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STUDY: Prenatal Vitamins May Not Matter After All


Pregnancy supplements do not improve the mother’s or the baby’s health, a new study has found. Women who take these prenatal mineral supplements and multivitamins could be wasting both their time and money.

The researchers said that the marketing of these products seems to lack evidence in terms of health improvements for both mother and child. Expecting mothers could be “vulnerable to messages” in their goal to give their child the best possible start in life regardless of the price tag. For instance, people spend about £15 ($19.90) monthly for pregnancy supplements.

“The only supplements recommended for all women during pregnancy are folic acid and vitamin D, which are available at relatively low cost,” the researchers said.

According to the review, the prenatal supplements are popular among expecting mothers because the deficiency in key nutrients during pregnancy has been associated with conditions such as restricted fetal growth, pre-eclampsia, skeletal deformity, neural tube defects and low birth weight.

The prenatal supplements often include over 20 vitamins and minerals such as folic acid, magnesium, iodine, iron, zinc, copper and selenium. These also contain vitamins B1, B2, B3, B6, B12, C, D, E and K.

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New Law Forbids Clubs From Denying Entry to Pregnant Women

Pregnancy Barred From Bars

When I was working as a publicist about a decade ago and pregnant, I was refused entry into a nightclub where my client was gigging at because I was visibly pregnant. Now if this event had happened today in New York City, it would be against the law for that club to deny me entry, thanks to a new law under the  city’s Human Rights Commission guidelines.

Among other expansive protections for pregnant women for the purposes of protecting them from discrimination is a provision that says mothers-to-be can’t be kept out of bars or denied alcoholic drinks just because they’re expecting.

“Judgments and stereotypes about how pregnant individuals should behave, their physical capabilities and what is or is not healthy for a fetus are pervasive in our society and cannot be used as pretext for unlawful discriminatory decisions” in public venues, the new guidelines say.

And as you could guess, there is a lawsuit at the heart of this new law.  A NYC agency lawyer, Lauren Elfant, told the Associated Press that the commission is looking into a case concerning a pregnant woman denied entry to a bar or club.

The law also protects those women who choose to have a glass of wine while pregnant as it is not against the law.

One woman AP interviewed for the report, Carlota Fluxa, said she occasionally ordered a glass of wine with dinner during her pregnancy as that is no big deal in her native Spain. While no one denied her the wine, Fluxa said  she felt that “in general, a lot of people are paying attention to whether you’re drinking or not drinking.”


Read more about the intriquing report here.

Study: Flu shot in mom when pregnant immunizes baby too later

Most doctors do not recommend flu shots to pregnant patients, yet those women are more likely to develop serious complications if they do get the flu, according to a new report.
In the review of past studies, researchers also found that pregnant women had concerns about the safety of the flu vaccine and tended to underestimate the risk that the virus posed to themselves and their fetuses.
“The research is clear that health care providers are not providing advice to pregnant women about the importance and benefits of getting vaccinated,” said Dr. Marie Tarrant, who worked on the study at Li Ka Shing Faculty of Medicine at the University of Hong Kong.
“In addition, they are not making influenza vaccine available to their pregnant clients,” she said. “By their silence, they are sending a message that influenza vaccine is actually not that important.”
One study found pregnant women were five times as likely to be admitted to hospital with the flu as other women, Tarrant said.
Flu vaccines given to pregnant women immunize them and protect their infants against the flu until they are six months old, the researchers write in the journal Vaccine.
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Parents and Critics call Israeli Diaper commercial too sexual (VIDEO)

A new Huggies Denim diapers ad is causing stir in Israel where a commercial for the product airs.
In the commercial, diaper-clad babies are seen posing with guitars, playfully paired up and bopping around, only some say the poses appear too sexual and are inappropriate for babies.
The diapers have been sold in Israel since 2007 and Huggies started marketing and selling them in the US in 2010.
“This video is in a long string of similar ads,” Alan E. Lawrence Kazdin, a professor of psychology and child psychiatry at Yale University told Good Morning America.
“Twenty years ago, we would have thought this ad was weird and bad,” he told ABCNews.com. “Think about the context. There are greeting cards with children dressed up as adults kissing each other in a romantic way. Dolls are provocative and children as young as 4 and 5 wear over-the-shoulder fashions. On TV, high school students have children. Shows have sex in the title. Who’s watching these? There is huge sexualization all over the place.”
Learn more from this ABC News video:

ABC US News | ABC International News

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National Infertility Awareness Week: 10 Myths About Pregnancy in Your 40s

We are acknowledging National Infertility Awareness Week and doing our part to share news, articles, information, products and services about infertility for our audience’s edification.
Next up: 
Heidi Hayes of Donor Egg Bank USA shares her personal journey with infertility and debunks myths about pursuing later motherhood.

