** The March of Dimes, in collaboration with the American College of Nurse-Midwives, American Academy of Pediatrics, American Academy of Family Physicians, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, Association of Women’s Health, Obstetric and Neonatal Nurses, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, is organizing a Prematurity Prevention Symposium scheduled to take place on January 19-20, 2012, at the Omni Shoreham Hotel in Washington, DC.
The Symposium will provide a forum to share and review lessons learned from various collaboratives, prematurity prevention efforts and intervention programs. This Symposium will also launch the Prematurity Prevention Network where those interested in the health of women and infants can continue the discussions started at the Symposium, to share ideas and help each other address the important problem of prematurity.
For more information, and to register for the symposium, click here.
** New Research out of the Canadian Medical Association is re-examining the association between NSAID use in early pregnancy and risk of spontaneous abortion (SAB). The odds ratios from this study (statistics that demonstrate the likelihood of exposure to a risky substance or event for “cases” versus “controls”) was quite high—suggesting a strong link between NSAID use and SAB. One interesting postulation the study authors make is the potential linkage between use of NSAIDS to treat cramping, and subsequent miscarriage.
My addition to this postulation: Many women will experience some mild to moderate implantation cramping when a newly fertilized egg finds its way to the uterine wall and subsequently burrows into the endometrium. Perhaps the use of NSAIDS to treat this cramping can result in a miscarriage that might not have otherwise happened. For women who are concertedly trying for pregnancy (recalling that only 50% of pregnancies are statistically planned): advice from a woman’s care provider to avoid NSAID use if possible, during the last two weeks of their cycle (ovulation, onward) may serve this population well.
** The San Francisco Gate recently reported on a new study out of the NYU School of Medicine which looked at risk for emotional and behavioral problems in children ages 5-17 when one or both of their parents exhibited depressive symptoms. Much research up until now has appropriately focused on maternal depressive disorders, including postpartum depression and other related perinatal mood disorders, and their implication on children’s mental health wellness. This significant study, including 22,000 study subjects, suggests that while their seems to be a greater down-stream effect when a mother exhibits (untreated) depressive symptoms, paternal depression is also a risk factor for childhood development of behavioral problems, as exemplified in this summary from the SF Gate article:
"The ﬁndings also indicate that the risks of child emotional or behavioral problems are much greater if mothers, rather than fathers, have such problems. Paternal mental health problems are independently associated with a 33 percent to 70 percent increased risk, depending on how assessed, whereas maternal mental health problems are associated with a 50 percent to 350 percent increased risk. Most striking, we believe, is the increase in child emotional or behavioral problems when both parents have such problems, with 25 percent of children living in such homes having behavioral or emotional problems.”
For the childbirth educator, this information that suggests the importance of recognizing mood disorders in mothers and fathers can be easily incorporated into discussions pertaining to postpartum topics when (hopefully!) perinatal mood disorders are covered.
** And lastly, huge congratulations go out to Dr. Michael Lu who was recently interviewed by S&S contributor, Walker Karraa. Dr. Lu has been appointed the position of Associate Administrator of the Maternal & Child Health Bureau (MCHB). The MCHB is an office within the Health Resources and Services Administration, which is a branch of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. MCHB oversees the Block Grant Program of Title V of the Social Security Act, the Healthy Start Program, Universal Newborn Hearing Screening, Emergency Medical Services for Children, Sickle Cell Services and Family to Family Information Centers.
In recent years there has been increasingly wide-spread concern over Maternal & Child Health being so focused on the child…that the mothers in the equation are receiving less attention than they deserve. Perhaps then, with an OBGYN whose career has been dedicated to both maternal and child wellness, we will see some changes rolling out to equalize the distribution of research and programming efforts.
Posted by: Kimmelin Hull, PA, LCCE, FACCE