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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Congenital heart disease risks in pregnancy “may be overestimated’

Women with congenital heart disease are more likely to have safer pregnancies, according to new research. Physicians may have been over-estimating the risks of complications for women with these disorders, which in turn may have been discouraging them from pregnancy, the researchers said. Congenital heart disease (CHD) is a group of abnormalities in the heart that develop before birth, such…

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Opioids in pregnancy ‘need best practice prescribing’

Pregnant women are at high risk of being prescribed opioid medication inappropriately, a new analysis has found. The new American study found that nearly 10 percent of women on Medicaid, the US health insurance plan, who had live births received a prescription for opioids. The study by New York researchers focused on women of reproductive age from 2008 to 2013…

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Speech and language disorder linked to antidepressant use during pregnancy

The use of certain antidepressants during pregnancy may be linked to speech and language disorders in children, US researchers have found. According to the latest study, women who purchase two or more prescriptions for selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) during pregnancy may be more likely to have children with speech and language disorders. Dr Alan Brown of the Columbia University…

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Newer epilepsy drugs may not impact baby’s IQ

Newer epilepsy medications may not have a negative impact on a baby’s cognitive development if taken during pregnancy, new research has determined.   Risks associated with an older medication, valproate, were also confirmed during the latest study, however, the results of which were published online this month in the respected journal Neurology. The Epilepsy Research UK-funded study has shown that…

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