Like many other young women, she had thoughts of motherhood in the back of her mind. But then she went off to college, and after that joined the Peace Corps. She ended up working in the Ecuadorian Andes. It was in Ecuador that she began thinking seriously about motherhood. “I loved the Ecuadorian focus on family,” she says. “It made me start thinking about having children of my own.”

After marrying the man of her dreams, they started to build a life together. Finally, it seemed to be the right time to start a family. “I thought I would get pregnant easily, but each month nothing happened.” She went to see a specialist, and she and her husband began a heartbreaking four-year journey through a maze of infertility treatments before adopting. Years later, she used donor eggs to have twins.

She didn’t consider freezing her eggs, as that wasn’t available at the time.

She went the donor egg route to conceive and shares some of the 10 myths about pregnancy in your 40s:
1.     Pregnancy is easy in your 40s and happens all the time. Once you hit 40, there is only a five percent chance you will get pregnant in any given month (compared to 20 percent at age 30). Pregnancy is possible, but women need to know the most valuable and irreversible factor impacting success is time. This is largely due to a steady decline in egg quality that begins when a woman is in her early 30s and then accelerates in the late 30s.
2.     Fertility issues are always with the woman. For men and women in their 20s, there is an equal chance of problems with infertility in either partner. For couples with a female partner in her late 30s or 40s, the chance of infertility due to egg quality rises dramatically.
3.     Celeb moms make it look easy. They are having kids at age 46! There is an endless stream of celebrity mothers who are having kids in their 40s. Halle Berry had her baby at 46, Kelly Preston at 47, and Geena Davis had twins at 48. While it is statistically unlikely that some older celebrities are having children without any assistance, it is important not to compare your experiences to others. Some celebrities share their experiences with infertility, but most do not.
4.     You can only have a baby using your own eggs. According to the respected medical journal, Fertility and Sterility, 40-year-old women treated for infertility have a 25 percent chance of achieving pregnancy using their own eggs. By age 43 that number drops to 10 percent, and by 44 it becomes 1.6 percent. For those who are unable to use their own eggs, the good news is that women can achieve pregnancy success using donor eggs regardless of her age.  Women at 40 using donor egg give birth at a rate of roughly 45 percent, a success rate higher than younger women using their own eggs. The high success rate for recipients using egg donation does not decline with age.
5.     The age of a man doesn’t matter when trying to conceive. Age matters for both men and women. A study in Nature found a direct link between paternal age and an increased risk of Autism and Schizophrenia, which experts say may be one of the factors in the rise of autism diagnosis in recent years. The increase in medical problems with advancing male age is very small; the autism increase may be from 1 in 150 in the general population to 1 in 100 for men over 50.  As women age, the chances of chromosomal abnormalities such as Down Syndrome increase. These abnormalities typically occur due to a decrease in the quality of the egg with aging.  A 25-year-old woman has a 1/1000 chance of having a baby with Down Syndrome. The chance is 1/30 in a 44-year-old using her own eggs.
6.     If you’re healthy, fit, and look great, having a baby won’t be a problem. You do yoga, run half marathons, eat organic and fit into a size six. But do your ovaries do yoga? The truth is that eating nutritiously and maintaining a healthy weight can boost fertility and help balance ovulatory disorders, but it does not affect your ovarian supply and the health of your eggs.
7.     If I’m starting menopause, I can’t have a baby. There is about a 10-year phase of perimenopause that precedes the complete cessation of menstrual function, known as menopause. The quality of a woman’s eggs during this time is significantly reduced and the chances of conceiving decline sharply.  The chance of a miscarriage, for those who do conceive, is significantly increased. For women beginning perimenopause, which includes the months or years preceding menopause, a pregnancy may still be possible. A pregnancy will depend on where your body is at in the perimenopausal process. To increase the chances of success and save time, both parties should undergo basic fertility testing.
8.     Older mothers are less likely to have twins. Surprisingly, older mothers have a higher likelihood of conceiving twins. As a woman ages, her follicle stimulating hormone increases. FSH develops eggs inside the ovaries prior to being released into the fallopian tubes. High FSH levels can cause two or more eggs to release, which can result in twins.
The likelihood of spontaneously conceived twins rises from 1/80 in a 25-year-old to 1/40 in a 42-year-old.  Higher FSH levels are also associated with declining fertility, which means follicles may work overtime and release more eggs to compensate for lowering fertility. Twin rates have also increased due to general fertility and IVF treatment and patients choosing to transfer multiple embryos. The latest data shows that twin rates are declining as many women choose to transfer one embryo.
9.     Your family has a fertile history, so you shouldn’t have any trouble. There is a genetic component to ovarian function and a correlation between your mother’s and grandmother’s ability to conceive at an older age. However, this is a very limited factor and cannot provide significant reassurance. Conversely, if there is a history of early menopause in your family this will raise the likelihood of a problem. Your fertility potential and egg supply is individual. If your grandmother had her last baby at 43 and your mother had infertility at 41, this does not make your chances of conception any higher or lower.
10. Having a baby with donor egg doesn’t make you the biological mom. The egg donor is a genetic donor who provides the egg cell and half of the DNA in the creation of each baby, but the woman who carries the pregnancy provides the biological environment to allow the embryo and baby to thrive. The woman who intends to parent is the true mother of the child.   Motherhood is a conscious choice, regardless of how a baby is conceived or born.
Author Bio: Heidi Hayes is a mother of three through adoption and donor egg. After her personal experiences with infertility and professional experience in the infertility industry, she now helps others achieve their dreams of having a family as the CEO of Donor Egg Bank USA, a national frozen donor egg bank.  

