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On this page you'll find information for childbirth-related conferences happening soon. You'll also find items from the international news media that are related to women's health, childbirth, breastfeeding, parenting, and midwifery. Please let me know of any pregnancy, nutrition, birthing, breastfeeding, or conference news which you think might be of interest to our readers.

Conference News

Ancient Art Midwifery Institute

Start planning for the 2010 conference now!

"Living Like We Believe It"
The 2008 conference is over, but you can see much info about it here

Birthworks Educator Workshops

August 22-24 Philadelphia--Childbirth Educator
September 26-28 Orlando--Childbirth Educator
October 10-12 Washington,DC--Childbirth Educator
October 16-18
"Primal Health in Pregnancy & Birth: Global Lessons"

Christian Midwives International

"The Joy of the Lord"
April 30--May 3, 2008
Montgomery, Indiana

Dona International (Doulas of North America)

July 17-20, 2008 - Vancouver, BC

The Farm

Midwifery Assistant Workshops
June 18-22, 2008
August 3-9, 2008

Advanced Midwifery Workshop (CEU's offered)
August 24-30, 2008

IV Therapy Workshop (CEU's offered)
August 24-30, 2008

International Midwifery Workshop
September 21-27, 2008

Workshop for Midwives: Common Sense and Tradition (CEU's offered)
October 5-9, 2008

International Confederation of Midwives

"Midwifery: A Worldwide Commitment to Women and the Newborn"
28th Triennial Congress
Glasgow, Scotland
June 1-5, 2008

La Leche League Conference

50th Anniversary Conference
"50 Years--Celebrating the Power of Breastfeeding"
Chicago, Illinois USA—Where It All Started!
July 20-23, 2007
(The conference is over, but you can still connect with speakers and other conference attendees through CD-ROMs, blogs, podcasts, and chat boards).

Midwives Alliance of North America

October 10-12—Harlem, New York
October 17-19—Traverse City, Michigan

Midwifery Today Conferences

Bad Wildbad, Germany
"The Epic Journey of Midwifery and Birth"
October 22-26, 2008

Eugene, Oregon
March 11–15, 2009

Other Conferences

In the News
From the Chicago Tribune:

Study finds that elective C-sections before 39 weeks raise risk to babies

Thousands of women put their babies at needless risk of respiratory problems, hypoglycemia and other ills by scheduling Caesarean-section deliveries too early, according to an analysis of more than 13,000 births published Thursday in The New England Journal of Medicine.

Elective C-sections performed after only 37 or 38 weeks of pregnancy had up to four times the risk of serious complications compared with procedures done after 39 weeks. Even deliveries that were just one, two or three days shy of 39 weeks carried a 21 percent increased risk of complications, the study found.

Read more.......


From Digital Journal:

Eliminating Recess Does Not Benefit School Children

There is a growing trend in public schools to take away recess from primary schools. Adults would scream loudly if their coffee breaks were removed yet recess is an easy target in primary schools. Children, like adults need time to regroup and socialize.

Read more.......


From the American Journal of Pediatrics:

School Recess and Group Classroom Behavior

These results indicated that, among 8- to 9-year-old children, having ≥1 daily recess period of >15 minutes in length was associated with better teacher's rating of class behavior scores. This study suggests that schoolchildren in this age group should be provided with daily recess.

Read more.......


From Associated Press:

US doctors pay to hear Ore. town's vaccine views

There are so many parents in this free-spirited, unconventional small town who won't get their kids vaccinated that federal researchers are paying money just to hear their side of things. On Saturday, 80 locals will get $50 apiece to talk about their worries over the risks of childhood shots.

Read more.......

See the Brewer response to the following 3 news items here (scroll down to red paragraph at bottom of page)

From NHS Choices:

Pregnant Exercise Unsafe

The researchers found a link between exercise and severe pre-eclampsia, but only for the most active mothers.

Among the 85, 1389 women who completed the study, the two highest physical activity levels were associated with an increased risk of severe pre-eclampsia compared to the non-exercising group.

Read more.......


From the Daily Mail:

Women who exercise during pregnancy face risk of pre-eclampsia, researchers warn

In a study involving 85,000 females they found that jogging for more than one hour and 15 minutes a week more than doubled the risk of pre-eclampsia.

Women who exercise for between four and a half and seven hours a week are 65 per cent more likely to develop severe pre-eclampsia.

Those who did more than seven hours a week were 78 per cent more likely to have the condition.

Read more.......


From the Daily Telegraph:

Exercise in pregnancy linked to fatal raised blood pressure condition

Pregnant women are recommended to take 30 minutes of moderate intensity exercise per day and the latest data suggest that exceeding that by even a small amount was linked to pre-eclampsia.

Jogging for more than one hour and 15 minutes a week more than doubled the risk of pre-eclampsia and this meant seven per cent of women who did this much exercise developed the condition.

