Breast-feeding an infant for any amount of time reduced a woman's risk of developing signs of coronary heart disease later in life by about 9% and the risk of having a stroke by about 8%, compared with never breast-feeding, researchers reported in the Journal of the American Heart Association. The study, conducted in China, also found women who had breast-fed infants reduced their risk of cardiovascular disease by 12%.
The number of family physicians doing a high volume of obstetric care declined by half from 2009 to 2016, and the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists projects a shortage of about 9,000 obstetricians by 2030. Researcher Tyler Barreto said the data raise concerns about access to care for pregnant women, especially in rural areas.
The immune system of a human fetus begins developing in the second trimester of pregnancy, but it's different from the immune system of an adult, according to a study published in Nature. Dendritic cells are functional by the 13th week of pregnancy, but instead of tagging foreign proteins for destruction, they appear to trigger special T cells that inhibit immune responses, possibly to be able to co-exist with the mother's own immune system.
Women who exercised during and after pregnancy had lower depression test scores postpartum than those who did not exercise, according to a review in the journal Birth of data from 12 studies. The studies looked at exercises such as walking, aerobic activity, stretching and breathing, Pilates and yoga, during and after pregnancy.
A genome-wide association study in the journal Nature Genetics linked two common DNA variants to the risk of preeclampsia in pregnant women. The variants are near the FLT1 gene, which is involved in creating new blood vessels, and researchers said if a fetus carries one of them it could increase the mother's risk of preeclampsia by about 20%.
Senate Republicans on Thursday released a 142-page bill, aimed at repealing and replacing the Affordable Care Act, that would make steep cuts to Medicaid and end the requirement for all Americans to have health insurance, while creating new federal tax credits to help people buy coverage. The bill, which could face opposition from conservative and moderate Republican senators along with Democrats, would allow states to drop benefits mandated by the ACA, such as maternity and mental health care.
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Uterine fibroid embolization has been associated with concerns about future ability to become pregnant, but a study in Radiology finds the procedure may not jeopardize fertility. The study found of 359 women with fibroids who were not able to conceive, 149 who had UFE or partial UFE became pregnant at least one time, and of those, 131 gave birth.
Researchers said 33% of the women participating in an internet-based postpartum weight-loss program returned to their pre-pregnancy weight, compared with 18.6% of women who received standard care. The study in the Journal of the American Medical Association included 371 women seen at 12 Women, Infants, and Children clinics in California from 2011 to 2015.
The North American Menopause Society's 2017 Hormone Therapy Position Statement said the benefits of hormone therapy to treat menopause symptoms and reduce the risk of fracture or bone loss may outweigh health risks for women younger than 60, or within a decade of menopause onset, who do not have contraindications. The position statement in Menopause: The Journal of The North American Menopause Society is based on new data from clinical trials, observational studies and analyses.
The US Preventive Services Task Force published updated guidelines in the Journal of the American Medical Association recommending health providers screen body mass index in children ages 6 and older and refer obese youths and their families to comprehensive and intensive behavioral-based weight loss interventions. The group also found insufficient evidence to make recommendations on the weight-loss benefits of metformin and orlistat for obese children.
Thirty-three percent and 31% of infants who developed bacterial meningitis within the first 90 days of life had E. coli and group B streptococcus bacteria, respectively, according to a study in Pediatrics. Researchers suggest that empirical therapy for neonatal bacterial meningitis should include a third-generation cephalosporin and additional ampicillin for at least the first month.
Pregnant women who took 4,400-IU doses of vitamin D daily during their second and third trimesters gave birth to babies with boosted immune systems, which researchers said could protect them from developing asthma. The study in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology noted additional research is needed on the long-term effects of the enhanced immunity on infants.
Join ACNM to protect child and maternal health in the United States before it's too late. The senate plans to vote on its health care bill before July 4. Call your senator today and ask him or her to vote no on the AHCA to help save health care for millions of low and moderate income families. Read more.
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