Vaccinating pregnant women year-round may cut flu in babies

Babies born to women vaccinated throughout the year against flu virus are more likely to be healthier and have reduced incidence of influenza, according to a study.

The findings, published in the journal Lancet Infectious Diseases, showed that vaccinating pregnant mothers year-round is likely to reduce infant flu virus infection rates by an average of 30 per cent, increase birth weights by 15 per cent and result in babies having less influenza.

Read more at Business Standard. 

Cleveland Clinic Children's NICUs becomes first in region to give families live webcam access

CLEVELAND - A new addition to Cleveland Clinic Children's Hospital aims to give parents who have babies born prematurely greater peace of mind.

The Clinic's Neonatal Intensive Care Units (NICUs) will get a new web camera system, becoming the first NICUs in the region to get the system. The Clinic will launch the 86 NicView cameras at Hillcrest Hospital and other main campus locations.

Read more at News 5 Cleveland. 

Breastfeeding Plays Key Role in Ensuring Healthy Infant Gut

MONDAY, May 8, 2017 (HealthDay News) -- Breastfeeding can seed good bacteria in an infant's digestive system, according to research published online May 8 in JAMA Pediatrics.

Grace Aldrovandi, M.D., a professor of pediatrics and chief of infectious diseases at the University of California, Los Angeles, Mattel Children's Hospital, and colleagues assessed 107 breastfeeding mother-infant pairs.

Read more at Physician's Briefing. 

Epilepsy: Another Potential Zika Threat to Babies

MONDAY, April 17, 2017 (HealthDay News) -- Beyond its known links to birth defects and other problems, the Zika virus may also trigger cases of epilepsy in infants, warn experts from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Among 48 babies from Brazil with probable congenital Zika infection, "50 percent reportedly had clinical seizures," said Dr. Daniel Pastula, Dr. Marshalyn Yeargin-Allsopp and Rosemarie Kobau.

Read more at Consumer Health Days

 

Black U.S. babies still more likely to die than white infants

(Reuters Health) - Even as infant mortality rates are declining nationwide, there are some U.S. states where black babies are much more likely to die than white infants, a recent study suggests.

Overall, infant mortality rates decreased 13 percent in the U.S. from 2000 to 2013, the study found. By the end of this period, however, the black infant mortality rate was 11.1 deaths for every 1,000 live births, compared with just 5.1 deaths for every 1,000 white newborns. The rate is calculated based on the number of babies who die before their first birthday.

Read more at Reuters Health. 

One in 10 Pregnant Women With Zika in U.S. Have Babies With Birth Defects B

One in 10 pregnant women in the continental United States with a confirmed Zika infection had a baby with brain damage or other serious birth defects, according to the most comprehensive report to date on American pregnancies during the Zika crisis.

The report, published Tuesday by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, also provided more evidence that the risk of birth defects was greater when women were infected in the first trimester of pregnancy. Fifteen percent of women with confirmed Zika infection in the first trimester had babies with birth defects, the report found.

Read more at The New York Times

Vaccinating pregnant moms protects newborns from whooping cough

Infants are much less likely to get whooping cough if their mothers are vaccinated against the potentially fatal respiratory infection during pregnancy, a large U.S. study finds.

The bacteria Bordetella pertussis causes whooping cough, which gets its nickname from the sounds patients make as they gasp for air during intense coughing fits. Pertussis is highly contagious and easily spread when an infected individual coughs or sneezes. About half of babies under age one who catch pertussis require hospitalization for serious complications like pneumonia or brain disorders.

Read more at Reuters. 

Breast-Fed Kids May Be Less Hyper, But Not Necessarily Smarter, Study Finds

Breast-feeding has many known health benefits, but there's still debate about how it may influence kids' behavior and intelligence.

Now, a new study published in Pediatrics finds that children who are breast-fed for at least six months as babies have less hyperactive behavior by age 3 compared with kids who weren't breast-fed. 

Read more at NPR.

***VIDEO PRESS RELEASE*** Infant Health Group Releases New Video “Why Preemies Need Access to an Exclusive Human Milk Diet”

WASHINGTON – Today the National Coalition for Infant Health released a new web video, “Why Preemies Need Access to an Exclusive Human Milk Diet.” The video explains how a diet of only human milk and human milk-derived products helps preemies by boosting their immune systems, reducing respiratory complicationsand preventing GI infections. It also outlines the barriers that preemies and their mothers face in accessing an exclusive human milk diet.

 

CLICK HERE TO WATCH THE VIDEO

An exclusive human milk diet may consist of: 

  • Breast milk from the infant’s mother
  • Brest milk from a screened donor
  • Supplemental fortifier derived from human milk to provide added calories and nutrients. 

An exclusive human milk diet can shield preemies from necrotizing enterocolitis, or NEC, a life-threatening intestinal condition that causes a distended abdomen, respiratory failure and septic shock. It can also limit infants’ exposure to cows’ milk products, which can increase NEC risks.

However, some hospitals do not have donor milk or human milk-based fortifier. And health plans don’t necessarily provide hospital-grade breast pumps – or cover the cost of donor milk and fortifier.  

As a result, frustrated parents may turn to unscreened sources of human milk through online sales points such as Craigslist, or simply forego the benefits of human milk for their newborn.  

The video urges policymakers to work alongside parents and health care providers to provide the access and health plan coverage that premature infants need.

The National Coalition for Infant Health educates and advocates on behalf of premature infants from birth to age two. A collaborative of professional, clinical, community health and family support organizations, NCfIH envisions safe, healthy infants whose families can access the information, care and treatment their babies need.

Zika Warning Is Issued Over Sperm Banks in the Miami Area

Women who are considering trying to become pregnant with semen from sperm banks in the Miami-Dade County area of Florida should consider the possibility that sperm collected as far back as mid-June might be infected with the Zika virus, federal health officials said Monday.

The officials said the new warning was driven by caution, not by any evidence of infected semen from sperm banks or of babies with Zika-linked brain damage who were conceived with donated sperm.

Read more at The New York Times. 

Support programs help moms extend breastfeeding time

(Reuters Health) - Support programs for new mothers help them to breastfeed their babies for longer periods and to keep breast milk as the baby's only source of nutrition, according to a new review of existing evidence.

The researchers concluded that breastfeeding support - whether educational or just encouraging - by trained professionals or lay people generally benefited women and their babies.

Read more at Reuters Health.

Sing to your bump: lullabies to babies in the womb decrease crying when they are born

Many expectant parents prepare for the arrival of a new baby by redecorating its intended bedroom in a soothing colour and buying lots of rattles and cuddly toys.But new research suggests that the best way of ensuring a happy and contented newborn is by singing to it while it is still in the womb.

Read More at The Telegraph. 

AAAAI: Early-Life Secondhand Smoke May Up Food Allergy Risk

TUESDAY, March 7, 2017 (HealthDay News) -- Exposure to secondhand smoke in the first few weeks of life could increase the risk that children will develop food allergies, according to research presented at the annual meeting of the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology, held from March 3 to 6 in Atlanta.

Read More at Physician's Briefing.