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  1. Prenatal Down Syndrome Blood Test in the Works

    March 7, 2011 -- A new method of screening for Down syndrome during pregnancy may eventually offer a safer, less invasive alternative to amniocentesis, according to a new study. The experimental Down syndrome test screens for genetic markers of the developmental disorder in blood samples taken from

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  2. Secondhand Smoke Raises Stillbirth Risk

    March 7, 2011 -- Pregnant women who don’t smoke but breathe the secondhand smoke of others have an increased risk for delivering stillborn babies or babies with birth defects, according to a new research review. Children born to women who smoke during pregnancy have an increased risk for fetal death

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  3. Opioid Painkillers Linked to Birth Defects

    March 2, 2011 -- Taking codeine, hydrocodone, or other opioid painkillers shortly before or early in pregnancy increases the risk of congenital heart defects and other birth defects, a study shows. The study by CDC researchers is published in the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology. About

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  4. New Drug Lowers Preterm Birth Risk

    Feb. 8, 2011 -- The FDA has approved an injectable drug called Makena to reduce the risk of preterm delivery before 37 weeks in pregnant women who have had at least one premature birth. Makena, or hydroxyprogesterone caproate, was approved under the federal agency’s accelerated approval regulations,

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  5. Sex OK During Most Uncomplicated Pregnancies

    Jan. 31, 2011 -- Is sex safe during pregnancy? Will it bring on labor? Could sex hurt the baby?  These are some of the many questions that may be on a pregnant woman’s mind (and her partner’s) during prenatal visits with her obstetrician. A new review in the Canadian Medical Association Journal answ

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  6. Progress Toward Blood Test for Down Syndrome

    Jan. 11, 2011 -- A new blood test may help pregnant women who are at high risk for having a baby with Down syndrome avoid more invasive tests such as amniocentesis and chronic villus sampling (CVS). The blood test analyzes components of genetic material from both the pregnant woman and her fetus tha

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  7. Teen Births at Record Low, C-Sections at Record High

    Dec. 21, 2010 -- New data on U.S. births have broken three records, the CDC reported today. Record No. 1: The U.S. teen birth rate is the lowest since record-keeping began in 1940. Record No. 2: One in three U.S. babies (32.9%) are delivered by C-section. Record No. 3: The U.S. birth rate is the low

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  8. Odds of a Healthy Baby Increase With Single Embryo Transfer

    Dec. 21, 2010 -- Women undergoing in vitro fertilization (IVF) are nearly five times more likely to carry a baby to term if they undergo a single embryo transfer instead of a double embryo transfer, according to an international study. Researchers led by D.J. McLemon, an investigator at the Universi

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  9. Chemo During Pregnancy OK

    Dec. 13, 2010 (San Antonio) -- Pregnant women who have breast cancer shouldn’t delay chemotherapy or schedule an early delivery to avoid exposing the baby to the drugs, doctors say. A review of the records of 313 pregnant women with breast cancer showed that nearly twice as many women who didn’t get

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  10. Mom's Blood Sample Yields Unborn Baby's Genetics

    Dec. 8, 2010 -- Using a blood sample from a mother-to-be, Hong Kong researchers have mapped the entire genome of her fetus, potentially opening the door for widespread noninvasive prenatal screening for genetic problems. ''This is indeed the first proof of concept study that genome-wide sequencing o

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