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Pakistan drops murder charges against 9-month old baby

Really, Pakistan?

The government in a city in Pakistan charged a 9-month old baby, Musa Khan, with murder after this family was arrested while protesting conditions for the poor. During the scuffle, a sub-inspector complained that the infant’s family beat him up and hit him on his head. The inspector was trying to collect overdue bills.

The toddler appeared in court in the city of Lahore yesterday drinking out of a bottle while sitting on his grandfather’s lap. Out of mercy and perhaps being ridiculed by the world for being stupid, the judge dropped the charges against the baby.
The family were among many who had gathered to protest gas cuts and price increases and who stoned police and gas company workers.

Read more at NBC News

photo: NBC/Getty

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Attempted murder charge for pregnant woman who drove kids in SUV into Ocean

Ebony Wilkerson even tried to call off bystanders hustling to rescue her screaming children from the water, saying “everyone was OK” as she left the van in the ocean, an affidavit said. Wilkerson, 32, is charged with three counts of attempted murder and three counts child abuse causing great bodily harm.
Volusia County Court Judge Shirley Green found probable cause for the charges during Wilkerson’s first appearance in court Saturday and set her bond at $1.2 million. A date for an arraignment was not released.
The bystanders and beach safety officers, paying no attention to the mother, pulled the two girls and a boy, ages 3, 9 and 10, through the windows to safety Tuesday on Daytona Beach.
Later, Wilkerson denied trying to hurt her children, telling investigators she was driving too close to the water, “and the waves pulled her in,” according to the charging affidavit.
Her children told investigators another story.
“Mom tried to kill us,” they told detectives, according to the document. “Mom is crazy.”
Volusia County Sheriff Ben Johnson said Wilkerson, of North Charleston, was in the custody of the sheriff’s office after being hospitalized for a mental evaluation.
The children told authorities they had come to Florida from South Carolina earlier in the week to escape their father. They described a history of violence between their parents, and they said their mother had been “acting crazy and speaking to Jesus” since they had come to stay with Wilkerson’s sister in Daytona Beach.
The sister, Jessica Harrell, didn’t return a phone call from The Associated Press, but she was worried about Wilkerson’s mental health and called a 911 dispatcher hours before the minivan ended up in the ocean.
When she was driving into the ocean, one of the children asked her what she was doing, and she said: “‘I am keeping us all safe,'” according to the affidavit. The boy tried to wrestle the steering wheel away from Wilkerson.
“She told them to close their eyes and go to sleep. She was trying to take them to a better place,” Johnson said at a news conference.
A child also lowered the windows and the siblings yelled for help, attracting the bystanders.
“I’ve got to do this,” Wilkerson told bystander Stacy Robinson as he attempted to intervene, according to the affidavit.

