Saturday September 21, 2019

Sleeping for Long Hours During Pregnancy Linked to Stillbirths

Progress in reducing stillbirth deaths has been slow but stillbirth is an urgent global health issue that should be at the centre of more research programmes, the researchers noted

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Pregnancy, air pollution
Sleeping for long hours during pregnancy linked to stillbirths. Pixabay

Sleeping more than nine hours per night during pregnancy may be associated with late stillbirth, suggests a new study.

This is because blood pressure reaches its lowest point during sleep which has been linked with foetal growth problems, preterm birth, and stillbirth.

The study, led by a team from the University of Michigan, explored how maternal sleep habits, including lengthy periods of sleep without waking more than once in the night, may be associated with foetal health independent of other risk factors.

Moreover, pregnant women often report waking up and getting up in the middle of the night.

Very disruptive sleep has also been associated with poor pregnancy outcomes, including growth restriction and preterm growth.

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Representational image. IANS

“Our findings add to research indicating that maternal sleep plays a role in foetal well being. Studies aiming to reduce stillbirths should consider maternal sleep as this is a potentially modifiable risk factor,” said lead author Louise O’Brien, researcher at the varsity.

“Understanding the role of maternal sleep may help us identify interventions that would put us in a better position to advise women,” O’Brien added.

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For the study, reported in the journal Birth, the team involved 153 women who had experienced a late stillbirth (on or after 28 weeks of pregnancy) within the previous month and 480 women with an ongoing third-trimester pregnancy or who had recently delivered a live born baby during the same period.

Progress in reducing stillbirth deaths has been slow but stillbirth is an urgent global health issue that should be at the centre of more research programmes, the researchers noted. (IANS)

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Paracetamol During Pregnancy Can Risk Child’s Behaviour

Women who take paracetamol during pregnancy are at risk of having children with behaviour problems, warn researchers

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paracetamol, pregnancy, risk, behaviour
The study found an association between paracetamol intake and behavioural issues in children including hyperactivity and attention-deficit disorder. Pixabay

Women who take paracetamol during pregnancy are at risk of having children with behaviour problems, warn researchers.

The study, published in the journal Paediatric and Perinatal Epidemiology, examined whether there were any effects of taking paracetamol in mid-pregnancy and the behaviour of the offspring between the ages of six month and 11 years, with memory and IQ tested up until the age of 17.

“Our findings add to a series of results concerning evidence of the possible adverse effects of taking paracetamol during pregnancy such as issues with asthma or behaviour in the offspring,” said study lead author Jean Golding, Professor at the University of Bristol in the UK.

“It reinforces the advice that women should be cautious when taking medication during pregnancy and to seek medical advice where necessary,” Golding said.

Using questionnaire and school information from Bristol’s Children of the 90s study, researchers examined 14,000 children.

paracetamol, pregnancy, risk, behaviour
Human ovaries exposed to paracetamol for a week in laboratories lost up to 40 per cent of their egg cells. Pixabay

When they were seven months pregnant, 43 per cent of their mothers said they had taken paracetamol “sometimes” or more often during the previous three months.

The researchers examined results of the children’s memory, IQ and pre-school development tests, temperament and behaviour measures.

The study found an association between paracetamol intake and behavioural issues in children including hyperactivity and attention-deficit disorder.

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However, this was no longer the case by the time the children reached the end of primary school.

According to the reseachers, boys appeared to be more susceptible than girls to the possible behavioural effects of the drug.

“It is important that our findings are tested in other studies – we were not in a position to show a causal link, rather an association between two outcomes,” Golding added. (IANS)