Maternal chronic disease may increase heart disease risk in newborns | Fertility treatment tied to lower birth defect risk in babies of older mothers | Zika infection in late pregnancy can still affect fetus, study finds
October 18, 2016
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Infants born to mothers with chronic diseases such as anemia, epilepsy, high blood pressure and type 1 diabetes were slightly more likely to develop mild congenital heart problems, compared with those born to mothers without such conditions, according to a Taiwanese study in the Canadian Medical Association Journal. The findings, based on data involving millions of births in Taiwan, also showed pregnant women who had been born with heart defects or who developed type 2 diabetes had a higher risk of having babies born with severe heart disease.
Seven percent and 10% of infants born to women of all ages through in vitro fertilization and intracytoplasmic sperm injection, respectively, developed birth defects, compared with 6% of those born naturally, according to an Australian study in BJOG: An International Journal of Obstetrics & Gynaecology based on data involving about 305,000 births from 1986 to 2002. The study found 3.6% of those with mothers ages 40 and older who conceived through IVF had birth defects, compared with 8% of those with older mothers who conceived naturally.
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A study published in the journal Clinical Infectious Diseases that observed 55 Brazilian Zika-infected pregnant women found that four of the infants whose mothers were infected one to two weeks prior to giving birth had central nervous system lesions discovered through medical imaging. The babies did not have microcephaly and were born with a normal length and weight, and researchers say they will continue to monitor the infants to determine the future effects of Zika in these children.
An International Olympic Committee report found "moderate" evidence that exercise during pregnancy does not prolong labor or increase the risk of premature birth or birth complications. The report in the British Journal of Sports Medicine also found evidence that exercise during pregnancy may reduce the risk of overweight babies at birth, but repetitive weight training in the first trimester may increase the risk of miscarriage.
Steroids improve survival and reduce the chances of certain birth defects for extremely premature infants, but health care providers might not initiate treatment when premature delivery is imminent, as the entire course takes at least 48 hours. However, researchers funded by the National Institutes of Health found that even partial treatment improves outcomes when compared to infants not exposed to any treatment. Read the abstract in JAMA Pediatrics.
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New NICU incubators at UnityPoint Health-Allen Hospital in Waterloo, Iowa, are helping infants improve faster, said neonatologist Pankaj Nagaraj. The specialized incubators monitor infants' temperature, weight, moisture, noise and touch, and have helped make it possible for the hospital NICU to care for babies delivered as early as 30 weeks' gestation.
Researchers looked at trial data involving 5,698 women at risk of preterm birth between 34 and 37 weeks of gestation and scheduled for cesarean delivery after 37 weeks and found that their infants had higher odds of respiratory problems. The findings in The BMJ prompted researchers to recommend two shots of steroids for such pregnancies to curb babies' severe respiratory problem risk despite an increased likelihood of developing hypoglycemia.
Nurse-Midwife Spotlight: Marjani Jean-Philippe "I take my title seriously and will work diligently to educate and empower women and preserve normal physiological birth," says Marjani Jean-Philippe, a Frontier Nursing University graduate. Learn more about why this Labor & Delivery Nurse decided to become a Certified Nurse-Midwife and deliver passionate midwifery care to women.
Free for members, AWHONN's Breastfeeding Implications for Women Receiving Medication Assisted Treatment for Opioid Use Disorders webinar provides perinatal registered nurses with information about the maternal and neonatal implications of medication assisted treatments prescribed for opioid use disorders. Watch the webinar.
CDC has updated its interim guidance for persons with possible Zika virus exposure who are planning to conceive and interim guidance to prevent transmission of Zika virus through sexual contact, now combined into a single document. Guidance for care for pregnant women with possible Zika virus exposure was previously published. Read more.
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