Women with high levels of physical activity, 4.5 hours a week to seven hours a week, were 65 per cent more likely to have severe pre-eclampsia. This means 18 per cent of women who do this much exercise will develop the condition.

Women who did more than seven hours a week of exercise were 78 per cent more likely to have the condition, meaning 29 per cent of women who do this much exercise will develop severe pre-eclampsia.

"Another unexpected finding was that leisure time exercise, in amounts that were only slightly higher than the recommended amount, seemed even to be associated with an increased risk of severe types of pre-eclampsia."

Read more.......

Report from Mothering: Circumcision and AIDS?

Tell NBC to Stop Baby Borrowers

See more news items on Pushed.com

News from the UK Independent Midwives' Association


From the BBC News:

Antenatal blues 'hit development'

Women who are depressed during pregnancy can have babies who develop more slowly than their peers, a UK study suggests.

Read more.......


Pain 'missed' in premature babies

Premature babies undergoing medical procedures may be in pain even if there is no obvious physical hint of it, brain scans reveal.

Read more.......


Anaesthetics 'could worsen pain'

Some general anaesthetics could actually worsen the pain following surgery, say scientists.

Read more.......


The United States of Advertising

America is, I think, the only country in the world which permits advertising of drugs which are available only through your doctor.

The insidious message is simple; if your doctor is not offering you this drug, maybe you should be asking for it.

Those adverts with their sure sense of how to play on our doubts and insecurities are a symptom of the restless energy of American capitalism and of the belief that it can apply to issues of health and happiness just as readily as it can apply to polish or pet food.

Read more.......


Asthma link to pregnancy stress

Women who are stressed in pregnancy may raise the risk of their child developing asthma or other allergies, a study suggests.

Read more.......


Smoothies 'can damage your teeth'

Dentists have warned the current popularity of fruit smoothies could lead to widespread tooth damage.

Read more.......


DNA damage 'caused by pesticides'

New research in India suggests exposure to pesticides could have damaged the DNA of people in farming communities, leading to higher rates of cancer.

Read more.......


Women 'face raised whiplash risk'

Women drivers are three times more likely than men to suffer whiplash injuries if their car is hit from behind, Swedish researchers say.

Read more.......


Breastfeeding 'may cut arthritis'

Women who breastfeed for more than a year reduce their chance of rheumatoid arthritis by half, research suggests.

Read more.......


Prem mothers 'need feeding help'

Mothers of premature babies need more advice and support to help them breastfeed, says baby charity Bliss.

Read more.......


From United Press International:

Junk food bans at school tuck shops work

Children eat more fruit if unhealthy snacks are banned from tuck shops -- small, food-selling stores in schools and youth clubs -- Welsh researchers found.

Read more.......


Timing key in cleft palate surgery

A Canadian cleft palate surgeon's recommendation to delay closing at the gum level until age 8 may be adopted worldwide.

Read more.......


Cuddling helps babies recover from pain

Very preterm babies could benefit from skin-to-skin cuddling with their moms before and during painful procedures, a Canadian study said.

The study, published in the journal BMC Pediatrics, babies receiving kangaroo mother care recovered from the pain within a couple of minutes, whereas the incubator babies were still suffering at more than three minutes.

Read more.......


From the BBC News:

High-calorie diet linked to boys

A woman's diet around the time of conception may influence the gender of her baby, research suggests.

The study suggests a high-calorie diet at this time - and regular breakfasts - might increase the odds of a boy.

Read more.......


Europe-wide food colour ban call

A food safety watchdog has called for a Europe-wide ban on six artificial food colourings after research found a link with hyperactivity in children.

Read more.......


Cleaning 'improves mental health'

Working up a sweat while performing household chores may not just improve the cleanliness of your home, but your mental health too, a survey suggests.

Read more.......


Heart risk may be set in the womb

Babies whose mothers develop pre-eclampsia in pregnancy may be at greater risk of cardiovascular disease in later life, a study suggests.

Read more.......


Baby sleep 'link' to weight risk

Lack of sleep and regular TV viewing increases the risk of babies and toddlers becoming overweight, a US study says.

Read more.......


Foetal test rules out rhesus jab

A test for spotting a mismatch between the blood of a pregnant woman and her baby could prevent thousands from undergoing unnecessary treatment.

Read more.......


Fear over child tranquilliser use

Increasing numbers of UK children are being prescribed unlicensed anti-psychotic drugs, research suggests.

Read more.......


Vets 'at risk from miscarriage'

Female vets over-exposed to the anaesthetics, X-rays and pesticides they use could be raising their chances of miscarriage, research suggests.

Read more.......


Long-term risk of premature birth

Babies born prematurely may suffer the health consequences all the way through to adulthood, a major study suggests.

An analysis of nearly 1.2m births in Norway revealed those born early were more likely to die as children and less likely to reproduce as adults.

Read more.......


