Iron supplementation during pregnancy and risk of malaria in malaria-endemic region Among women in a malaria-endemic region in Kenya, daily iron supplementation during pregnancy did not result in an increased risk of malaria, according to a study. Iron supplementation did result in increased birth weight, gestational duration, neonatal length, and a decreased risk of low birth weight and prematurity.
New molecule found to prevent preterm birth Premature births are intimately linked with inflammation of the uterine tissue, a biological response which induces contractions and preterm labor. In their search for a mean to prevent this phenomenon and complications related to deliveries occurring before 37 weeks of gestation, researchers have discovered an agent that shows efficacy in inhibiting inflammation and preventing or delaying uterine contractions and premature delivery in murine models – without adversely affecting the fetus or the mother. This discovery is a giant step towards preventing prematurity, which is the world's leading cause of infant death and the origin of potentially severe, long-lasting physical, intellectual or psychological impairment for the 10% of infants born preterm world-wide.
Research reveals the placenta's oxygen tanks for early embryos A new role for the placenta has been revealed by researchers who have identified sites which store, and gradually release, oxygen for newly formed embryos in the weeks after the baby's heart is developed.Scan may identify best candidates for fetal spina bifida surgery Fetuses with enlarged ventricles -- the fluid-filled cavities inside the brain -- may be less likely than their counterparts to benefit from surgery in the womb to treat spina bifida.