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photo collage: AP

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Report: Doctors cured a Second HIV Baby

A second baby born with the AIDS virus may have had her infection put into remission and possibly cured by very early treatment — in this instance, four hours after birth.
Doctors revealed the case Wednesday at an AIDS conference in Boston. The girl was born in suburban Los Angeles last April, a month after researchers announced the first case from Mississippi.
That case was a medical first that led doctors worldwide to rethink how fast and hard to treat infants born with HIV. The California doctors followed that example.
The Mississippi baby is now 3 1/2 and seems HIV-free despite no treatment for about two years. The Los Angeles baby is still getting AIDS medicines, so the status of her infection is not as clear.
A host of sophisticated tests at multiple times suggest the LA baby has completely cleared the virus, said Dr. Deborah Persaud, a Johns Hopkins University physician who led the testing. The baby’s signs are different from what doctors see in patients whose infections are merely suppressed by successful treatment, she said.
“We don’t know if the baby is in remission … but it looks like that,” said Dr. Yvonne Bryson, an infectious disease specialist at Mattel Children’s Hospital UCLA who consulted on the girl’s care.
Doctors are cautious about suggesting she has been cured, “but that’s obviously our hope,” Bryson said.
Most HIV-infected moms in the U.S. get AIDS medicines during pregnancy, which greatly cuts the chances they will pass the virus to their babies. The Mississippi baby’s mom received no prenatal care and her HIV was discovered during labor. So doctors knew that infant was at high risk and started her on treatment 30 hours after birth, even before tests could determine whether she was infected.
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Pregnant woman with flu dies after delivery, Another with flu miscarries

For the second time in one week, a pregnant woman suffered a fatality because of the flu. 
This month, a Florida woman in her 20s who was suffering from the flu, delivered her baby then died when she was unable to be revived. Doctors removed her from life support, a doctor at Merritt Island Walk-in Clinic said. 
It’s become a pandemic in that state and nationwide.
Also last week, another pregnant woman, a 29-year old Arkansas woman fell ill with the flu and then wounded up losing her baby at 21 weeks when her lungs collapsed and she fell into a coma.
The husband of the woman, Leslie Creekmore, in a coma for two weeks, said doctors told him her body had to choose. 
She could have died as the woman in Florida. 
Neither woman  had gotten the flu shot. Leslie’s doctor had recommended she not get the shot so early in her pregnancy.  That advice cost her a baby anyway.
“We’re doing what we can to convince some folks to go and get the flu shot already, Chris Creekmore said.

Utah Fertility Clinic worker swapped out his own semen in place of clients’ (VIDEO)

This is the type of stuff you’d expect to see in a TV criminal drama like Law and Order  or in a Vince Vaughn movie like Delivery Man, but nope this is real life.
A Utah fertility clinic worker swapped his sperm for those of clients using in vitro fertilization and other methods to conceive a child.
Recently, a woman named Pam Branum and her family thought it would be fun to do genetic testing to trace the family’s lineage. During the process, she discovered that her daughter Annie was fathered with semen from Tom Lippert, a former employee of the Reproductive Medical Technologies clinic at the University of Utah. 

Lippert was a  convicted felon who lied about his criminal past when he applied for a job as a college professor and clinic worker.
Apparently, unbeknownst to the the college, Lippert, clearly a deranged individual, was convicted in 1975 of keeping a woman in a black box for three weeks while using electroshock therapy on her. 

Unfortunately, more answers will be hard to come by because the clinic closed in 1992 and Lippert died a few years later in 1999.
But Branum’s discovery sparked the current investigation.
“I commented on the dozens of baby pictures up there,” Branum told a local TV station. “He smiled and looked at those and said those are all the babies that I’ve helped couples have.”
The university set up a hotline for other families worried about potential tampering.
“I’m kind of glad he’s dead,” Branum said. “It kind of puts that part of it to rest.”
Creepy. *shivers*
Watch a local Utah station’s news account of the story:

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