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Ten pregnant women were asked to exercise enough to leave them slightly short of breath at least three times a week, all in various forms. Then a second group didn’t exercise and were only slightly active for ten minutes a week.
Once the babies were born their brain activity was measured by putting caps with electrodes on to the babies’ heads. As the babies slept in ther mothers arms, a beeping noise was repeatedly played, occasionally with a second sound being played as well. Brain activity showed that the babies of the women who had exercised found it easier to distiguish between the two sounds – this is a sign of maturity and would suggest that their brains were more developed.
Other research also has previously suggested that exercise during pregnancy could also be boosting the heart health of their baby in later life!
There aren’t many people who haven’t heard of or experienced post-natal depression to some extend but a lesser known affliction that really needs to be highlighted more is antenatal depression, which occurs during pregnancy.
This horrible condition, which an estimated 10% of women suffer from, turns joyous anticipation of an amazing event into into a negative pit of blackness.
We all know that pregnancy is an emotional time anyway, with hormones sometimes creating extreme mood swings. However, for many women, this can lead to feelings of anxiety about how good a mother they will be when the baby finally arrives, along with worries that the mothering instinct or sixth sense just won’t be there. All of these feelings can build up and trigger antenatal depression.
There is also an issue with emotional support. During pregnancy, women are screened and checked for their physical health, the babies health and growth but very rarely are they ever asked how they are coping emotionally with everything that is happening and going to happen in the near future. This can lead to feelings of isolation and, sometimes, inadequacy.
And, of course, in this age of multi social medias there was an underlying pressure on all women, including pregnant women, to look amazing at all times. We are literally swamped with images of celebritites never looking anything less than fabulous and for some women, the fact that they may not live up to this image can exacerbate any negative feelings that may already be bubbling under the surface.
The condition can, unfortunately, strike at any time and can’t be attributed to any one trimester of pregnancy and it can be triggered by any feeling, event or situation that bring on negative emotions. Thankfully, though, antenatal depression can disappear quite quickly after birth (for a small number of women who are pre-disposed to depression they may go on to have post-natal depression). It is thought that antenatal depression is predominantly an issue for first pregnancies but that’s not to say that some women won’t go on to experience it during the second and third as well.
So, what symptoms should we look out for?
- Constant tears and feeling sad
- Problems concentrating and insomnia
- Feeling anxious
- Irritability with yourself and everyone else
- Lack of appetite
- Severe tiredness and not wanting to get out of bed
- Problems with going out and being in social situations
If you feel that you may be suffering from antenatal depression you should make an appointment with your doctor and tell him/her exactly how you’re feeling and why you think you might be feeling that way. The doctor then knows what they’re dealing with and how to best help you.
Talking also helps – talk to your partner, a friend, family members. Just speaking about it can help but don’t use that as a substitute to visiting the doctor, do both!
Keep a diary where you can record your most intimate thoughts, even if you don’t want to say them out loud, and you can read back through your entries and see which days were worse and what triggered the feelings you experienced.
The most important thing is to look after you (emotionally and physically) and your baby and if you would like any further information about antenatal depression, here are a few links for you to read:
Nitrogen oxides and fine particles that traffic produce increase the risk of a low birth rate by 20%. Furthermore, the effects can still be felt at levels well below those imposed by EU directives.
The findings have left experts calling for new measures to reduce levels of certain particles.
Before this, pregnant women exposed to traffic-related air pollution has been linked to pre-eclampsia, and also to asthma and autism in babies.
The study has shown that women are afraid that in the current economic climate they are putting their long-term career prospects at risk by taking the time off. Three quarters of women said that their chances of promotion got worse after having a baby, and a third believe that they are being passed over for other colleagues because they’re of child bearing age.
In this study only 5% of women have said that when they returned to work they got a rise in salary compared to the two thirds who came back to a lower wage.
And finally, more than half the women studied said they returned to work sooner than they wanted because of money worries, while four out of five admit to have got into finiancial problems during their time off.
