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FRIDAY, Oct. 22, 2021 (HealthDay News) – 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 fin...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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 ...

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...

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 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 illn...

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...

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...

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...

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 ...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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 ...

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...

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...

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 ...

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...

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...

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.

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...

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...

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...

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 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...

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...

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...

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 ...

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...

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,"...

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...

Heavy drinking reduces a woman's chances of getting pregnant, and even moderate drinking during the second half of the menstrual cycle is associated with a reduced likelihood of conceiving, according to a new study.

The new research involved 413 American women aged between 19 and 41 who were recruited between 1990 and 1994 and followed for a maximum of 19 menstrual cycles. The findings we...

America, get ready for a baby boom.

That's the likelihood anyway, according to a new forecast that suggests a drop in pregnancy and birth rates seen during the early part of the COVID-19 pandemic is about to be reversed.

"We expect a dramatic rebound soon," said study lead author Dr. Molly Stout. She is maternal fetal medicine director at Michigan Medicine Von Voigtlander Women's Ho...

If you're planning to get pregnant or already "eating for two," sticking to a healthy diet may reduce the risk of several common pregnancy complications, researchers say.

The new study included nearly 1,900 women who completed diet questionnaires at eight to 13 weeks of pregnancy, along with estimates of what they ate in the previous three months.

At 16 to 22 weeks and 24 to 29 week...

Expectant mothers' high blood pressure heightens kids' risk of stroke later in life, a Swedish study finds.

"Our findings indicate that hypertensive disorders during pregnancy are associated with increased risks of stroke and potentially heart disease in offspring up to the age of 41 years," said study author Fen Yang, a doctoral student at Karolinska Institute in Stockholm.

The stu...

Women who are struggling to get pregnant, beware of false dietary supplements that claim to help cure infertility and other reproductive health issues.

Such supplements are not approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and they could prevent patients from seeking effective, approved drugs, the agency warned.

"These purported fertility aids seek to profit off of the vulnerabi...

If more proof of the safety of vaccines is needed, a new study delivers fresh evidence that they carry few harms for children, adults and pregnant women.

"This in-depth analysis found no evidence of increased risk of serious adverse events following vaccines, apart from a few - previously known - associations," said Susanne Hempel, director of the Southern California Evidence Review Cente...

Contrary to misleading reports spread on social media, a new study finds the COVID-19 vaccine does no damage to the placenta in pregnancy.

In a study of placentas from patients who were vaccinated for COVID-19 during pregnancy, researchers found no evidence of any harm.

"The placenta is like the black box in an airplane. If something goes wrong with a pregnancy, we usually see chan...

Women who get pregnant within a year of having weight-loss surgery are more likely to have preterm and smaller-than-normal babies, a new study suggests.

Dutch researchers said their findings support current recommendations to avoid pregnancy for 12 to 24 months after weight-loss (bariatric) surgery.

"We should encourage women who wish to conceive after bariatric surgery to avoid pre...

The baby "boom" that some expected during last year's pandemic lockdowns has turned into a baby "bust."

The U.S. birth rate continued to drop in 2020, marking the sixth consecutive year with fewer babies born in America and raising concerns about the economic effects of declining population levels.

There were about 3.6 million babies born in the United States last year, down 4% from...

Giving birth during the coronavirus pandemic presents its own challenges, but the American Society of Anesthesiologists (ASA) wants to reassure pregnant women that they need not panic.

Instead, they "should be comforted to know that the hospital is a very safe place to have a baby now," said Dr. Beverly Philip, president of the ASA.

"The obstetricians, midwives, physician anesthesio...

Here's reassuring news for moms-to-be: Pregnant women who receive the Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna COVID-19 vaccines appear to transfer protective antibodies to their babies, a new study says.

The researchers assessed 122 pregnant women who received the vaccines. They also analyzed the cord blood of the women's babies at the time of birth.

The helpful antibodies were found in 99% of t...

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