Study: Restless Leg Syndrome can Impact Sleep During Pregnancy


New York: A new study on pregnant women shows that restless legs syndrome (RLS) is twice as likely to lead to poor sleep quality, poor daytime function and excessive daytime sleepiness.

RLS is an irresistible urge to move your legs typically in the evenings.The results showed that 36 percent of women in their third trimester had RLS, and half of the women with RLS, had moderate to severe symptoms.

Compared with pregnant women without RLS, those with RLS were twice as likely to report poor sleep quality and poor daytime function, and they were also more likely to have excessive daytime sleepiness.

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Study: Breastfeeding Doesn’t Make Babies Smarter After All, This Does


A new study casts doubt on whether breastfed-kids are smarter than their formula-fed peers, though it does note there are benefits to breastfeeding babies including reduced hyperactivity.

The study, published in the journal Pediatrics, finds that while kids between 3 and 5 years old who were breastfed as babies scored higher on cognitive tests than their counterparts, the difference was not that significant.”We weren’t able to find a direct causal link between breastfeeding and children’s cognitive outcomes,” Lisa-Christine Girard, an Irish researcher who authored the study, told NPR.

Socioeconomic factors and the overall behavior and environment of a child contribute to a higher cognitive ability, the study found. When the researchers accounted for those factors, it was harder to link breastfeeding by itself to smarter children, NPR reports.

The researchers did, however, note that the breastfed kids were less hyperactive by age three if they had been breastfed for six months as a baby. But by age five, the impact on hyperactivity appeared to fade.

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Study: Kids Need Help Deciphering Real from Fake news


If you wondered whether we need to do more to help our kids recognize “fake news,” a new report makes it clear the answer is a resounding yes.

Although 44% of tweens and teens in a recent survey said they can tell the difference between fake news stories and real ones, more than 30% who said they shared a news story online during the past six months admitted that they didn’t get it exactly right.

They said they later found out that a story they shared was wrong or inaccurate, according to the survey by Common Sense Media, a nonprofit organization focused on helping parents, kids and educators negotiate media and technology.

The survey of 853 children ages 10 to 18 in the United States also asked kids how much they trust the information they received from each of their news sources.

Family got higher marks than teachers, news organizations and friends. Sixty-six percent of tweens and teens said they trust the information they received from family, compared with 48% for teachers and other adults, 25% for news organizations and just 17% for friends.

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STUDY: College Isn’t the Main Reason Women Delay Starting a Family


Achieving higher education may not be the main reason why women in the UK delay pregnancy, demographers have discovered. Family background appears particularly relevant to explain the link between the age women first give birth and their level of education.

Since the end of the Second World War, the average age of first-time mothers has increased both in Europe and the US. In England and Wales, it now stands at 30.3 years old, according to the latest data released by the Office for National Statistics.

In parallel, the number of years that women spend in school and university has also increased. A number of studies have suggested that there is a causal link between this and their postponement of pregnancy. However, the research published in the journal Demography, now suggests that the effects of education may not be as large as expected.

With an innovative study design, looking both at education enrolment and fertility trends in the general population as well as female identical twins, they attempt to untangle the effects of genes, family background and education on fertility behaviours.

“Together with mortality and migration, fertility is a crucial factor to understand what shapes our social structure and how a society is going to fare in the future. Age at first birth is the main determinant of how many children women have, and so it is very important for demographers to understand what influences it and if education enrolment is involved, how significant a part it plays”, study author Felix Tropf, from the University of Oxford, told IBTimes UK.

Extra year in school, six months older mothers

The researchers analysed the fertility histories of 2,752 identical female twins from a large twin register set up in 1992 in the UK. This approach is interesting because twins share genes and similar family backgrounds, so this isolates the effects of potentially different levels of education.

Analysing the data, the scientists estimated that for every extra year of educational enrolment after the age of 12, a woman delayed motherhood by an average half a year. However, their model also suggests that family background – from socio-economic environment to genes – better explained why women delayed pregnancy. Education alone is estimated to contribute to only 1.5 months of the total six-month delay.