Wheeze 'link' to baby milk powder

Prolonged exposure to baby milk powder increases the risk of breathing problems, including wheezing and breathlessness, a study has found.

Read more.......


Alcohol ban advised for pregnancy

Women should not drink any alcohol during pregnancy, NHS adviser the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) has said.

It says if they must drink, they should not do so in the first three months and should limit consumption to one or two units once or twice a week afterwards.

It brings NICE in line with government advice and replaces previous guidance saying small daily amounts were fine.

Read more.......


Stressed parents 'make kids ill'

Parents with stressful lives may be making their children as well as themselves vulnerable to illness, research suggests.

A University of Rochester study, reported by New Scientist, found sickness levels were higher in children of anxious or depressed parents.

Read more.......


From BBC News:

Male fertility 'set in the womb'

Low sperm count may be linked to development in the womb Male fertility problems are determined in the womb, research from the University of Edinburgh suggests.

Common genital disorders, low sperm count and testicular cancer could all be linked to hormone levels early in pregnancy, studies in rats suggest.

Read more.......


From CBS2 News:

High Doses Of Folic Acid May Lead To Colon Cancer

Folic acid is in many of the foods we eat every day. It can prevent birth defects, but now research is linking it to an increase in colon cancer.

Read more.......


From CBS News:

Helping Infants Suffering From Pain

As recently as 15 years ago, it was thought that newborns were not developed enough to feel or remember pain. Amazingly, newborns often received little or no anesthesia for most medical procedures - even surgery.

Read more.......


From the BBC:

Acupuncture 'boosts IVF chances'

Acupuncture may increase the success rates of fertility treatment, according to a study.

Read more.......


Child dads 'birth problems link'

Babies fathered by teenagers are more likely to be unhealthy at birth, a study suggests.

Read more.......


Beetroot 'may cut blood pressure'

Drinking 500ml of beetroot juice a day can significantly reduce blood pressure, UK research suggests.

Read more.......


Supplements 'reduce malaria toll'

Cheap dietary supplements could protect young children from malaria, research suggests.

The study, published in Nutrition Journal, found giving children vitamin A and zinc cut incidence of illness by a third.

Read more.......


Pre-birth schizophrenia risk fear

Women who endure severe stress early in pregnancy may be more likely to have children that go on to develop schizophrenia, research suggests

Read more.......


Unborn twins 'kicked out cancer'

A mother who found she had a tumour while pregnant was saved by her unborn twins' kicking, doctors have said.

Read more.......


'Morphine babies' feel more pain

Premature babies may require many painful procedures Premature babies who receive morphine may grow up to be more sensitive to pain, a study on rats suggests...

"But ultimately we are interested in the option which causes the least amount of harm. The mortality rate is higher for unsedated babies, not to mention the fact that it would be totally unacceptable to wilfully expose newborn infants to severe pain."

And yet U.S. doctors frequently subject newborn boys to circumcision without anesthesia.

Read more.......


From the BBC:

Med diet 'cuts baby asthma risk'

The Mediterranean diet is rich in fruit and vegetables Pregnant women who eat a Mediterranean diet may help protect their children from asthma and other allergies, researchers say.

Read more.......


Filming reveals Czech children still caged

The Czech Republic banned the use of cage-like beds in children's care homes a year ago, under international pressure. But as Clive Myrie reports for the Ten O'Clock News, secret filming shows the use of the beds goes on.

Read more.......


Chewing gum weight loss warning

Sorbitol in "sugar-free" chewing gum is a laxative Too much "sugar-free" chewing gum can lead to severe weight loss and diarrhoea, doctors warn.

Read more.......


From NBC:

Woman gives birth in pants

A Connecticut woman and her newborn twins are doing fine despite their unusual birth.

On Wednesday, Larryette Thomas, unexpectedly gave birth with one of the tiny boys born inside her pants.

Read more.......


From the BBC:

China reinforces one-child stance

More and more wealthy couples are ignoring the one-child rule Hundreds of people in central China have been expelled from the Communist Party for violating the one-child policy, state media has reported.

Read more.......


Disturbed sleep link to diabetes

A disturbed night's sleep may increase the risk of developing diabetes, US research has suggested.

The US team discovered that volunteers who were roused whenever they were about to fall into the deepest sleep developed insulin resistance.

Read more.......


Dark chocolate 'not so healthy'

A top medical journal said any health claims about plain chocolate may be misleading.

Read more.......


Aid plan for India's 33m widows

India's Minister for Women and Child Development Renuka Chowdhury has outlined ambitious plans to help the country's young widows.

India's dominant Hinduism frowns on widows remarrying and they often see their social and economic power eroded.

Government figures show there are 33 million widows in India - many of them poor and some very young.

Read more.......


'Medical myths' exposed as untrue

Some claim drinking eight glasses of water a day leads to good health, while reading in dim light damages eyesight.

Read more.......


