fetal health

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Shorter Women Tend to Have Shorter Pregnancies

Maternal height appears to influence gestational age

(Newser) - The height and weight of a newborn baby is largely governed by his or her own genes, but it's the height of the mother that's giving researchers a telltale sign, reports the Telegraph . Specifically, shorter women have shorter pregnancies and thus more premature babies, report investigators at the... More »

Alarming Find: Opioid Use During Pregnancy on Rise

Prescriptions for strong painkillers surge despite unknown risks

(Newser) - The risks of taking opioid painkillers during pregnancy aren't fully understood but that hasn't stopped doctors prescribing them for large numbers of pregnant women, an alarming new study in Obstetrics and Gynecology finds. Some 23% of Medicaid-enrolled pregnant women were prescribed opioids like codeine and hydrocodone in 2007,... More »

Spina Bifida Breakthrough: Surgery Before Birth

Treatment in womb for birth defect more effective, study finds

(Newser) - Surgery on babies still in the womb has long largely been restricted to those who would die otherwise, but a landmark study is likely to lead to a surge of research into fetal surgery to treat birth defects. Surgeons found that repairing spina bifida—a debilitating spinal condition that 1,... More »

Germy Kissing Is the Point

Swapping spit boosts immunity, say scientists

(Newser) - A kiss apparently is not just a kiss. An unromantic team of scientists has determined that the point of kissing is to spread germs and increase lovers' immunity and health. The bug cytomegalovirus, which is dangerous in pregnancy, is passed from smooching men to give a woman time to build... More »

Women's Mercury Levels Tied to Region, Income

(Newser) - American women are afflicted by high Mercury levels depending on where they live and how much they earn, a new study says. Northeasterners are worst off, with a 20% chance of high mercury, 10 points higher than the national rate. Midwesterners eat less seafood and had lower levels overall, the... More »

Diabetic Moms Linked to Birth Defects

40 types of abnormality more common in mothers with disease

(Newser) - Mothers who have diabetes before they are pregnant are three to four times more likely to have a child with birth defects, the AP reports. A CDC study investigating birth abnormalities found more than 40 types of defects affecting the internal organs and spine that were significantly more common in... More »

We Are What Our Moms Ate

Health problems may stem from mom's junk food diet, study says

(Newser) - Long-term health problems such as obesity, diabetes, and heart disease may begin in the womb with mothers who eat junk food during pregnancy, the Guardian reports. A new study suggests expectant mothers who eat unhealthy diets not only risk the health of their newborns, but may set the child up... More »

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