On the flip side of the coin, the article, which was published today in the Mail also published readers comments and one employer put their point across very succinctly, I thought. Matthew from Peterborough said:
“This article tries to make out that employers are breaking the law, however, there is another side to the story. As an employer I find maternity leave very disruptive for several reasons 1) you don’t get much useful work from the lady before the baby is born because of morning sickness / doctors’ appointments / hospital scans etc. 2) it is very difficult to recruit someone to fill the role during maternity leave because few people are prepared to take a role that can only last a maximum of a year, and 3) most times the lady does not come back to work after all, or if she does come back her attendance record is usually poor as young babies are always ill for various reasons. So yes, I always inwardly groan when a lady announces that she is pregnant as it means that a) I will have to recruit and train a temporary worker or b) failing that, I will have to try to do the job myself until the lady lets me know whether she is coming back to work or not.”
I guess when information like this comes to light it’s good to get both sides of the argument but as a new mum who had to come out of maternity leave early I know which side of the debate I idnetify with most!
Scientists tracked babies born in the eighties and found that their height during adolescence was directly related to how much milk their mothers drank in pregnancy, and this latest research would siggest that the benefits continue well into early adulthood.
The kids tracked in the study were also found to have higher levels of insulin in their system which would suggest that they’re less likely to suffer from type 2 diabetes.
Further to this, earlier in the year British scientists found that pregnant women could boost their childs IQ by drinking more milk which is rich in iodine.
Well ladies, nothing else for it, time to get drinking!
One theory is that breastfeeding deprives the body of progesterone, which is known to desensitise the brain’s oestrogen receptors, making it more difficult for oestrogen to protect the brain against Alzheimer’s. While another possibility is that breastfeeding increases a woman’s glucose tolerance by restoring her insulin sensitivity after pregnancy.
This was a preliminary study and, despite the good news, it did also find that the benefits were much less for women who had a parent or sibling with dementia.
If you want to read more on the this subject then why not check out the full article in the Daily Mail: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-2384955/Mothers-breastfeed-slash-risk-developing-Alzheimer-s-TWO-THIRDS-claims-study.html
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Over 120 women carrying low-growth babies will be given a generic version of viagra whloe pregnant, while a second group will be given a placebo. The tests will be carried out in New Zealand and Australia but there are plans to begin a similar trial in the coming years.
At the moment there is no treatment for this condition but to deliver the baby once it is in danger but the hope is that the drug will enhance foetal growth and delay delivery it will improve babies survival rates and reduce the many complications that can lead to life-long disability or disease.
Findings from the trial are likely to become available in early 2017
The focus is on the bedding here! Yes, you must buy bed sheets and bedding items keeping the environment in mind. Most bedding products in the market are manufactured using non- biodegradable material and hazardous dyes, plastics and chemicals. You wonder why not to use a cotton bed sheet that sounds healthy and comfortable.
Where the problem lies?
A great amount of pesticides is used in growing cotton and several such crops, which cause an immense harm in long run. Those pesticides run off of plants, through fields, and into water supplies. Across the globe, a variety of pesticides are to blame for diseases and death, nonetheless this practice has not yet been bunged.
Thankfully, we have an option that is pesticide-free, organic and quick to grow! Bamboo is the latest discovery that is healthy to use and have a number of green benefits.
Why bed sheets made from bamboo can be called green?
Bamboo is a crop that grows rapidly once harvested, it takes merely 3-4 months to grow it back to its original height. This is why it is amongst the fastest growing plants in the world.
Amazing but true… bamboo does not require pesticides or chemicals to cultivate and is 100% bio-degradable. That means no landfill space required.
Bamboo bed sheets are not only healthy for the planet but also for you as it has certain hypoallergenic qualities that keep you protected from allergy causing germs.
Do you know what is the best part of owning a bamboo bedding? That it is far more budgetary that owning a silk or cashmere bedding. So, given a serious thought about organic bamboo bedding, it can be said that it is soft, supple, and luxurious; you have the bedding that is good for the earth, your health, and your budget.
Hence, undoubtedly, a bamboo sheet wins the battle and is the greenest bedding option available in the market. Next time you are out for shopping for your bedding or linen, you will take no time to discover that bamboo is the one material that makes sense from every angle.