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Doctors and scientists have been trying for years to learn what causes preeclampsia, a common complication of pregnancy characterized by high blood pressure and protein in the urine, and a major cause of premature delivery and maternal and fetal deaths. A new study found that molecules that send detrimental signals are abundant in the placentas and umbilical cords of preeclampsia patients.
During pregnancy, the placenta functions like a trading post of sorts: Inside the pancake-shaped organ, maternal and fetal blood is trucked through, nutrients and oxygen are delivered to the developing fetus, and waste products are shipped out for disposal. All of that life-sustaining traffic requires a multitude of molecular signals, and the study zeroed in on the bad signals that may be involved in preeclampsia.
Researchers compared protein levels in samples from placentas and umbilical cords of 10 women who had experienced preeclampsia and 10 who had not. They found that proteins that signal both cell stress and cell death were significantly higher in samples taken from the women who had experienced preeclampsia. The researchers say that the increase in those factors could reduce nutrient transport and send bad signals to the maternal vascular system, which circulates blood. These circulating factors may also pass the placental barrier and affect the fetus.
In addition to analyzing which molecules were more pronounced in preeclampsia, the researchers looked at the effects of the syndrome on study participants’ babies. They found that the average hospital stay for preeclampsia babies was significantly longer: Those newborns stayed six days on average, while the babies born to mothers without preeclampsia stayed a little over three days on average.
Now that the molecular signal problems have been discovered, the focus will shift to finding ways to therapeutically block them one day to prevent preeclampsia.
Full story. Annals of Internal Medicine article Sept 2014 Low-Dose Aspirin Use for the Prevention of Morbidity and Mortality From Preeclampsia: U.S. Preventive Services Task Force Recommendation Statement
As a single mother of an 8-year-old daughter, Sandy was shocked when she found out she was having triplets! “Like many other “surprised” parents, I scoured the internet for any and all information I could find. When I discovered MOST’s webpage it became one of my main “go to” resources for all things related to my pregnancy and babies.
This summer I became overwhelmed with the expenses of a family of five, especially three very active and hungry growing triplet boys and the cost of summer daycare. I found myself falling behind on my bills and was out of options on how to get caught up. I work 45+ hours a week so, unfortunately, I wasn’t eligible for any state or local aid. I’m not a person to ask for handouts, but I remembered reading how MOST was able to help families in need at Christmas and decided to send a note to see if there were any programs I might qualify for. I was so grateful when I received a check in the amount to cover one month of my mortgage. It was above and beyond what I was expecting and a huge load off my stress level!
It’s still a struggle, but as the boys are getting older, more independent and helpful, I’m starting to see a glimpse of normalcy and calm in my future. And when they start full day pre-K next year, it will feel like I won the lottery with what I’ll save on childcare! I promise to “pay it forward” to MOST in order to help another single mom who may also be experiencing a temporary struggle or setback.
I’m so grateful for MOST. There are so few resources out there for families like ours, and it’s nice to know that we have a place to go to get help from people who know – from experience – what our challenges are every day. I feel so lucky and blessed to have found them.”
A forever fan,
Please help MOST continue to help families like the Sandy’s by making a donation online today. Or you may call the MOST office at 631-859-1110. We’d love to hear from you! Thank you.
Read more family stories on our blog.
MOST wishes to thank the Campbell family for supporting multiple birth families through their donation celebrating their triplets 27th birthday.
Most people know that smoking during pregnancy is a bad idea. The CDC warns that smoking during pregnancy can increase the likelihood of a miscarriage, Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS), and certain birth defects like a cleft lip or palate, and premature birth.
New research, published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) Psychiatry in July, is adding “conduct disorders” to that list of health risks. Mothers who smoked during pregnancy were more likely to have children who had behavioral issues, the study found.
“The evidence is emerging that smoking in pregnancy and the frequency of smoking in pregnancy is correlated with developmental outcomes after (children) are born,” senior author Gordon Harold, professor of developmental psychopathology at the University of Leicester in England, said.
