I’d like to take a few moments today to share with you some interesting articles and blog posts which have floated over the air waves in the recent past:
OTIS (Organization of Teratology Information Specialists) recently posted a great piece on their blog about caffeine intake during pregnancy. With Valentine’s Day approaching and heart-shaped, chocolate-filled boxes flying off stores shelves, pregnant women may be wondering whether the amount of caffeine contained in chocolate can harm baby, or increase the risk of miscarriage or preterm birth. OTIS’ blog post does a nice job discussing this concern(see article for details), ending with the following guide:
Dark Chocolate 1.45 oz = 30mg
Milk Chocolate 1.55 oz = 11mg
Coffee 8oz = 137mg
Tea 8oz = 48mg
Soda 12oz = 37mg
Hot Cocoa 12oz = 8-12mg
This recent article from the LA Times discusses the record low rates of teen pregnancies in the state of California—(2009 rate was less than half that of the 1991 teen mother birth rate.)
This study from The British Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology looked at outcomes of attempting “early” versus “late” external cephalic version (ECV) for breech presentation in 1543 women from 68 centers in 21 countries. “Early” was defined as 34-35 weeks. “Late” was defined as 37-38 weeks. The general results suggest that early vs. late ECV “increases the likelihood of cephalic presentation at birth but does not reduce the rate of caesarean section and may increase the rate of preterm birth.” Interestingly, hospital, birth center and home births were represented in the study. ECVs were performed by both obstetricians and midwives (approximately 98 vs. 2 % in each group, respectively).
I remember attending a March of Dimes continuing education seminar a couple years ago here in Montana, in which illicit drug use during pregnancy was the primary topic of discussion. Several L&D nurses stood before the audience, describing women they’d attended in labor who had taken their last hit of their chosen drug in the parking lot of the hospital minutes before being admitted to birth their babies. Here is an interesting article which recently appeared in Reuters, and is based on a study from the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology.
This article on the Medical News Today website discusses a hugely successful study undertaken at the University of California -San Francisco in which in utero surgery to address spina bifida results in far better outcomes for the child later in life. In fact, fetal surgery is nothing new—the first “open fetal surgery” was performed by Dr. Michael Harrison at UCSF 30 years ago. To find out more about the risks and benefits of this type of surgery, you can find the actual study, as published in the New England Journal of Medicine here.
Have you recently read something in the media you’d like to see highlighted on Science & Sensibility? If so, drop me a line.
Posted by: Kimmelin Hull, PA, LCCE