In pregnant women with COVID-19, sex of fetus may influence maternal and placental immune response and neonatal immune protection

In pregnant women who tested positive for SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, male placentas demonstrated significantly higher levels of certain genes and proteins associated with increased immune activation compared with female placentas, according to a new study published in Science Translational Medicine.

Many Mothers May Have Delayed or Abandoned Plans for Additional Children Because of COVID-19 Pandemic

Nearly half of New York City mothers who had been trying to become pregnant again before the coronavirus pandemic began stopped in the first few months of the outbreak, a new study shows.

Do a Mom’s Medications Affect Her Breast Milk and Baby? New Center Investigates

UC San Diego School of Medicine receives $6.1M to launch a new research center studying the effects of maternal antibiotic use on breast milk and infant health. The center is funded by National Institutes of Health, as part of their new Maternal and Pediatric Precision in Therapeutics (MPRINT) Hub.

Enzyme Could Be Major Driver of Preeclampsia

A new study by UT Southwestern scientists indicates that an enzyme called protein phosphatase 2 (PP2A) appears to be a major driver of preeclampsia, a dangerous pregnancy complication characterized by the development of high blood pressure and excess protein in the urine. The finding, published in Circulation Research, could lead to new treatments for preeclampsia other than premature delivery, which is often the only option.

‘Leaky’ Heart Valves in Pregnant Women Need More Attention Than Once Thought, Study Suggests

An analysis of more than 20,000 individual medical records suggests that a form of heart valve disease thought to be relatively benign during pregnancy may put women at risk for serious bleeding, high blood pressure, organ damage and other complications during childbirth, according to research from Johns Hopkins Medicine.

Two UAlbany Studies Find Links Between Neighborhood Risk and Birth Outcomes, and Maternal Depression and Gestational Diabetes

Two new studies released by the University at Albany School of Public Health shed light on different factors impacting the health of mothers and newborns, with one study finding a link between neighborhood risk and birth outcomes, and a second indicating a relationship between maternal depression and gestational diabetes.

Maternal obesity during pregnancy linked to higher risk of colorectal cancer in adult offspring

Infants whose mothers were obese during pregnancy may have a heightened risk of developing colorectal cancer later in life, according to new research led by public health experts at The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston (UTHealth).

Online, Video-Based Exercise Program Can Help with Postpartum Abdominal Bulge and Back Pain

A study at HSS finds that an online, video-based core exercise program can help with a condition many women experience after childbirth. Diastasis recti causes the abdominal bulge that often occurs after giving birth and may be associated with low back pain and urinary incontinence.

Teens who use cannabis frequently more likely to have premature baby, study suggests

Teenagers who use cannabis frequently may be more likely to have children born preterm, when they become parents up to twenty years later, finds a new University of Bristol-led study. The research, published in Scientific Reports, repeatedly assessed 665 participants in a general population cohort on their tobacco and cannabis use between ages 14 to 29 years, before pregnancy.

NIH award to tackle early infant morbidity due to increasing incidences of food allergies

A Wayne State University School of Medicine researcher has been awarded a $1.93 million, five-year grant by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases of the National Institutes of Health to study the impact of maternal immunoglobulin D (IgD) transferred to the fetus during pregnancy and its impact on protecting against food allergies.

UIC researchers awarded $9.9M for Black midwives program

A new health care program developed by University of Illinois Chicago researchers and Melanated Group Midwifery Care, or MGMC, that aims to combat disparities that affect maternal and infant outcomes for Black pregnant people has received $9.9 million in funding. The five-year award was granted by the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute, or PCORI, an independent, nonprofit organization authorized by Congress in 2010 to fund research that will provide patients, their caregivers, and clinicians with evidence-based information needed to make better-informed health care decisions.

The CDC recommended that pregnant people be vaccinated against COVID-19. Learn more from BIDMC’s Dr. Ai-ris Collier, who has led research evaluating the immunogenicity of COVID-19 mRNA vaccines.

Ai-ris Collier, MD, a Maternal-Fetal Medicine specialist at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, is available for expert comment regarding the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s recommendation that pregnant people be vaccinated against COVID-19. Dr. Collier has led research published…

Rat Model of Preeclampsia Gives new Insight into Immunological Changes during Pregnancy

Article title: Immunological comparison of pregnant Dahl salt-sensitive and Sprague-Dawley rats commonly used to model characteristics of preeclampsia Authors: Erin B. Taylor, Eric M. George, Michael J. Ryan, Michael R. Garrett, Jennifer M. Sasser From the authors: “The current study…

Wisconsin bioethics project chronicles pregnancy, substance use disorder and the law

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) is embarking on a massive research project to shed light on early child development, including the health and developmental implications of opioid use during pregnancy. The very first task is to ensure the study — the HEALthy Brain and Child Development study (HBCD) — is on solid legal and ethical ground.