The CDC estimates that 13 percent of women smoked during their last three months of pregnancy. A 2012 survey conducted by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) showed that an even higher amount, 21.8 percent of white women aged 15 to 44, smoked while pregnant. Black and Hispanic women’s rates lingered around 14.2 and 6.5 percent respectively.
Becoming a young adult is exciting, difficult, and scary for both parents and teens. It is a time of increasing independence and change, no matter what the situation.
August 1st – 7th is World Breastfeeding Week. This year’s theme: Breastfeeding: A Winning Goal – For Life! asserts the importance of increasing and sustaining the protection, promotion and support of breastfeeding.
MOST has several resources available to families who want to breastfeed their multiples.
“This was my first and only pregnancy and I was terrified. The first few weeks, of what would ultimately be 291 days in the NICU, were simply a blur as I dealt with the shock of such an early and traumatic delivery. Two of my girls faired pretty well, all things considered. My third seemed to bear the brunt of their extremely preterm birth. No one expected her to live the first few days but weeks passed and she defied the odds, my worries switched from whether or not she would live to what kind of life she would have. Would she walk and talk? Would she go to school, play sports or dance? Or would the issues she was facing as an infant prohibit her from living a “typical” life.
MOST connected me with another mom whose support gave me hope. Her situation mirrored mine in several ways, with one of her boys struggling far worse than the other two. She was three years down the road and talking with her, hearing that the unknown is scary but it could be handled and that I would come out stronger than I ever knew, that is what got me through. Maybe I would not have the family I envisioned with three healthy children running around my home, but we would be a family. We might be carting around an oxygen tank and a feeding bag or two, but you learn, you adapt and you realize that there is always hope, no matter what the ultimate outcome may be.
Hope was the greatest gift I could have been given and even when we did ultimately lose my daughter at 14 months old, I thought I didn’t belong in the HOM community anymore. I didn’t feel like a twin mom either and honestly considered dropping out of my same age triplet group. But it was the MOST community that continued to embrace me, lift me up and reminded me that I still was and always would be a triplet mom.” – Keira
After her daughter’s death, Keira was connected to MOST’s Lost Angels, a private support group for families who have experienced a loss to help them through their time of grief.
Please help MOST continue to help families like the Keira’s by making a donation online today. Or you may call the MOST office at 631-859-1110. We’d love to hear from you! Thank you.
“MOST wishes to thank the Teresa DeVirgilio-Lam for supporting multiple birth families through her donation celebrating her triplets graduation.
MOST wishes to thank the Lisanti family for supporting multiple birth families through their donation in honor of their family.
Every family needs routines. They help to organize life and keep it from becoming too chaotic. Children do best when routines are regular, predictable, and consistent.
One of a family’s greatest challenges is to establish comfortable, effective routines, which should achieve a happy compromise between the disorder and confusion that can occur without them, and the rigidity and boredom that can come with too much structure and regimentation, where children are given no choice and little flexibility.
Parents seem to affect their kids’ physical activities in three ways — by acting as role models, by helping kids be active (by taking them to the park, for instance), and by being active with them. “All three aspects are thought to be important,” Esther van Sluijs, group leader, said, “but it has generally been unclear how directly mother and child’s physical activity are related.”
In the study, the researchers used devices called accelerometers to track 554 children, all 4 years old, and their mothers for as many as seven days. “The more activity a mother did, the more active her child,” van Sluijs noted.
Specifically, for every single minute of moderate-to-vigorous activity that the mother did, her child was more likely to do 10 percent more of a similar level of activity. Those extra minutes add up over time, according to researchers.
“If activity in mothers and children can be encouraged or incorporated into daily activities so that more time is spent moving, activity levels are likely to increase in both,” van Sluijs said. “In return, this is likely to have long-term health benefits for both.”
Another expert focused on the issue of fathers and what role they might play.
“This is a big question not addressed here,” said Leann Birch, a professor at the University of Georgia’s department of foods and nutrition who studies children and obesity. But, she said, research on parenting suggests that fathers tend to engage in more rough-and-tumble and high-action play with kids than mothers.
Also, she said, “some of our own work showed that reported activity by dads was more important than by moms in predicting the activity of daughters, especially in organized sports during later childhood.”
Adapted from an article in Medline Plus.