Danger of listeria in early pregnancy

Pregnant women and their developing babies are particularly susceptible to listeria, which can cause miscarriage or stillbirth, or even encourage premature labour. For this reason, many expectant mothers avoid foods like soft cheeses, ice-cream, and raw eggs, despite the rate of listeria infection being relatively low. Now a new study has found that listeria may pose a greater risk of…

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"No benefit” to treating mild low thyroid in pregnancy

Treating women with mildly low thyroid function during pregnancy may be of no benefit, according to a new US study. Although markedly low thyroid function during pregnancy is known to be associated with impaired fetal neurological development and increased risk for preterm birth and miscarriage, research that suggested even mildly low thyroid function (subclinical hypothyroidism) could possibly affect a newborn’s…

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New pregnancy medical centre model could mean better outcomes

A new “pregnancy medical centre” model of care could lead to improved outcomes for pregnant women and their babies, new research has suggested. The proposed model could also lead to significant cost savings as women benefit from shorter hospital stays and fewer emergency visits, according to the new study. The study was presented last month at the Society for Maternal-Fetal…

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Fetal alcohol syndrome ‘unacceptably high’

There are unacceptably high global prevalence rates of alcohol use in pregnancy and fetal alcohol syndrome (FAS), with rates highest in Europe, a new study has concluded. The research, published in The Lancet Global Health, provides the first-ever estimates of the proportion of women who drink during pregnancy. The study found that on average, almost 10 per cent of women…

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Folic acid necessary “for all women”

The importance of folic acid supplementation in preventing the rate of birth defects has once again been emphasised by experts, who say all women of childbearing age should take the mineral supplement daily. The US Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) recently updated its 2009 recommendation on folic acid supplementation in women of childbearing age. According to the task force, neural…

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Obesity and pregnancy – the new taboo

The staggering increase in prevalence of obesity in the Western world has been mirrored by a similar growth in maternal obesity, making it one of the most important preventable risk factors for pregnancy. In addition, a growing swell of research indicates that maternal obesity may have long-term negative impacts on a child’s development and growth. A recent study published in…

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Researchers seek to reduce mother-to-child transmission of HIV

A project that aims to reduce mother-to-child transmission of HIV was given the green light on December 1st, World Aids Day. The DolPHIN-2 investigators were funded as part of a major UNITAID initiative to gather evidence on the use of new priority antiretroviral regimens for first-line therapy in developing countries. The DolPHIN-2 study is seeking to reduce mother-to-child transmission of…

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