In pictures: 'Natural caesarean'

Doctors at Queen Charlotte's hospital in London are pioneering "natural caesarean" births with the aim of making the surgery less traumatic for mother and baby.

Read more.......


'Why were my babies too early?'

Around 43,000 babies are born prematurely in the UK every year, which is a major cause of infant death.

Studies have shown that nearly half of extremely premature babies who survive develop a disability or learning difficulty.

Another third develop mild impairments, such as the need to wear glasses by the time they reach six years old - double the average rate.

Read more.......

For more possible causes of premature labor,


Caesareans 'may harm lung growth'

Babies born by elective Caesarean section are much more likely to develop breathing problems, a Danish study examining 34,000 deliveries suggests.

Researchers found they were up to four times more likely to have respiratory problems than those born naturally, or by emergency Caesarean section.

Read more.......


Doctors urge folic acid progress

A group of UK doctors has urged the government to proceed with the move towards fortifying flour with folic acid to prevent birth defects...

But the government called for a further review of recent studies linking folic acid to colon cancer.

Read more.......


Curvier spines aid pregnant women

Both men and women have a curve in the lower section of their spines, but in women, the Harvard researchers found, the curve extends over a longer section of spinal vertebrae.

The difference lets women adjust their posture to keep themselves in balance and in less discomfort from lower back pain, even in the last few months of pregnancy, when the abdomen can weigh almost 7kg more than normal.

Read more.......


Lost without translation

For midwife Jayne Cozens, going to work these days is also becoming something of a geography lesson...

Language and culture are becoming more of an issue, as Mrs Cozens' job becomes ever more multi-cultural and multi-lingual.
One example in this article begs the question of whether the midwife shouldn't feel the need to counsel women to not sleep with their babies.

Read more.......


World 'must do more' for children

Children go hungry most often in South Asia More must be done more quickly to make the world fit for children by 2015, the UN children's agency, Unicef, has said.

Read more.......


Fertility falls with weight gain

An overweight woman's chance of getting pregnant steadily falls as her weight increases, a major study has found.

Read more.......


Gaps in maternity care 'worrying'

Thousands of women are left alone during and shortly after labour, leaving them feeling vulnerable and potentially at risk, a survey shows.

Read more.......


Pregnancy link to active children

Mothers who are active during pregnancy end up having children who do more exercise, research shows.

The Bristol University-led study of 5,500 11 to 12-year-olds, ruled out any biological factors, the British Medical Journal reported.

Read more.......


Mother can keep birth 'a secret'

A woman who became pregnant after a one-night stand has been given the right to keep the birth a secret from the father.

Read more.......


Girls 'link weight to happiness'

Girls as young as seven believe being slim and attractive will mean you are more happy, popular and successful, research suggests.

A study published by Girlguiding UK found girls associated being overweight with being bullied and sad.

Read more.......


Childhood is 'happy not toxic'

Scaremongering by adults has created a false impression of a "toxic childhood", says England's Children's, Schools and Families Secretary.

Ed Balls, issuing a counterblast to pessimistic views of childhood, says the "vast majority of children feel happy and safe".

I wonder what a similar U.S. study would suggest.

Read more.......


Babies 'show social intelligence'

At the age of six months, most babies have barely learnt to sit up, let alone crawl, walk or talk.

But, according to new research, they can already assess someone's intentions towards them, deciding who is a likely friend or enemy.

Read more.......


From MSNBC:

Want to lose that baby weight? Get some sleep

Researchers presented a conundrum to new mothers on Monday, saying that women who want to lose the extra weight gained in pregnancy should try to get more sleep.

They found that mothers who slept five hours or less a day when their babies were six months old were three times more likely than more rested mothers to have kept on the extra weight at one year.

Read more.......


'Later puberty' in stable family

Girls who live in stable, supportive homes may experience puberty later than those who come from more stressful backgrounds, US research suggests.

Read more.......


Pregnancy smoking fertility link

Smoking while pregnant reduces the fertility of boys by affecting a key testis gene, researchers say.

Read more.......


Drugs for ADHD 'not the answer'

Treating children who have Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) with drugs is not effective in the long-term, research has shown.

Read more.......


Placenta 'fools body's defences'

The placenta acts like a parasite to avoid attack by a mother's immune system, researchers have discovered.

Read more.......


From MSNBC:

Breast-feeding good for the heart's health

Numerous studies have shown babies whose mothers breast-fed them enjoy health advantages over formula-fed babies. These include fewer ear, stomach or intestinal infections, digestive problems, skin diseases and allergies, and less likelihood of developing high blood pressure, diabetes and obesity.

Now, a study presented at an American Heart Association meeting found that breast-fed babies are better off in two important heart disease risk factors as adults than bottle-fed babies — levels of "good" HDL cholesterol and body mass index.

Read more.......


From the BBC:

Baby survives attempt to end life

A boy has been born healthy and well even though at one point doctors thought it would be better to end his life to save that of his twin brother.

Read more.......