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Study: NYC Babies Born After 9/11 Preterm & Low Weight

A new study states that women who delivered in New York after exposure to 9/11 had increased risks for low birth weight and preterm delivery.

The study was retrospective and looked at  deliveries after September 11, 2001, up to the end of 2010, who had exposure to 9/11.

Subjects were identified through the World Trade Center Health Registry and included women who were engaged in rescue or recovery work, witness to an event, living or working in area.

Researchers examined information on birth certificates to identify low birth weight, preterm delivery, and small for gestational age.

Read the entire study here.

Study: Coffee Intake before Pregnancy Increases Miscarriage Risk


A new study published online in Fertility and Sterility claims that a woman is more likely to miscarry if she and her partner consumed more than two caffeinated drinks daily during the weeks before conception. The study also reports that women who drank more than two caffeinated beverages daily during the first seven weeks of pregnancy were also at higher risk to miscarry.

The National Health Institutes of Health and Ohio State University, Columbus research team investigated the lifestyle habits of 344 couples, including their cigarette use, caffeine consumption and multivitamin intake. They observed these participants weeks before conception until seven months into the pregnancy.

“Our findings provide useful information for couples who are planning a pregnancy and who would like to minimize their risk of early pregnancy loss,”asserts study author Germaine Buck Louis, the director of the Division of Intramural Population Health Research at NIH’s Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development.

Twenty-eight percent or 98 of the pregnancies miscarried. The team found that caffeinated beverage consumption was associated with a hazard ratio of 1.74 increased miscarriage risk for females and 1.73 increased risk for males.

“Our findings also indicate that the male partner matters, too,” Buck Louis added. “Male preconception consumption of caffeinated beverages was just as strongly associated with pregnancy loss as females.”

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STUDY: Excessive weight gain During Pregnancy Could Lead to Lifelong Obesity

Gaining excessive weight during pregnancy can lead to obesity issues throughout life for women who are already at risk, according to a new study.

Researchers found that putting on too much weight while pregnant can cause excess body fat and pounds that remain, as reported by AJMC.

Columbia University researchers evaluated about 300 women, all of whom were African-American or Dominican, between the years of 1998 and 2013. The study group was at risk of becoming obese due to socioeconomic factors and unhealthy dietary patterns, according to the authors.

The participants had an average body mass index (BMI) of 25.6 prior to being pregnant, just slightly above the Centers for Disease and Control Prevention guidelines for being overweight. Five percent of participants were underweight, 53 percent were at a healthy weight, 20 percent were overweight, and 22 percent were obese.

The study suggests that 64 percent of these women put on more weight than the 15 to 20 pounds recommended by health officials. The women were then monitored for seven years after giving birth.
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STUDY: High Blood Sugar in Pregnancy leads to Heart Defects in Baby

Pregnant women with high blood-sugar levels – even if it is below the cutoff for diabetes – are more likely to have babies with congenital heart defects, says a new study.

“We already knew that women with diabetes were at significantly increased risk for having children with congenital heart disease,” said the study’s lead author James Priest, postdoctoral scholar in pediatric cardiology at Stanford University School of Medicine in California, US.

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STUDY: Sex Boosts Immunity which Increases Chances to Conceive

study more sex increases immunity

Not that you really need it, but here’s another reason to have sex: It’s great for your immune system. According to new research, frequent coitus triggers the body’s natural defenses in positive ways and may jumpstart physiological changes that boost a woman’s chance for conceiving.

The results of the study were published Tuesday in two papers, one in the journal Fertility and Sterility and another in the journal Physiology and Behavior. The papers suggest that having sex during points of infertility in a woman’s cycle could still help improve her chance of conceiving.


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Study: Parents who Hover Impede their Kid’s Fitness

Parents, if you want your kids to get more exercise, you’d be wise to get out of their way.

In a new study, published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine, researchers sought to observe how kids play in parks. Their overarching goal was to help park designers create public spaces that would better entice kids to run around and exercise. But along the way, the authors discovered something else: the single biggest barrier to children’s physical activity had less to do with park design itself and more to do with the hovering presence of a parent.

Children whose parents hung around monitoring them closely were only about half as likely to engage in high levels of physical activity as kids whose parents granted more freedom, the researchers found.

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