Women are delaying parenthood until later and more women age 40 and over are having babies; chronic hypertension becomes more common as women get older. In addition, more women are overweight or obese when they become pregnant, and they too may have a higher rate of chronic hypertension.
The answer is a resounding yes! This study, which included 36 randomized controlled trials including a total of 3359 women, concluded that those who exercised during pregnancy were significantly less likely to have a cesarean birth than those who did not exercise. Also, women in the exercise groups gained significantly less weight than those in
Preeclampsia is a leading cause of maternal and perinatal morbidity and mortality. Although there are risk factors that can predict the likelihood of developing preeclampsia during pregnancy, many women with no risk factors develop the disease.
A recent article posted on the online journal JAMA Pediatrics suggests that acetaminophen (Tylenol, Paracetamol), an over-the-counter pain reliever widely used during pregnancy, may have a harmful effect on fetal brain development, increasing the risk of conditions such as attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and other hyperkinetic disorders (HKD) in children.
In an article in the New York Times (Nov 20, 2013), Gretchen Reynolds notes that”if a woman is physically active during pregnancy, she may boost the development of her unborn child’s brain, according to a heart-tugging new study of expectant mothers and their newborns.
The Netherlands has a system of pregnancy and birth care that is unique in the Western world. The majority of Dutch midwives work independently from obstetricians, are the sole care providers for low risk women and are primarily responsible for the system of risk selection. Almost 30% of women choose to give birth at home.
In an original study, researchers in Malaysia found that women who reported having sexual intercourse during the last month of pregnancy were more likely to go into labor before 41 weeks gestation and to avoid labor induction than women who did not have intercourse.
As many midwives have found, a doula can be an invaluable resource to a laboring woman and to a new mother. A doula is a professionally-trained supportive companion for a woman in labor. Doulas do not have clinical training in medicine, midwifery, or nursing, but are trained to support and advocate for the pregnant and
From Medscape Medical News; Home Birth Study Findings Raise Controversy, by Emma Hitt, PhD July 16, 2010 â€” A meta-analysis of studies comparing planned home births vs hospital births reported that home births may be associated with an increased neonatal mortality rate; however, the study findings are controversial and have received criticism. The study, led