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.

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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).

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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

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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.

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Exposure to harmful chemicals in plastic may contribute to postpartum depression

Endocrine-disrupting chemicals may influence hormonal shifts during pregnancy as well as contribute to postpartum depression, according to a small study published in the Endocrine Society’s Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Pregnancy, stress, sleep issues, physiology among women’s unique cardiovascular concerns

Women face many female-specific risks for heart disease and stroke, including pregnancy, physical and emotional stress, sleep patterns and many physiological factors, according to multiple studies highlighted in this year’s Go Red for Women® special issue of the Journal of the American Heart Association, published online today.

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Study: COVID-19 infection rates high in pregnant women

The study also showed that the number of COVID-19 infections in pregnant patients from nearly all communities of color in Washington was high. There was a twofold to fourfold higher prevalence of pregnant patients with COVID-19 infections from communities of color than expected based on the race-ethnicity distribution of pregnant women in Washington in 2018.

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Exercise during Pregnancy Protects Kids’ Future Health from Parents’ Obesity

New research in mice suggests that exercising during pregnancy may help prevent children—especially boys—from developing health problems related to their parents’ obesity. The study is published ahead of print in the Journal of Applied Physiology. It was chosen as an APSselect article for February.

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Is it Safe to Get COVID-19 Vaccine while Pregnant?

Justin Brandt, an assistant professor in the Division of Maternal Fetal Medicine at Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School and director of quality and safety for the department of OB/GYN, talks about the information provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and what pregnant women should consider when deciding whether to get the COVID-19 vaccine.

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History of Vaccines Offers Lessons on COVID-19 For Pregnant Women

DALLAS – Feb. 8, 2021 – Pregnant women, who are at increased risk of preterm birth or pregnancy loss if they develop a severe case of COVID-19, need the best possible guidance on whether they should receive a COVID-19 vaccine, according to an article by two UT Southwestern obstetricians published today in JAMA. That guidance can take lessons from what is already known about other vaccines given during pregnancy.

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New clues on why pregnancy may increase risk of organ transplant rejection

A research study at the University of Chicago has found that in pregnancy, while the T cell response to a fetus becomes tolerant to allow for successful pregnancy, the part of the immune system that produces antibodies (known as the humoral response) becomes sensitized, creating memory B cells that can later contribute to the rejection of a transplanted organ.

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With Close Monitoring Throughout, Safe Pregnancy is Possible for Women with Interstitial Lung Disease

A new study shows that women with interstitial lung disease (ILD) related to autoimmune disease may not need to terminate their pregnancies provided they have close monitoring from their team of multidisciplinary physicians before, during and after pregnancy. Results of the research was presented at ACR Convergence, the American College of Rheumatology’s annual meeting.

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Researchers Find that Expansion of Medicaid Under the Affordable Care Act Improved Maternal Health for Low-Income Women

The period of time before pregnancy is critically important for the health of a woman and her infant, yet not all women have access to health insurance during this time. New research finds that the expansion of Medicaid for many states under the Affordable Care Act (ACA) had a positive impact on a variety of indicators of maternal health prior to conception.

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Pregnant Women with Severe COVID-19 Face Additional Risks and Early Delivery

Pregnant women with severe or critical COVID-19 and their unborn infants face increased health risks before and after delivery, a Rutgers study finds.

Meanwhile, the study, published in the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology, also found that pregnant women with mild cases of coronavirus disease 2019 had similar outcomes compared to those who were uninfected.

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Exposure to Vitamin D in the Womb Might Minimize Risk of High Blood Pressure for Children Born to Mothers with Preeclampsia

Children appear to be at greater risk of having high blood pressure when their mothers had the high blood pressure condition called preeclampsia during pregnancy—but this adverse association may be reduced or even eliminated for children who were exposed to higher levels of vitamin D in the womb.

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Exercise During Pregnancy: A Prescription for Improved Maternal/Fetal Well-being

Evidence now supports the safety and health benefits of prenatal physical activity for pregnant women. Therefore, it is critical that

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Psychological abuse: obstetric care must delve deeper

As domestic violence skyrockets amid COVID-19, women’s health experts are calling for compulsory training of obstetric health practitioners to ensure they can recognise the signs of coercive control for women in their care.

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Breastfeeding’s Legacy May Protect Against Diabetes

DALLAS – Aug. 25, 2020 – Breastfeeding secures delivery of sugar and fat for milk production by changing the insulin sensitivity of organs that supply or demand these nutrients, a new study led by UT Southwestern scientists suggests. The findings, published in this month’s print issue of Diabetes, could explain how different tissues cooperate to start and maintain lactation and offer strategies to help improve breastfeeding success for mothers who have insufficient milk production.

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