Co-locating Contraceptive Services & Opioid Treatment Programs May Help Prevent Unintended Pregnancy

More than 75% of women with Opioid Use Disorder report having had an unintended pregnancy, but they are less likely to use effective contraception compared to women who do not use drugs. Results from a multi-year trial found that a two-part intervention featuring co-located contraceptive services in opioid treatment programs and financial incentives could offer an effective solution.

New Chair Named for Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology & Reproductive Sciences

After a nationwide search, Cynthia Gyamfi-Bannerman, MD, has been named chair of the Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology & Reproductive Sciences at University of California San Diego School of Medicine and UC San Diego Health.

Center Brings Doctors, Scientists Together to Improve Health of Mother and Child

The Center for Perinatal Discovery at UC San Diego brings doctors and researchers together for clinical, translational and basic research to better understand maternal health, environmental exposures, fertility, pregnancy and the health of children.

The Latest Science on Staying Healthy During Pregnancy

Healthy habits are particularly important during pregnancy. Four new studies being presented at NUTRITION 2021 LIVE ONLINE look at how supplements, eating habits and physical activity can affect various aspects of health during pregnancy.

Secret Shopper Study Sheds Light on Barriers to Opioid Treatment for Women

After a 2020 Vanderbilt University Medical Center study showed women have a difficult time accessing treatment for opioid use disorder (OUD), investigators analyzed comments received from the study’s participants to further shed light on barriers to care, which included everything from long on-hold times to difficult interactions with clinic receptionists during phone calls seeking appointments.

COVID-19 mRNA Vaccines are Immunogenic in Pregnant and Lactating Women, Including Against Viral Variants

In a new study from Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center researchers evaluated the immunogenicity of COVID-19 mRNA vaccines in pregnant and lactating women who received either the Pfizer or Moderna COVID-19 vaccines. They found that both vaccines triggered immune responses in pregnant and lactating women.

New study suggests pregnant women hospitalized for COVID-19 do not face increased risk of death

Pregnant women who are hospitalized with COVID-19 and viral pneumonia are less likely than non-pregnant women to die from these infections, according to a new study by researchers with The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston (UTHealth) and the University of Maryland School of Medicine (UMSOM).

Story Tips from Johns Hopkins Experts on COVID-19

NEWS STORIES IN THIS ISSUE:

PREGNANT AFTER THE FIRST DOSE OF COVID-19 VACCINE — NOW WHAT?
STUDY SHOWS VACCINES MAY PROTECT AGAINST NEW COVID-19 STRAINS … AND MAYBE THE COMMON COLD
EXPANDED DASHBOARD TOOL RANKS ACCESSIBILITY OF STATE VACCINE WEBSITES

CUR Psychology Division Announces 2021 Psychology Research Awardees

The Psychology Division of the Council on Undergraduate Research announces the 2021 recipients of its Psychology Research Awards. The recipients are undergraduate students conducting original psychological research, who receive awards of up to $500 per project.

Placental Stem Cells Show Promise for Treating Preemies’ Necrotizing Enterocolitis

Article title: Human placental-derived stem cell therapy ameliorates experimental necrotizing enterocolitis Authors: Victoria G. Weis, Anna C. Deal, Gehad Mekky, Cara Clouse, Michaela Gaffley, Emily Whitaker, Cole B. Peeler, Jared A. Weis, Marshall Z. Schwartz, Anthony Atala From the authors:…

Kids’ metabolic health can be improved with exercise during pregnancy: here’s why

BOSTON – (March 25, 2021) – A mechanism has been identified that explains how physical exercise in pregnancy confers metabolic health benefits in offspring. According to researchers, the key lies with a protein called SOD3, vitamin D and adequate exercise, with the outcomes possibly forming the first steps to designing rational diet and exercise programs to use during pregnancy and particularly when mothers may also be overweight or obese.

Propylparaben exposure during pregnancy, breastfeeding may reduce protection against breast cancer

Low doses of propylparaben—an estrogen-like chemical used as a preservative in personal care products and foods—can alter pregnancy-related changes in the breast in ways that may reduce the normal protection against breast cancer that pregnancy hormones convey, according to a new study being published in the Endocrine Society’s journal Endocrinology.

March Special Issue of The American Journal of Gastroenterology Focuses on Women’s Health in Gastroenterology and Hepatology

The March issue of The American Journal of Gastroenterology features new clinical research involving sex and gender, including effects of GI and liver conditions on pregnancy, gender disparities in diet and nutrition, Barrett’s esophagus incidence in women with scleroderma, factors influencing whether women pursue advanced endoscopy careers, endoscopy-related musculoskeletal injuries, sex hormone association with increased prevalence of certain types of cancer, and more.