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Pregnant Women May Be at Higher Risk of Traumatic Injury and Death

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One may assume that pregnancy is a phase where much attention is given to a woman to safeguard her, but a recent study reveals some shocking data in contrast to the belief. According to the research data by Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania in the US, pregnant women are twice as likely to be a victim of an assault-related trauma than an accident-related trauma like car accidents or falls, compared to women who are not pregnant. These assault-related injuries, moreover, often lead to death. On the dark side, there are large incidences of violence that occur across the globe, putting the lives of pregnant women in danger.

"The striking results of our study suggest that widespread screening for violence and trauma during pregnancy may provide an opportunity to identify women at risk for death during pregnancy," said lead study author Neha Deshpande from the university. The findings point to an opportunity for intervention to safeguard pregnant women.

About the Study

According to the study, pregnant trauma victims, on an average, suffered less severe injuries than their non-pregnant counterparts. However, despite less severe injuries, pregnant women were nearly twice as likely to be dead when they arrived at the hospital, or die in the hospital. In particular, assault-related trauma was about three times more deadly than accident-related trauma.

For their analysis, the researchers used data from the Pennsylvania Trauma Outcomes Study database, a comprehensive and validated registry which includes records of admissions to all accredited trauma centres in the state. The analysis focused on admissions from 2005 through 2015, and included nearly 45,000 cases of trauma among victims who were defined as women of childbearing age (14-49).

The data also revealed that nearly one in five pregnant women reported a psychiatric illness or arrived at the hospital following a suicide attempt.

"Since the typical definition of maternal deaths includes only those directly caused or impacted by pregnancy, it does not include accidental or incidental causes of death, making it difficult to accurately gauge the burden of trauma-related deaths on maternal mortality," said senior author Corrina Oxford, Assistant Professor at Perelman School of Medicine. "However, evidence presented in our study suggests this is a pervasive issue that requires further attention to ensure these women, and their babies, are being properly cared for," added Oxford.

The findings are scheduled to be presented at the American Congress of Obstetricians & Gynecologists' (ACOG) annual clinical and scientific meeting in San Diego on Sunday.

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Pregnant Women Living in Hot Weather May Fall Prey to Gestational Diabetes

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Can the climate that you inhabit affect your pregnancy? Most of us would not believe but experts have actually been able to draw a correlation between the temperature of the region where you live and the state of your pregnancy. Experts at the St. Michael Hospital in Ontario, Canada studied the effects of climatic conditions on pregnant women. Those who were exposed to an outdoor temperature of more than 24 degrees Celsius or above were more prone (7.7%) to gestational diabetes. Pregnant women living in colder climates were at a lesser risk (4.6%). With every 10 degrees Celsius increase in temperature, the risk also got elevated by 6-9%. The study was published Canadian Medical Association Journal and studied 555,911 births among 396,828 women living in Canada over a 12-year period (2002 to 2014).

"Many would think that in warmer temperatures, women are outside and more active, which would help limit the weight gain in pregnancy that predisposes a woman to gestational diabetes," said lead author Gillian Booth, a researcher at St Michael Hospital in Ontario, Canada.

Some of the previously conducted studies have linked colder climates with enhanced metabolism as the brown adipose tissue gets activated in colder temperature and facilitates calories burning, increasing metabolism and better management of insulin.

Experts found that women born in cooler climates who were exposed to cold temperatures during pregnancy had a gestational diabetes rate of 3.6 per cent, while those exposed to hot temperatures had a rate of gestational diabetes of 6.3 per cent.

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Preeclampsia- The Characteristic High Blood Pressure in Pregnant Women May Up Stroke Risk By 6 times

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Preeclampsia is a high-blood pressure disorder which is unique to pregnancy and develops about 3 to 8% of all pregnant women. According to latest study, it ties alongside it a potential risk of stroke.
According to the study, one in 10 pregnant women may be six times more at a risk of having a stroke during or after childbirth, as compared to normal women.

Women suffering from Preeclampsia commonly complain about high blood pressure, swollen feet, ankles and face and severe headaches. If the current findings published in the journal Stroke are to be believed, Preeclampsia patients have another cause of worry added to their health concern list.

The lead author Eliza C Miller, postdoctoral student at Columbia University in the US said that conditions like chronic hypertension, bleeding or clotting disorders, or urinary tract infections may be at an increased risk of stroke.

Explaining the mechanism behind it the study says, that infections causes inflammation, which can contribute significantly in triggering a stroke, especially amongst the young people.

The study explained that Preeclampsia is an inflammatory disorder, and it could be the infections that could put the woman on the radar of risk.

