Pregnancy and Lactation Weekly Digest

Pregnancy news for the Week Ending October 15, 2017.

Sleep on your side, not your back in late pregnancy

Pregnant women have been advised to sleep on their sides in the last trimester of pregnancy. Researchers from the University of Auckland have found that foetuses’ hearts were less active when women slept facing upwards as opposed to on their sides. The small-scale study, published in the Journal of Physiology, is the first to monitor unborn babies overnight and at the same time, record the mother’s position during sleep. Read more about it here.

Dangerous trend: The placenta is not suitable as a ‘superfood’

More and more women want to take their own placenta with them after childbirth in order to eat it for “health reasons.” You can read about it here. This phenomenon is growing, especially in the USA, but also in Europe, although physicians are increasingly expressing concerns about it. One example is the gynaecologist Alex Farr from the University Clinic for Gynaecology at the MedUni Vienna, who has now published a recent paper in the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology. Read the article here.

Long epidural infusion had no effect on second-stage labor

Maintaining an epidural for pregnant women through the second stage of labor had no impact on the length of the second stage compared with placebo, a randomized trial found.
Not only duration of labor, but rates of spontaneous vaginal delivery were comparable among pregnant women given an epidural versus women given saline during the second stage of labor, reported XiaoFeng Shen, MD, of Nanjing Medical University in China, and colleagues Read the article here.

Pennsylvania couple sees ‘Jesus’ in ultrasound of baby

A US couple says they can see Jesus Christ watching over their child in a pregnancy ultrasound. The Pennsylvania pair said a man dressed in a robe with a crown of thorns is looking at their baby from the far left of the image. “When they gave it to us, um, to me it’s Jesus,” mother Alicia Zeek told a local news station. Read about it here.

Fever in first trimester of pregnancy increases risk for birth defects, study shows

Fevers in a mother’s first trimester of pregnancy increase the baby’s risk for some heart defects and facial deformities such as cleft lip or palate, but exactly how this happens is unclear. Scientists have debated whether a virus or other infection causes the defects, or if fever alone is the problem. Read more about it here.

The most popular article on The Pulse this week was Premature Rupture Of Membranes (PROM). Read this great article here.

Diego Wyszynski
Dr. Diego Wyszynski is the Founder and CEO of Pregistry. He is an expert on the effects of medications and vaccines in pregnancy and lactation and an accomplished writer, having published 3 books with Oxford University Press and more than 70 articles in medical journals. In 2017, he was selected a TEDMED Research Scholar. Diego attended the University of Buenos Aires School of Medicine and Johns Hopkins School of Public Health.

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