Abortion, particularly later-term abortion, and neonaticide, selective non-treatment of newborns, are feasible management strategies for fetuses or newborns diagnosed with severe abnormalities. However, policy varies considerably among developed nations. This article examines abortion and neonatal policy in four nations: Israel, the US, the UK and Denmark. In Israel, late-term abortion is permitted while non-treatment of newborns is prohibited. In the US, on the other hand, later-term abortion is severely restricted, while treatment to newborns may be withdrawn. Policy in the UK and Denmark bridges some of these gaps with liberal abortion and neonatal policy. Disparate policy within and between nations creates practical and ethical difficulties. Practice diverges from policy as many practitioners find it difficult to adhere to official policy. Ethically, it is difficult to entirely justify perinatal policy in these nations. In each nation, there are elements of ethically sound policy, while other aspects cannot be defended. Ethical policy hinges on two underlying normative issues: the question of fetal/newborn status and the morality of killing and letting die. While each issue has been the subject of extensive debate, there are firm ethical norms that should serve as the basis for coherent and consistent perinatal policy. These include 1) a grant of full moral and legal status to the newborn but only partial moral and legal status to the late-term fetus 2) a general prohibition against feticide unless to save the life of the mother or prevent the birth of a fetus facing certain death or severe pain or suffering and 3) a general endorsement of neonaticide subject to a parent's assessment of the newborn's interest broadly defined to consider physical harm as well as social, psychological and or financial harm to related third parties. Policies in each of the nations surveyed diverging from these norms should be the subject of public discourse and, where possible, legislative reform.
the aim was to examine factors associated with acquisition and elimination of bacterial vaginosis in pregnancy.
a group of 229 pregnant women were randomly selected from a population-based prospective cohort study of 2927. They were examined at enrollment (mean gestational weeks 16w+0d) and again in mid-third trimester (mean gestational age 32w+3d).
BV (Amsel's clinical criteria), microbiological cultures of the genital tract and questionnaire data.
BV prevalence decreased from 17% in early second trimester to 14% in mid-third trimester due to a tenfold higher elimination rate (39%) than incidence rate (4%). Heavy smokers (>10/d) in early pregnancy were at increased risk (5.3[1.1-25]) for the acquisition of BV during pregnancy, as were women receiving public benefits (4.8[1.0-22]), having a vaginal pH above 4.5(6.3[1.4-29]) or vaginal anaerobe bacteria (18[2.7-122]) at enrollment. A previous use of combined oral contraceptives was preventive for the acquisition of BV (0.2[0.03-0.96]). Elimination of BV in pregnancy tended to be associated with a heavy growth of Lactobacillus(3.2[0.8-13]) at enrollment.
acquisition of BV during pregnancy is rare and is associated with smoking, while the presence of anaerobe bacteria and a vaginal pH >4.5 are interpreted as steps on a gradual change towards BV. In the same way heavy growth of Lactobacillus spp in early pregnancy may be an indicator of women on the way to eliminate BV.
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Cites: Int J STD AIDS. 2000 Sep;11(9):603-610997505
Human pregnancy is associated with increased requirements for dietary energy and this increase may be partly offset by reductions in physical activity during gestation. Studies in well-nourished women have shown that the physical activity level (PAL), obtained as the total energy expenditure (TEE) divided by the BMR, decreases in late pregnancy. However, it is not known if this decrease is really caused by reductions in physical activity or if it is the result of decreases in energy expenditure/BMR (the so-called metabolic equivalent, MET) for many activities in late pregnancy. In the present study activity pattern, TEE and BMR were assessed in twenty-three healthy Swedish women before pregnancy as well as in gestational weeks 14 and 32. Activity pattern was assessed using a questionnaire and heart rate recording. TEE was assessed using the doubly labelled water method and BMR was measured by means of indirect calorimetry. When compared to the pre-pregnant value, there was little change in the PAL in gestational week 14 but it was significantly reduced in gestational week 32. Results obtained by means of the questionnaire and by heart rate recording showed that the activity pattern was largely unaffected by pregnancy. The findings support the following conclusion: in a population of well-nourished women where the activity pattern is maintained during pregnancy, the increase in BMR represents approximately the main part of the pregnancy-induced increase in TEE, at least until gestational week 32.
BACKGROUND: The study was designed to evaluate the analgesic effect and possible adverse effects of acupuncture for pelvic and low-back pain during the last trimester of pregnancy. METHODS: Following individual informed consent, 72 pregnant women reporting pelvic or low-back pain were randomized during pregnancy weeks 24-37 to an acupuncture group (n = 37) or to a control group (n = 35) at three maternity wards in southern Sweden. Traditional acupuncture points and local tender points (TP) were chosen according to individual pain patterns and stimulated once or twice a week until delivery or complete recovery in acupuncture patients. Control patients were given no sham stimulation. Throughout the study period each patient made weekly visual analog scale (VAS) evaluations of maximal and minimal pain intensity as well as three-point assessments of pain intensity during various activities. RESULTS: During the study period, VAS scorings of pain intensity decreased over time in 60% of patients in the acupuncture group and in 14% of those in the control group (p
To investigate the association between adverse childhood experiences (ACE) and pain with onset during pregnancy.
