low overal...

Mom-to-Be's 'Leaky' Heart Valves May Pose More Danger Than Thought

Leaky heart valves can put pregnant women at serious risk, according to a large study that runs counter to established practice.

The condition used to be considered relatively harmless during pregnancy. But this analysis by Johns Hopkins University researchers of more than 20,000 individual medical records reveals that heart valve disease puts women at risk for bleeding, high blood pressu...

Mom's Exercise in Pregnancy May Help Baby's Lungs

Exercising during pregnancy can benefit babies' lungs, Scandinavian researchers report.

"This study offers a fascinating hint that increased physical activity of mothers is associated with better lung function in their babies and, therefore, possibly their health in later life," said Jonathan Grigg, head of the European Respiratory Society Tobacco Control Committee, who was not involved i...

More College-Educated Women Are Having Children Outside of Marriage

First comes love. Then comes marriage. Then comes baby in the baby carriage.

While that childhood rhyme used to be true, college-educated women in the United States are now more likely than ever to have a first baby outside marriage. They're also more likely than other women to have a wedding ring by the time they have their second baby.

"It suggests a change in the way that college...

Soothing Sound: Mom's Voice Eases Preemies' Pain

Mothers are known for drying their little ones' tears, sometimes with a hug, a song or a kiss on a scraped knee.

So, perhaps it isn't a surprise that new research shows the sounds of mom's voice provide comfort and even pain relief to the tiniest ones, premature babies.

Researchers from the University of Geneva in Switzerland found that not only did the sound of a mother talking o...

Age Can Impair a Man's Odds for Fatherhood: Study

It's no surprise to hear that women's fertility wanes as their biological clock ticks away.

But do men have a biological clock, too?

New research shows it's not exactly the same, but their likelihood of fathering a child does appear to decline, even with assisted reproductive technology, once they're past age 50.

Research completed among potential fathers both above and...

Pregnant Women Show No Worse Symptoms After COVID Vaccines

If you're pregnant and worried that getting a COVID-19 vaccine might trigger severe side effects, you can relax.

New research shows that pregnant women and new mothers don't suffer more reactions after a shot than other women do.

"Pregnant people do well with the vaccine," said lead study author Dr. Alisa Kachikis, an assistant professor of obstetrics and gynecology at the ...

Dangerous Diabetes Tied to Pregnancy Is on the Rise

Growing numbers of pregnant women are developing gestational diabetes, putting them and their babies at risk for complications later on.

Gestational diabetes is a type of diabetes that develops during pregnancy in women who weren't already diabetic.

Between 2011 and 2019, rates of gestational diabetes in the United States jumped 30%, according to a large nationwide study of first-ti...

Diabetes in Pregnancy Tied to Eye Issues in Kids

Children whose mothers had diabetes during pregnancy are at increased risk for severe forms of common eye problems such as far- and near-sightedness and astigmatism, a long-term study suggests.

Collectively, they're known as refractive errors, conditions in which the eye is unable to properly focus images on the retina.

"As many [refractive errors] in young children are treatable, e...

COVID Vaccine in Pregnancy Means Healthier Births, Babies: Studies

Since COVID-19 and three vaccines to help prevent it arrived in the United States, questions have swirled about their impact on pregnant women, new moms and infants.

How would the virus affect them and their health risks? Should women get the vaccine while pregnant or breastfeeding?

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention offered an emphatic answer to those questions on ...

COVID Vaccine Safe, Recommended for Pregnant Women, CDC Says

Pregnant women should not hesitate to get coronavirus vaccines, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said in updated guidance issued Wednesday.

The latest recommendation comes after new data collected by the agency showed no raised risk for miscarriage in mothers-to-be who get the shots during the first 20 weeks of their pregnancy. Previous research has shown similar safety...

'Preemie' Babies More Vulnerable to Autism Diagnosis Later: Study

Babies born prematurely, even just a couple weeks early, may be at increased risk of autism, a large new study suggests.

It's long been known that autism, a developmental brain disorder, is more common among children who were born preterm -- before the 37th week of pregnancy.

Researchers said the new study, of more than 4 million people, gives a clearer breakdown of the risks associ...

Leading U.S. Ob-Gyn Groups Urge COVID Vaccines for All Pregnant Women

All pregnant women should be vaccinated "without delay" against COVID-19, two leading groups of U.S. obstetric specialists recommend.