Gene 'links breastfeeding to IQ'

A single gene influences whether breastfeeding improves a child's intelligence, say London researchers.

Read more.......


From CBS News:

Lack of Sleep May Lead To Fatter Kids

Researchers have found that every additional hour per night a third-grader spends sleeping reduces the child's chances of being obese in sixth grade by 40 percent.

Read more.......


From MSNBC:

TB vaccine sickens some HIV-infected children

WASHINGTON - A vaccine aimed at protecting children in developing countries from deadly tuberculosis may be sickening and killing some vulnerable infants infected with the AIDS virus, researchers said on Friday.

Read more.......


Breast-feeding isn't such a drag on breasts

The results of the study, presented this week at a conference of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, showed no difference in the degree of breast ptosis (or sagging) between women who breast-fed and those who didn't.

The main factors that did affect sagging were age, smoking status and the number of pregnancies a woman has had.

Read more.......


Woman takes out ad to sell breast milk

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa - A woman who doesn't want her breast milk to go to waste has taken out a newspaper ad in hopes of selling it. Martha Heller, 22, of Tiffin, took out the ad in The Gazette, offering 100 ounces of her breast milk for $200 or the best offer.

Read more.......


From the Boston Globe:

Disputing need for circumcision

'Such shall be the covenant between Me and you and your offspring to follow which you shall keep: Every male among you shall be circumcised," God tells Abraham in Genesis.

But the head of the Circumcision Resource Center in Boston, which discourages circumcision, said that few Jews perform the procedure for religious reasons and that it is not necessary as a mark of Jewishness.

Read more........


From the BBC:

'They thought I was cursed'

Each year, 100,000 women who give birth in poor countries develop a devastating condition which leaves them incontinent and ostracised.

Obstetric fistula, a hole linking the vagina with the bladder or rectum, occurs when women - often underdeveloped teenagers - are in labour for days.

Read more.......

(For information on how you can help, see here)


'Clear smoking link' to cot death
[crib death/SIDS]

Almost nine out of ten mothers who lose a baby to cot death smoked while pregnant, say researchers.

The Bristol University team said the risk also increased with every hour babies were exposed to passive smoke after birth.

Read more.......


Chlamydia damages male fertility

Chlamydia - the most common sexually transmitted infection in the UK - has been shown to damage male, as well as female, fertility.

Read more.......


Vaccine-linked polio hits Nigeria

Nigeria is fighting a rare outbreak of a vaccine-derived form of polio, says the UN's World Health Organization.

It says 69 children in the north have caught the paralysing disease from others who had already been immunised.

Read more.......


Low birthweights linked to 9/11

The stress of the attacks may have affected pregnancies An increase in low birthweight babies born in and around New York in the months after 9/11 has been blamed on stress caused by the attacks.

Read more.......


Mothers-to-be 'can drink alcohol'

Pregnant women can safely drink a small glass of wine a day, official advice is set to say.

After the first three months of pregnancy, women can consume up to 1.5 units per day says draft guidance.

Read more.......


This report still begs the questions: Did they differentiate between mothers on healthy diets and those on poor diets? Are they including "windows" of uterine scars, which typically do not affect the labor, the mother, or the baby, labelling them as "ruptures"? And since the rate of ruptures is higher when VBAC mothers are induced, why are they still inducing them?
Caesarean 'raises womb-tear risk'

A Caesarean section increases the risk by 50-fold that a woman's uterus will rupture during a subsequent vaginal delivery, research suggests....

US and Swedish researchers found the condition afflicted nine in every 1,000 mothers who opted to try for a vaginal birth after a previous Caesarean.

Read more.......


From CBS News:

Breastfeeding-Cavities Link Disputed

(WebMD) Breastfeeding isn't likely to cause dental cavities or raise the risk of early childhood tooth decay, according to a new study.




Apparently the battle goes on. This is apparently another ill-constructed study that looks only at the numbers, ignoring the kinds of foods eaten to get to those numbers, and which will cost hundreds of mothers and babies their lives.

(See "Weight Gain" and "Obesity" here)

New Research On Pregnancy Weight Gain

Obese women who gained little or no weight during pregnancy - and even some who lost weight - had favorable outcomes, St. Louis researchers have found.



From the BBC:

Cholesterol link to early births

Pregnant women who have very low levels of cholesterol may be at a greater risk of giving birth prematurely, US research suggests.

The National Human Genome Research Institute study confirmed previous findings linking high cholesterol to a raised risk of premature birth.

But the researchers were surprised to find low cholesterol levels also seemed to raise the risk.


Children 'recover' from TV harm

Toddlers who watch too much television are more likely to suffer later behavioural problems - but the damage can be reversed, say researchers.


How do you get pupils to eat well?

When Billy Murison started back at school this week he had more than a few ideas about what he wanted to eat during his lunch breaks....

But Professor Fergus Lowe, psychologist at Bangor University, Wales, said encouraging healthy eating need not be a struggle.