Eighteen antenatal clinics in southern Mid-Sweden.
Of 293 women invited to participate, 232 (79%) women agreed to participate in early pregnancy and were assessed in late pregnancy.
Questionnaires were distributed in early and late pregnancy. The questionnaires sought information on socio-demography, ACE, pain location by pain drawing and pain intensity by visual analogue scales. Distribution of pain was coded in 41 predetermined areas.
Pain in third trimester with onset during present pregnancy: intensity, location and number of pain locations.
In late pregnancy, 62% of the women reported any ACE and 72% reported any pain location with onset during the present pregnancy. Among women reporting any ACE the median pain intensity was higher compared with women without such an experience (p = 0.01). The accumulated ACE displayed a positive association with the number of reported pain locations in late pregnancy (rs = 0.19, p = 0.02). This association remained significant after adjusting for background factors in multiple regression analysis (p = 0.01). When ACE was dichotomized the prevalence of pain did not differ between women with and without ACE. The subgroup of women reporting physical abuse as a child reported a higher prevalence of sacral and pelvic pain (p = 0.0003 and p = 0.02, respectively).
Adverse childhood experiences were associated with higher pain intensities and larger pain distributions in late pregnancy, which are risk factors for transition to chronic pain postpartum.
The 209 mothers to be, enrolled in a randomized, prospective, allergy-prevention study from allergy-prone families, totally abstained from cow's milk and egg from gestational week 28 to delivery. This article presents the development of allergic disease at 5 years of age in their children, compared with the development of allergic disease in the children of the control mothers who took normal food throughout pregnancy. The prevalence of allergic disease could be evaluated in 198 children (95%). Allergic disease was monitored with questionnaires, skin prick testing, serum-IgE determinations, and physical examination. Eczema, allergic rhinoconjunctivitis, and asthma was equally common in the groups. Persistent food intolerance to egg was significantly more common in children of the mothers receiving the diet. This long-term follow-up confirms our previous findings that maternal elimination diet during late pregnancy does not prevent the development of allergic disease in the genetically predisposed child.
Expression of mRNA for interleukin-6, interleukin-6Delta3, and interleukin-6Delta5 was detected in placental tissue (second and third trimesters of pregnancy) and spleen of mice immunized with sheep erythrocytes in high dose. We hypothesize that translation of mRNA yields proteins capable of binding to individual subunits of the interleukin-6 receptor and possessing effector functions.
To assess pregnancy outcome in women with anaemia during pregnancy.
The study design involved a retrospective chart review of all women registering for prenatal care in the area of Kuopio University Hospital between 1990 and 2000. A haemoglobin concentration below 100g/l was used as a cutoff for anaemia and affected women (N=597) were stratified by the trimester at which anaemia was diagnosed. Multiple regression analysis was used to compare obstetric outcomes in the study groups and in non-anaemic women (N=22,202).
The frequency of anaemia was 2.6%, with 0.3% occurring in the first trimester. After controlling for confounding factors, anaemia detected in the first trimester was associated with low-birth-weight infants (OR=3.14, 95% CI: 1.35-7.28) whereas the mid- and third-trimester anaemia groups showed no significantly different outcomes when compared with the non-anaemic women. First trimester anaemia was not significantly associated with small birth weight for gestational age (OR=0.98, 95% CI: 0.41-2.17) or with premature delivery
To evaluate the association between different types of anal incontinence (AI) and Quality of Life (QoL) in late pregnancy.
Two maternity units in Norway 2009-2010.
Primiparae aged 18 or over.
Participants answered questions about AI during the last 4 weeks of pregnancy on the St. Mark's score and impact of QoL in the Fecal Incontinence QoL score. Socioeconomic data were obtained from hospital records.
Self-reported AI and impact on QoL.
1571 primiparae responded; 573 (37%) had experienced AI during the last 4 weeks of pregnancy. One third of the incontinent women reported reduced QoL in the domain 'Coping'. 'Women experiencing urgency alone reported markedly better QoL compared to any other AI symptoms. AI appeared to have the strongest impact on the domains 'Coping' and 'Embarrassment'. Depression was only associated with experiencing the combination of all three symptoms [odds ratio (OR) 13; 95%confidence interval (CI) 3.2-51]. Experiencing flatus alone weekly or more was associated with the highest impact on 'Embarrassment' (OR 20; 95%CI 6.4-61) compared with all other symptoms or combination of AI symptoms, except the combination of all three AI symptoms.
Between 3 and 10% of the primiparae in this material experienced AI to such a extent that it affected QoL. The greatest impact was seen in the QoL domain 'Coping'. These findings highlight the importance of an increased awareness of AI in late pregnancy among health professionals and the need to implement routine discussions about AI with expectant and new mothers.