Mother who had stillborn baby says pregnancy sleeping research a life-saver – NZ Herald

Mother who had stillborn baby says pregnancy sleeping research a life-saver – NZ Herald

Why sleeping on your side during that last trimester is so very important –

She said losing two unborn babies shattered her and her husband Dan’s dreams and they wondered if they were capable of having children.

Then, in 2008 Cornwall was invited to participate in the Auckland Stillbirth Study, which interviewed mums who had had stillbirths to identify risk factors during the pregnancy.

University of Auckland professor Lesley McCowan, who led the research that was followed up last year, said the study backed up international research that showed stillbirth was linked to pregnant women going to sleep on their back.

Last year’s research showed that pregnant women who slept on their back from 28 weeks pressed on a major blood vessel which reduced blood flow to the womb and oxygen supply to the baby.

Cornwall said finding this out was life-changing. “There wasn’t a lot of control we had within the pregnancy with Mia [her first child] but the research empowered me with a bit more control over something I could physically do that was easy to help improve my chances of a normal pregnancy.”

Source: Mother who had stillborn baby says pregnancy sleeping research a life-saver – NZ Herald

Gigantic study of Chinese babies yields slew of health data

Gigantic study of Chinese babies yields slew of health data

33,000 little bubs! What an amazing study! –

An ambitious Chinese study tracking tens of thousands of babies and their mothers has begun to bear fruit — just six years after the study’s leaders recruited their first sets of mothers and babies. The Born in Guangzhou Cohort Study has recruited about 33,000 babies and their mothers since 20121. The study’s leaders are hoping to reach 50,000 baby–mother sets by 2020. And this year, investigators started recruiting 5,000 maternal grandmothers to the project, enabling studies across multiple generations.

The cohort’s leaders recruit babies born at the Guangzhou Women and Children’s Medical Center. Only families planning to live in the southern Chinese city for a long time have been recruited, says Xia Huimin, a surgeon at the centre and one of the project’s co-founders. That’s because it is hoped that children will remain in the study from the time they are babies until they are 18 years old.

Researchers are already publishing results. Incense burning is common in southern China, and one study found that exposure to the resulting fumes increases the risk of hypertension in expectant mothers.

Another study found that progesterone, a drug used around the world to reduce the risk of a preterm birth, was prescribed too early in pregnancy in more than 40% of women studied. The researchers found that giving women the drug before 14 weeks of gestation did not reduce their chances of a preterm birth, but put them at higher risk of needing a caesarean section and developing post-partum depression. The authors consider the findings “an urgent public-health concern”.

Source: Gigantic study of Chinese babies yields slew of health data

In Baby Teeth, Links Between Chemical Exposure in Pregnancy and Autism – The New York Times

In Baby Teeth, Links Between Chemical Exposure in Pregnancy and Autism – The New York Times

More research into how important what mum gets exposed to in pregnancy is to the health of a new bub –

Using the teeth that children have shed between the ages of 6 and 12, Dr. Arora said, it’s possible to look back at exposures during fetal development, and at other aspects of early metabolism to see whether children who later go on to develop autism are biologically different early on. In a study published in Science Advances in May, scientists used this technique to compare early zinc and copper metabolism in children with autism with their siblings without autism.

Paul Curtin, an assistant professor of environmental medicine and public health at Mount Sinai who was first author on the study, said that in children with autism, regulation of zinc and copper metabolism shows differences beginning early in the course of fetal development. The point of the study was not to look at whether a child had been externally exposed to these metals, but rather at the internal metabolic rhythms of nutrients and possible toxins, at “what are the dynamics of zinc and copper metabolism, and how are those dysregulated in disease.”

Dr. Arora said this could lead to a biomarker for autism, a diagnostic test which could be administered before a child shows behavioral differences. Could finding ways to correct that disrupted pathway alter a child’s neurodevelopment? “For the first time we have a biochemical pathway which, if we could modify, could have some effects,” Dr. Arora said. “If it turns out to be causal, there might be a therapeutic benefit — I doubt if this is the only pathway in autism, but if it is one of the more important ones, we might have something.”

Source: In Baby Teeth, Links Between Chemical Exposure in Pregnancy and Autism – The New York Times

Babies most likely to be born at 4am, study finds – BBC News

Babies most likely to be born at 4am, study finds – BBC News

Yikes! Hopefully, with that time difference, that means we’re looking at most babies in Australia being born just after lunch… –

Four o’clock in the morning is the time most babies are born spontaneously in England, with the majority arriving between 01:00 and 07:00, a study shows.

While planned C-section births tended to happen on weekday mornings, births after induced labours were more likely to occur around midnight. Overall, more than 70% of births took place outside regular working hours.The analysis of five million births between 2005 and 2014 was carried out by University College London.

Source: Babies most likely to be born at 4am, study finds – BBC News

The Bacteria Babies Need – The New York Times

The Bacteria Babies Need – The New York Times

Why, in bacteria, it matters not just having less of the bad guys but more of the good guys! –

Scientists at the University of California, Davis, have found that a strain of bacteria called B. infantis that is thought to have been the dominant bacterium in the infant gut for all of human history is disappearing from the Western world. According to their research, this was probably caused by the rise in cesarean births, the overuse of antibiotics and the use of infant formula in place of breast milk.

Indeed, nine out of 10 American babies don’t harbor this bacterium in their gut, while researchers suspect that the majority of infants in less industrialized countries do.

Bruce German, a professor of food science and technology and one of the U.C. Davis researchers, says, “The central benefits of having a microbiota dominated by B. infantis is that it crowds all the other guys out” — especially pathogenic bacteria, which can cause both acute illnesses and chronic inflammation that leads to disease.

Source: Opinion | The Bacteria Babies Need – The New York Times

5 Reasons the World Wastes So Much Stuff (and Why It’s Not Just the Consumer’s Fault)

5 Reasons the World Wastes So Much Stuff (and Why It’s Not Just the Consumer’s Fault)

Why every little act to minimise waste counts –

If you need motivation to skip the straw at lunch today, consider this: Scientists found that even Arctic sea ice—far removed from most major metropolitan areas—is no longer plastic-free. According to Dr. Jeremy Wilkinson of the British Antarctic Survey, “this suggests that microplastics are now ubiquitous within the surface waters of the world’s ocean. Nowhere is immune.”

Humanity has a waste problem. Globally, we generate about 1.3 billion tons of trash per year, far more than we can properly process or recycle. This leads to environmental tragedies like ocean plastic pollution and geopolitical tensions, as Western countries search for new places to stash their trash.

Because we waste so much, we must extract unsustainable quantities of natural resources to keep pace with growing consumption. OECD has calculated that flow of materials through acquisition, transportation, processing, manufacturing, use and disposal are already responsible for approximately 50 percent of greenhouse gas emissions. The UN International Resources Panel projects the use of natural resources to more than double by 2050.

How did we get here? In short, most of our global economy is designed for linearity—take, make, waste—rather than circularity.

To create a truly circular economy, the world must overcome the following five barriers:

1. Meeting consumers’ expectations for convenience.

Imagine living your life without producing any trash. How would you do it? Bea Johnson, author of Zero Waste Home, coaches everyday people on how to live a trash-free life through habits like bringing linen bags to the grocery store and buying rice, beans and other staples from bulk bins. The lifestyle she models was typical before disposable, single-use plastic products and packaging became the norm, but today we use 20 times as much plastic as we did 50 years ago. Can we expect consumers to change the way they operate and the types of products they buy? Will they abandon commonplace conveniences like plastic bottles and bags?

Source: 5 Reasons the World Wastes So Much Stuff (and Why It’s Not Just the Consumer’s Fault)