That advice -- from the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) and the Society for Maternal-Fetal Medicine (SMFM) -- is based on tens of thousands of cases over the past several months showing that vaccination during pregnancy is safe.

Mom's Weight-Loss Surgery Lowers Many Pregnancy Complications, Raises Others

Weight-loss surgery can be a double-edged sword for obese women who want to shed pounds before becoming pregnant: New research shows it lowers the risk of some complications, but it may increase the risk of others.

Investigators followed more than 20,000 women in California who became pregnant between 2007 and 2018. Of those, 9.3% had weight-loss (bariatric) surgery before their pregnanc...

Pregnant Women Need to Take Care in Sweltering Summer Heat

This summer has brought dangerous, record-breaking heat to parts of the United States and Canada. The hot weather poses an extra challenge for pregnant women.

Mothers-to-be need to stay cool to avoid heat exhaustion and its complications, according to an expert at Baylor College of Medicine, in Houston.

"The summer is tough on pregnant women because the body struggles to cool down w...

Stronger Hearts, Better Outcomes in Pregnancy: Study

Thinking of starting a family? Start getting your heart in shape. New research suggests that how healthy a woman's heart is before conception affects outcomes in her pregnancy.

Study author Dr. Sadiya Khan said the findings make a case for more comprehensive heart assessments prior to pregnancy rather than focusing on isolated individual risk factors, such as high blood pressure ("hyperte...

Vaping During Pregnancy Could Raise Odds for 'Preemie' Babies

Women who use electronic cigarettes during pregnancy may be at heightened risk of having an underweight or preterm baby, a new study suggests.

The study of more than 79,000 U.S. mothers found that when women regularly used e-cigarettes late in pregnancy, their babies' risk of low birth weight rose.

Of women who "vaped" but did not smoke standard cigarettes, just under 11% had an und...

California to Pay Reparations to Victims of Forced Sterilization

California plans to approve reparations of up to $25,000 to some of the thousands of people who were sterilized decades ago by the state's government.

California will be the third state -- after Virginia and North Carolina -- to compensate victims of the so-called eugenics movement that peaked in the 1930s, the Associated Press reported. Supporters of the movement believed it was...

Gene-Based Embryo Selection: Are 'Designer Babies' on the Horizon?

The notion of parents picking out genetically perfect babies may seem like science fiction, but bioethicists warn in a new report that some companies have already started to offer couples going through in vitro fertilization (IVF) the means to pick better embryos through polygenic scoring.

Polygenic scores are a "weighted average of the contributions of all of the genes we have informatio...

Alcohol Still a Threat in Too Many American Pregnancies: Study

More than half of American babies are exposed to at least some alcohol before they are born -- and for 8 out of 10, it happens before their mothers even realize they're pregnant, according to a Yale University study.

Because alcohol consumption may harm the developing fetus, researchers said their findings underscore the need to promote abstinence in women who are pregnant or trying to be...

Kids Born Through Fertility Treatments Have No Higher Cancer Risk

Good news for couples considering fertility treatments: Children born through assisted reproductive technology (ART) don't have an increased risk of cancer, researchers say.

In the new study, kids born through high-tech fertility treatments -- such as in vitro fertilization (IVF) and frozen embryo transfer (FET) -- were followed for 18 years on average.

The results should be "quite ...

Fertility Drugs Won't Raise Breast Cancer Risk

Women battling infertility are often given medications to help them conceive, and potential side effects are always a concern. Now, research suggests use of the drugs won't raise a woman's odds for breast cancer.

Researchers at King's College London in the United Kingdom analyzed studies from 1990 to January 2020 that included 1.8 million women of all reproductive ages who underwent ferti...

Migraines Tied to Higher Odds for Complications in Pregnancy

Women who suffer from migraines may be more vulnerable to pregnancy complications, new research finds.

"Our study confirms that women who suffer from migraine are at a greater risk of a host of medical and obstetric complications. As such, we are [recommending] that these women should be classed as 'high-risk' pregnancies and should therefore be treated according to a high-risk protocol,"...

More Evidence Flu Shot Is Safe in Pregnancy

There's more proof that getting a flu shot during pregnancy doesn't pose a risk to children's health.

"This study adds to what we know from other recent studies showing no harmful effects of flu vaccination during pregnancy on the longer-term health of children," said study leader Dr. Deshayne Fell, an associate professor of epidemiology at the University of Ottawa, in Canada.

"This...

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