Researchers analysed health records of 197 women who had a preeclampsia-related stroke and 591 women with preeclampsia who did not have a stroke, as part of their study. They found that the occurrence of attacks and stroke in women suffering from preeclampsia was over 200 per 100,000 deliveries, and more than one in 10 women in the study who had a preeclampsia-related stroke died in the hospital.

Alongside that data, Miller mentioned that it was crucial to take into account that the risk of stroke in women with preeclampsia doesn't end with delivery. And that nearly two-thirds of preeclampsia-related strokes trigger after birth, when the mothers are discharged from the wards.

She also advised, women with preeclampsia to not take any neurological symptoms, such as severe headache, very seriously, especially during the postpartum period.

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Listen Up Mommies To Be: Loading Up On Vitamin D May Protect Your Newborns From Asthma

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Increased Vitamin D intake in pregnancy may shield newborns from respiratory infections and asthma, according to a new study. Lead researcher of the study published in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology, Catherine Hawrylowicz from King's College London said, "The majority of all asthma cases are diagnosed in early childhood implying that the origin of the disease stems in foetal and early life."

For the study the team looked at the effect of taking a supplement of 4,400 IU (International Unit) vitamin D3 per day during the second and third trimesters of pregnancy versus the recommended daily intake (RDI) of 400 IU/day, had on the immune system of the newborn. The researchers posited,that an increased intake in the pregnancy may prove beneficial to slight degree, by improving immune response of the infant.

The strong immune responses in early life, has been linked with decreased development of respiratory ailments like asthma in later life. With the new findings, the team believes that the desirous effect will lead to into an improved respiratory health of the child.

Hawrylowicz said, "Studies to date that have investigated links between vitamin D and immunity in the baby have been observational. For the first time, we have shown that higher Vitamin D levels in pregnancy can effectively alter the immune response of the newborn baby, which could help to protect the child from developing asthma,"

Hawrylowicz added, that further studies and research in the domain shall reveal the long-term impact of the intake on the immunity and overall respiratory health of the newborn.

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Ladies, Take Note! Most Women Don't Have Healthy Weight During Pregnancy

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Pregnancy is an extremely critical phase in a woman's life. The mother-to-be needs to take care of her nutrition as well as ensure optimum health of the fetus. Maintaining an ideal weight has always been a bus that most pregnant seemed to have missed. While many people are fed double of what they should actually be consuming during pregnancy, most others don't take care of their diet due to their fear of gaining weight. A recent Australian study notes that most pregnant women are not at their ideal weight during pregnancy. They are either obese or underweight.
A whopping 1.3 million pregnant women were examined from all across the world to conclude that more than half of them gained too much weight during pregnancy while a quarter did not gain enough weight. Experts enumerate the dangers and delivery complications tied to both underweight and overweight pregnant women. Obese pregnant women were at a greater risk of caesarean delivery while women with inadequate weight were susceptible to premature delivery. Women who started at a higher weight were more likely to gain weight quicker as the pregnancy progressed.

"You should not put on any weight in the first trimester, a little in the second trimester and just a little more in the third. You should only increase your calorie intake by a small amount. You are not eating for two," Helena Teede, lead researchers, Monash University was quoted by IANS.
After analysing more than 5,300 international studies on pregnant women it was found that at the beginning of pregnancy 38 percent of women were overweight or obese, 55 percent had normal weight and 7 percent were underweight.

pregnancyThe ultimate pregnancy diet is nothing but a timely and well-balanced supply of all nutrients

Undeniably, diet is of the utmost importance during pregnancy. One can't let slip-ups happen. Most women think that since they are carrying, they need to be eating for two - which is just a grave misconception. The ultimate pregnancy diet is nothing but a timely and well-balanced supply of all nutrients. This would ideally include protein - 0.5g/day of additional protein in the first trimester. Iron and calcium are the other two extremely vital nutrients during pregnancy.

"During the entire pregnancy period, an additional 760 mg of iron is needed. The recommended intake of calcium during pregnancy is 200 mg/day," noted Dr. Tamanna Narang, Nutritionist at Alternacare.

Consult your medical expert for a tailor-made diet plan to best suit your needs.

Dr. Mukund Ghodke
Dr. Mukund Ghodke
BAMS, Ayurveda Panchakarma, 10 yrs, Pune
Dr. Manisha Dandekar
Dr. Manisha Dandekar
BAMS, Ayurveda, 25 yrs, Pune
Dr. Sivasubramanian
Dr. Sivasubramanian
MD - Allopathy, Dermatologist, 6 yrs, Dharmapuri
Dr. Shrikant Choudhari
Dr. Shrikant Choudhari
MS/MD - Ayurveda, General Surgeon, 6 yrs, Pune
Dr. Rohit Patil
Dr. Rohit Patil
MDS, Dentist Implantologist, 5 yrs, Pune
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