April 22, 2021
Nurse-Midwives SmartBrief
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Maternal Health
Research by the CDC published in The New England Journal of Medicine based on reports from more than 35,000 US women who received either the Moderna or Pfizer/BioNTech COVID-19 vaccines while pregnant show that the mRNA-based vaccines appear safe for use during pregnancy. "Continued monitoring is needed to further assess maternal, pregnancy, neonatal, and childhood outcomes associated with maternal Covid-19 vaccination, including in earlier stages of pregnancy and during the preconception period," the study team wrote.
Full Story: CNN (4/21),  The Associated Press (4/21) 
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Researchers studied 625,643 maternal-child pairs in Canada, 12,045 of whom were exposed to tetanus, diphtheria and acellular pertussis vaccine in utero, and found no link between Tdap vaccine exposure during pregnancy and increased rates of neoplasms, sensory disorders or immune-related outcomes among children. The findings in Pediatrics also showed that children of mothers who were vaccinated with Tdap had reduced rates of gastrointestinal infections, upper respiratory infections, and urgent care or inpatient health service use.
Full Story: 2 Minute Medicine (4/19) 
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Women's Health & Primary Care
President Joe Biden on Wednesday said that the US achieved his administration's goal of administering 200 million COVID-19 vaccine doses in his first 100 days as president, adding that his new goal is to reach all Americans who are old enough to be vaccinated. Biden also announced a tax credit program for businesses with fewer than 500 workers that offer vaccine-related paid leave to their employees.
Full Story: The Guardian (London) (free registration) (4/21),  NBC News (4/21) 
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A study in the Annals of Internal Medicine found that racial minorities diagnosed with COVID-19 are at greater risk for hospitalization and intensive care. The findings were based on electronic health records of 47,974 adults with COVID-19.
Full Story: Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy (4/21) 
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A study in BMJ Nutrition Prevention and Health found that women -- but not men -- could reduce their risk for SARS-CoV-2 infection by consuming multivitamins, vitamin D supplements, probiotics or omega-3 fatty acids. The findings, based on data from the COVID-19 Symptom Study app used by over 400,000 people, also showed that consumption of garlic, vitamin C and zinc provided no clear benefit for protecting against infection in men or women.
Full Story: Medscape (free registration) (4/20) 
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Wearing a cloth mask over a surgical mask boosts fitted filtration efficiency, and thus protection from SARS-CoV-2, but wearing a surgical mask over a cloth mask or wearing one or the other alone is less protective, according to a research letter in JAMA Internal Medicine. Meanwhile, a paper is making the rounds on some media outlets whose author hypothesizes that masks not only don't protect against COVID-19 but are dangerous, but the author's listed affiliations are false, and his claims have been scientifically refuted.
Full Story: Business Insider (tiered subscription model) (4/20),  The Associated Press (4/20) 
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Study links short sleep duration to dementia risk
(Pixabay)
Adults who slept six hours or fewer per weeknight at age 50 or 60 were more prone to developing dementia than those who slept seven hours a night, according to a study in Nature Communications. Researchers followed almost 8,000 people for 25 years, and they found a link between persistent short sleep duration and 30% higher dementia risk among adults ages 50, 60 and 70, independent of behavioral, cardiometabolic, sociodemographic and mental health factors.
Full Story: CNN (4/20) 
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The Biden administration is thinking about requiring US tobacco companies to reduce the amount of nicotine in all cigarettes to non-addictive or minimally addictive levels, according to sources. The administration is also considering banning the sale of menthol cigarettes, with the FDA set to decide on whether to pursue the policy by Apr. 29.
Full Story: The Hill (4/20),  The Wall Street Journal (4/19) 
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Infant Health
A study in Pediatrics found that total and measles-containing vaccine uptake dropped markedly among all children but recovered in those ages 0 to 23 months during the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, compared with the 2019 period. The findings also showed the uptake of measles-containing vaccines recovered after an initial decline among children ages 2 to 18 years, but the total vaccine uptake stayed lower.
Full Story: Physician's Briefing/HealthDay News (4/20) 
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Professional News
The movie "Pieces of a Woman" contains an extended home birth scene that portrays labor in a more realistic way than most movies, while getting a lot of things right and some things wrong, according to several midwives. Allison Sander, a certified nurse-midwife in San Francisco, says that a movie that depicts people in the room "listening to women and what they want" makes for an empowering birth scene.
Full Story: The New York Times (4/16) 
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POLL QUESTION:
Have you seen "Pieces of a Woman"?
Watch for your answers in Tuesday's edition.
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Today I have grown taller from walking with the trees.
Karle Wilson Baker,
poet, writer
April 22 is Earth Day
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