"Biscuit" (British English) means "cookie", and "sweets" means "candies", in American English.


No outdoor play 'hurts children'

Children's health is suffering because they are losing the chance to play outside, a group of experts has warned....

The decline in "unstructured, loosely supervised" play is adversely affecting children's mental health, they add.

It also threatens young people's long-term development, the letter to the Daily Telegraph says.

Read more.......


Eat well cash for mothers-to-be

Pregnant women will get about 200 paid into their bank account to spend on healthy food under a government initiative, the BBC has learned.

Read more.......


Steroid dose warning in children

Children with allergic conditions such as asthma may be receiving too high a dose of steroids, drug experts warn.

Read more.......


From MSNBC:

‘Diaper-free babies’ fad swells, despite critics

Dominic is a product of a growing “diaper-free” movement founded on the belief that babies are born with an instinctive ability to signal when they have to answer nature’s call. Parents who practice the so-called “elimination communication” learn to read their children’s body language to help them recognize the need, and they mimic the sounds that a child associates with the bathroom.

Read more.......


From the BBC:

Parents warned of additives link

Parents have been warned of the effects of food additives on their children's behaviour after new research found a possible link to hyperactivity.

Read more.......



Home mould removal 'eases asthma'

Asthma sufferers who remove mould from their homes could see an improvement in their symptoms, a Cardiff University study has found.

Read more.......


From ScienceDaily:

Nicotine In Breast Milk Disrupts Infants' Sleep Patterns

A study from the Monell Chemical Senses Center reports that nicotine in the breast milk of lactating mothers who smoke cigarettes disrupts their infants' sleep patterns.

Read more.......


From ABC News

Extreme Rise in Kids' Bipolar Diagnosis

NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - The number of young Americans diagnosed with bipolar disorder has risen dramatically in recent years, according to a new study.

See here for questions regarding potential neurological risks of the use of ultrasound in pregnancy.



The following news holds exciting potential for being a great tool for midwives, doulas, breastfeeding assistants, and doctors, for intervening when mothers are possibly developing dangerous psychological problems!

From the Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry:

Maternal stress and depression and the lateralisation of infant cradling

Results indicated that 86% of mothers who were neither stressed nor depressed cradled to the left and 14% to the right. Comparing the cradling side of stressed mothers with those who were neither stressed nor depressed, more in the former group showed right-sided cradling. In contrast, mothers who were just depressed preferred to cradle to the left.

Conclusion: The lack of a left-sided cradling bias might be due to stress rather than depression experienced by mothers.

Furthermore, this study provides evidence that the state of maternal mental health might be indicated by the side on which they cradle their child preferentially.

Read more.......


From the American Journal of Epidemiology

Risk of Spontaneous Abortion in Women with Childhood Exposure to Parental Cigarette Smoke

There is increasing concern over whether environmental exposures early in life may impact health in adulthood. Recent evidence suggests that prenatal or childhood exposure to cigarette smoke may result in poorer reproductive health later in life.

Read more.......


Is High Consumption of Fatty Fish during Pregnancy a Risk Factor for Fetal Growth Retardation?

...The inverse association for total fish consumption could be explained by consumption of fatty fish, while no association was found for lean fish. These results indicate that consumption of fatty fish, a known route of exposure to persistent organic pollutants, could be associated with reduced fetal growth.

Read more.......


Hypnotherapy plan for childbirth

HypnoBirthing is based on the belief that severe discomfort to the mother and distress to the baby is not a natural accompaniment to labour.

Read more.......


'I taught myself pain management'

Alison Gean Davis had two difficult births with her oldest children Caitlin and Arwen......

Alison then learned about HypnoBirthing and used the technique when she had her third child David four months ago.

Read more.......


Pollution 'may boost asthma risk'

Traffic pollution may boost the risk of children getting asthma - if they have genes which make them vulnerable, a study says.

Read more.......


From CBS

CDC: Whooping Cough Cases Misdiagnosed

(AP) ATLANTA A reported boom in U.S. whooping cough cases is now being questioned after health officials discovered a regularly used lab test misdiagnosed cases in suspected outbreaks in New Hampshire, Massachusetts and Tennessee.

Read more.......


From MSNBC

FDA warns nursing moms of pain drug risk

Side effect of codeine can cause overdose in breast-feeding infants

Nursing mothers who take codeine should watch their infants for increased sleepiness or other signs of overdose, federal health officials warned Friday.

The Food and Drug Administration warning of the rare but serious side effect was prompted by a 2006 report of the death of a nursing infant whose mother was given codeine for episiotomy pain.

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Breast-feeding campaign aims to save lives

1 million babies globally may be saved if nursed in first hour, experts say

Hadiza Moussa never breast-fed her daughter and has not forgiven herself for the death of her newborn baby from pneumonia two years ago.....

