Pregnancy, Parenting and Other Articles

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'Sugar gel' helps premature babies

A dose of sugar given as a gel rubbed into the inside of the cheek is a cheap and effective way to protect premature babies against brain damage, say experts. Dangerously low blood sugar affects about one in 10 babies born too early. Untreated, it can cause permanent harm. Researchers from New Zealand tested the gel therapy in 242 babies under their care and, based on the results, say it should now be a first-line treatment. More...

Tags:Baby Health

Does a glass of wine harm baby? Why all the advice about pregnancy is wrong

The economist Emily Oster, on becoming pregnant, was surprised by how woolly much of the medical advice was – how restrictive, and how many of the restrictions seemed to be without foundation. "The key to good decision?making," she writes, "is taking information, the data, and combining it with your own estimates of pluses and minuses." Naturally, as anyone who has been pregnant will know, that is the exact opposite of the way things work: you are given no data, you are told which decision is the best, and if you ask about data, the medics give you a look as if to say: "One more smart alec remark and it's the child-protection register for you, chum." More...

Tags:Pregnancy,Pregnancy Care

Pregnant women compelled to clean, study suggests

Pregnant women are actually driven to clean and organize because of an adaptive behaviour from humanity’s history, according to a new study from McMaster University. It's commonly known as nesting, and it’s characterized by unusual bursts of energy and a compulsion to organize the home, which researchers say stems from an evolutionary mechanism to protect and prepare for the unborn baby. “Nesting is not a frivolous activity,” says Marla Anderson, lead author of the study and a graduate student in the Department of Psychology, Neuroscience and Behaviour.  More...

Tags:Pregnancy

Yaz, Yasmin birth control pills suspected in 23 deaths

At least 23 Canadian women who were taking two of the most commonly prescribed birth control pills in the world have died, CBC News has learned. According to documents obtained from Health Canada, doctors and pharmacists say Yaz and Yasmin are suspected in the deaths of the women, who mostly died suddenly from blood clots. More...

Diabetes warning over soft drinks

Drinking one or more cans of sugary soft drinks a day is linked to an increased risk of diabetes in later life, a study suggests. A can a day raises the relative risk of Type-2 diabetes by about a fifth, compared with one can a month or under, say European scientists. The report in the journal Diabetologia mirrors previous US findings. A diabetes charity recommends limiting sugary foods and drinks as they are calorific and can cause weight gain. More...

Breast cancer trials 'failing to save younger patients'

A lack of clinical trials aimed at younger breast cancer patients could be partly to blame for longer-term survival problems, experts believe. The study, funded by Cancer Research UK and the Wessex Cancer Trust, analysed nearly 3,000 women under 40 in the UK with diagnosed breast cancer. It found a rapid rise in relapse after five years in younger patients with a certain type of the cancer. This contrasts with what normally happens with the disease. The data, published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute, showed that survival five years after diagnosis was 85%. By the eight-year mark it was 68%. More...

Neuron growth in children 'leaves no room for memories'

The reason we struggle to recall memories from our early childhood is down to high levels of neuron production during the first years of life, say Canadian researchers. The formation of new brain cells increases the capacity for learning but also clears the mind of old memories. The findings were presented to the Canadian Association of Neuroscience. An expert at City University in London said the mouse study called into question some psychological theories. Neurogenesis, or the formation of new neurons in the hippocampus - a region of the brain known to be important for learning and remembering, reaches its peak before and after birth. More...

Tags:Kids Care

Weight loss gut bacterium found

Bacteria that live in the gut have been used to reverse obesity and Type-2 diabetes in animal studies.Research, published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, showed that a broth containing a single species of bacteria could dramatically alter the health of obese mice. It is thought to change the gut lining and the way food is absorbed. Similar tests now need to be take place in people to see if the same bacteria can be used to shed the pounds. The human body is teeming with bacteria - the tiny organisms outnumber human cells in the body 10 to one. More...

Smoking 'poses bigger risk to women'

Smoking may pose a bigger health threat to women than men, say researchers. Women who smoke have a higher risk of cancer than men, Norwegian investigators found. They looked at the medical records of 600,000 patients and discovered the bowel cancer risk linked to smoking was twice as high in women than men.Female smokers had a 19% increased risk of the disease while male smokers had a 9% increased risk Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention reports. In the study, nearly 4,000 of the participants developed bowel cancer. Women who started smoking when they were 16 or younger and those who had smoked for decades were at substantially increased risk of bowel cancer. More...

10 Best Ways to Feed Your Baby

How to get your baby to eat healthy foods, plus three nutritious foods your kids should eat. If you appreciate delicious, healthy foods, there's nothing more satisfying than watching your child discover the joys of eating. But how do you cultivate a kid who prefers fruit to french fries and doesn't turn her nose up at broccoli and salmon? Short answer: Start now.  More...

Prostate cancer: Case to test men in their 40s

Men could be offered a screening test for prostate cancer in their late 40s, a study suggests.The idea is controversial as prostate specific antigen (PSA) testing can be unreliable, throwing up false positive results that can cause undue worry and even treatment over something benign.Swedish researchers say checking every man aged 45-49 would predict nearly half of all prostate cancer deaths. A recent prostate cancer screening trial in Europe, ERSPC, showed that screening reduced mortality by 20%. However, this was associated with a high level of "over treatment". To save one life, 48 additional cases of prostate cancer needed to be treated. More...

Beetroot 'can lower blood pressure'

Drinking a cup of beetroot juice can lower blood pressure, researchers say. Drinking 250ml (8oz) cut high blood pressure readings by 10mm of mercury (mmHg) in a study of 15 patients, bringing some into the normal range, the journal Hypertension reports. Most marked after three to six hours, the effect was detectable a day later. Scientists say the nitrate in beetroot widens blood vessels to aid flow. And many people with angina use a nitrate drug to ease their symptoms. More...

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