“I thought it would be better to get her used to artificial milk given that I would have to start work again after three months,” Moussa said on Tuesday at the end of World Breastfeeding Week, a global campaign to educate mothers.

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Health Alert! Watch for more dangerous advice from some OB doctors, and possibly some medicalized midwives, which apparently may be coming soon.......

Docs want pregnancy weight guidelines lowered

Organization to look at whether heavier women should be told to gain less

ATLANTA - Before Jennifer Lepine became pregnant, she heard other soon-to-be moms say she should "eat for two."

But that conflicted with what her doctor told her: Consume only 300 extra calories a day and gain no more than 35 pounds.

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Stressed mothers may lead to sleepless babies

A mother’s anxiety or depression during pregnancy may affect her child’s sleep patterns early in life, a new study suggests.

Researchers found that babies and toddlers whose mothers had such symptoms during pregnancy tended to have more sleep problems than other young children.

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More mothers nurse babies but stop too soon

Nearly three-quarters of new mothers in the United States are breast-feeding their babies, but they are quitting too soon and resorting to infant formula too often, federal health officials said Thursday.....

Formula isn’t as good at protecting babies against diseases, eczema and childhood obesity. Ideally, nearly all mothers should breast-feed their babies for six months or more, said Dr. David Paige, a Johns Hopkins University reproductive health expert.

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Child abuse rises when dad is away at war

Army officials said the study confirms what they’ve seen at large military bases for nearly two years, overwhelmed and depressed mothers neglecting their children.

“This is another recognition of the stress that families are experiencing with multiple deployments, and that shouldn’t be a surprise to anyone,” said Rene Robichaux, social work programs manager for the U.S. Army Medical Command.

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From the BBC

Early cord clamping may harm baby

Clamping the umbilical cord straight after birth does not benefit mother or baby and may actually be harmful, a UK expert has warned.

Instead, leaving the cord for around three minutes can boost the baby's iron stores, cutting the risk of anaemia.

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Breech birth women 'choice call'

In the UK, 11% of caesareans are performed due to breech presentation, the Obstetrician and Gynaecologist journal reported.

But experts said women should be offered vaginal delivery or the option of having the baby turned in the womb.

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Experts' warning over caesareans

Women who have had a caesarean section are at greater risk of stillbirth in a later pregnancy, a report suggests.

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From HealthWorld Online:

Asthma: Early use of antibiotics is a major cause

Children who are treated with antibiotics during their first year are twice as likely to develop asthma by the age of seven, new research has discovered.

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Diet food 'may fuel obesity risk'

Diet foods for children may inadvertently lead to overeating and obesity, say researchers.

In tests on young rats, animals given low-calorie versions of foods were induced to overeat, whether they were lean or obese.

The researchers believe low-calorie versions of usually high-calorie foods disrupt the body's ability to use taste to regulate calorific intake.

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From the BBC:

Baby milk ads 'should be banned'

A coalition of charities is demanding baby milk be treated like tobacco and subjected to a total advertising ban.

The National Childbirth Trust, Save The Children and Unicef blame adverts for many mothers abandoning breast feeding before the recommended six months.

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'Health juices' harm baby teeth

Children's teeth are being damaged by "healthy" fruit juices, a dentists' group has warned.

Organic juices which combine sugar and fruit are the worst culprits for eroding the teeth, say the dentists.

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From Fox News:

NYC Hospitals Ban Baby Bottles, Formula to Boost Breast Feeding

Free formula samples and formula promotional materials are now banned from gift bags given to new mothers at the 11 hospitals run by the city's Health and Hospitals Corp.

Instead, new mothers will get a tote bag stuffed with disposable nursing pads, a mini-cooler for breast-milk bottles, and pint-sized T-shirts for the babies that proudly declare "I eat at mom's."

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From the BBC:

'Yo-yo' weight warning to mothers

Mothers who gain or lose lots of weight between pregnancies could be putting their baby at risk, say experts.

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Birth weight pre-eclampsia 'link'

Women who were underweight when they were born are at greater risk of severe pre-eclampsia in pregnancy, a Swedish study involving 6,000 women suggests.

The risk is particularly pronounced if their mothers had pre-eclampsia when pregnant with them, researchers say.



Working mums' 'child weight risk'

The children of wealthier parents, particularly those with working mothers, are more likely to be obese or overweight, a study says.

They found for every 10 hours worked the risk of being overweight rose once household income topped 11,000, the International Journal of Obesity said.


Police plea on genital mutilation


The Metropolitan Police is offering a 20,000 reward for information which would bring to justice anyone involved in female genital mutilation.

The campaign is being launched at the start of the summer holidays, during which young girls - mainly from African communities - are thought most at risk.

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(For information on how you can help see here)


'My mother held me down'

Police in the UK are offering a reward for information leading to the prosecution of anyone involved in the practice of female genital mutilation. Here the Somali-born model Waris Dirie describes her experience.

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(For information on how you can help see here)


From MSNBC:

Eat a lot of beef? It may affect your son’s sperm

U.S. women who eat a lot of beef while pregnant give birth to sons who grow up to have low sperm counts, researchers reported Tuesday.

They believe pesticides, hormones or contaminants in cattle feed may be to blame. Chemicals can build up in the fat of animals that eat contaminated feed or grass, and cattle are routinely given hormones to boost their growth.

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When pregnant mom eats fish, kids do better

Women who eat seafood while pregnant may be boosting their children’s IQ in the process, according to new research published Friday in The Lancet.

The results of the study were surprising, say the authors, and contradict American and British recommendations that pregnant women should limit seafood and fish consumption to avoid potentially high levels of mercury.

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'Freebirthers' have babies with no medical help

They insist they’re no superwomen, they have no special powers, and are certainly not pain or adrenaline junkies.....

Delivering their own babies at home, often alone, they dismiss what they say is “fearmongering” by doctors and midwives and confidently catch their offspring as they leave the womb.

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Breast-milk battle reaches Philippine high court

A debate over breast-feeding vs. bottle feeding went to the top Philippine court Tuesday, with health officials arguing that aggressive advertising by U.S. and British companies has some women believing formula is better than their own milk.....

New rules would extend that ban to cover ads for formula made for children up to 2 years old.

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From the BBC:

Egypt forbids female circumcision

Egypt has announced that it is imposing a complete ban on female circumcision, also known as genital mutilation.

The announcement follows a public outcry after a young girl died during the operation.

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(For information on how you can help see here)


From Christian Science Monitor:

Baby Formula Goes on Trial in Asia

For decades, moms everywhere have been told that "breast is best" for babies. Health care experts say that message goes double in the developing world, where clean water for bottle-feeding is a luxury and, they say, breast-feeding can be a key factor in an infant's survival.

But global efforts to promote breast-feeding are stalling in East Asia, where many working mothers in urban areas are opting instead for infant formula.

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From Fox News:

Infant Swimming Linked to Lung Problems

Infant swimming lessons may lead to problems with children's lung development and possibly make asthma more likely.

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Low Birth Weight Lowers Success in Adulthood

Babies born weighing less than 5.5 pounds at birth are more likely to drop out of high school, earn less as adults and age more rapidly, according to a new study.....

It found that babies with low birth weights are one-third more likely to drop out of high school; earn an average of 15 percent less as adults; and are burdened in their 30s and 40s with the health of someone that is 12 years older.

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Induced Labor Tied to Fatal Birth Risk

Drug-induced labor increases the risk for a very rare -- but often fatal -- delivery complication known as amniotic-fluid embolism, a new study confirms.

Researchers in Canada concluded that labor induction doubles a woman’s risk for developing the complication, which is a leading cause of delivery-related maternal death.

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From the BBC:

Pureed baby food is 'unnatural'

Spoon-feeding babies pureed food is unnatural and unnecessary, a Unicef childcare expert has warned.

Gill Rapley, deputy director of Unicef's Baby Friendly Initiative said feeding babies in this way could cause health problems later in life.

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Breastfeeding alone cuts HIV risk

Exclusively breastfeeding until a baby is six-months old can significantly reduce the risk of mother-to-child HIV transmission, an African study says.

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Breastfeeding advice 'is ignored'

Fewer than one in a hundred women follow government advice to breastfeed exclusively for the first six months, figures show.

The Infant Feeding Survey shows in 2005 76% of UK mothers started out breastfeeding - up 7% from 2000.

However, most resort to formula within weeks, and fewer than half still breastfeed by the time their child is six weeks old.

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Lying down may help breastfeeding

Breastfeeding newborn babies lying down may boost the chances of success, UK research suggests.

A study of 40 mothers breastfeeding in different positions found that babies' natural reflexes kicked in more easily when the mothers were lying down.

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Epidurals 'hamper breastfeeding'

Having an epidural to relieve labour pains is associated with problems breastfeeding, a study suggests.

Researchers said those who have the anaesthetic are more likely to have problems in the first week after birth and to stop breastfeeding early.

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From New Scientist Magazine:

Laughter Improves Breast Milk's Health Effect

"FAMED for its restorative powers, it now seems that laughter also helps breast milk to fight skin allergies.

Breastfed babies with eczema experienced milder symptoms if their mothers laughed hours before feeding them, according to a study by Hajime Kimata at the Moriguchi-Keijinkai Hospital in Osaka, Japan."

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From Fox News:

Ultrasound Exposure May Cause Brain Abnormalities in Fetus

Studies in mice suggest ultrasound exposure in the womb can cause brain abnormalities in the developing fetus.

Researchers from Yale University School of Medicine report that a small, but significant, number of nerve cells in fetal mouse brains did not migrate to the correct location after being exposed to prolonged ultrasound waves.

This process of cell migration, known as neuronal migration, is essential for proper brain development.

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