The Zika virus can cause glaucoma in infants who were exposed to the virus during gestation, a team of researchers has explained in the first report outlining the evidence.
For most women who have epilepsy, continuing their medication during pregnancy is important for their health. Over the last 25 years, research has shown that children exposed to these medications in the womb can be at a higher risk of having a malformation or birth defect.
WASHINGTON, Nov. 28, 2016– In 2014, the Society for Maternal-Fetal Medicine began working with the March of Dimes, the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, and the American Academy of Pediatrics to form the Coalition to Advance Maternal Therapeutics. The Coalition has been working to educate and inform Congress and other policymakers on the issues related to lack of data and information on medications in pregnancy and breastfeeding, recently hosting a congressional briefing on the topic.
In February 2015, SMFM hosted a workshop on the issue of medications in pregnancy and breastfeeding at its annual meeting, which was co-sponsored by the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, American Academy of Pediatrics, and American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. The workshop explored the issue of medications used during pregnancy and breastfeeding, with participants agreeing that more research was necessary to ensure that safe and effective drugs are being prescribed to women who need them during pregnancy and lactation.
SMFM, with the CAMT, advocated for the creation of a task force housed within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services that will improve federal interagency and key stakeholder communication, coordination and collaboration to advance research and information sharing on medications in pregnancy and breastfeeding. This Task Force has been included in the bipartisan, negotiated 21st Century Cures Act. The task force will include federal agencies such as National Institutes of Health, U.S. Food & Drug Administration, and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as well as public stakeholders from professional societies, consumer representation and industry representation to prioritize and identify gaps in research and recommend a path forward on greater inclusion of pregnant and breastfeeding women in medication research.
Dr. Mary Norton, president of SMFM, released the following statement:
“We applaud Congress for making the right decision in creating a Task Force on Research in Pregnant Women and Lactating Women in the final 21st Century Cures Act, slated for a vote in the House this week, and hope for swift action by the Senate shortly following. SMFM has been dedicated to moving this important initiative for several years, founding the Coalition to Advance Maternal Therapeutics – whose steering committee includes the American Academy of Pediatrics, American Congress of Obstetricians & Gynecologists and March of Dimes, as well as SMFM.
“SMFM would like to especially acknowledge Senator Patty Murray and Representatives Jaime Herrera Beutler and Kathy Castor for continuing to lead the efforts to ensure that this language made it into the final legislative package, which has strong bipartisan support.
“More women with chronic diseases are becoming pregnant, yet safe and effective medications to manage these ongoing conditions throughout their pregnancy and beyond are needed. This legislation is a great first step toward greater collaboration and communication among federal agencies and public stakeholders.
“We look forward to ensuring that the work of this task force will inform our members and patients and strongly support this legislation’s passage and seeing President Obama sign it into law.”
# # #
A study of more than 196,000 children found no association between a mother having an influenza infection anytime during pregnancy and an increased risk of autism spectrum disorders (ASDs) in children.
Congenital cytomegalovirus (CMV) infection can cause serious complications such as hearing difficulties and mental delay in affected infants. A research team has discovered a new method for predicting congenital CMV infection during the prenatal period. This method is safe for both mothers and fetuses, and could potentially be adopted for general use, report researchers.
Researchers have found a way to pause the development of early mouse embryos for up to a month in the lab, a finding with potential implications for assisted reproduction, regenerative medicine, aging and even cancer, the authors say.
Three new studies recently reported on the effects of the Zika virus outbreak in Brazil.
Parents may soon be able to watch their unborn babies grow in realistic 3-D immersive visualizations, thanks to new technology that transforms MRI and ultrasound data into a 3-D virtual reality model of a fetus.
The average age of a woman giving birth for the first time has risen dramatically in the United States over the past 40 years, driven by factors like education or career. A new study found that women choosing to become first-time mothers later in life may increase their chances of living into their 90s.
A new study has found that women have better brainpower after menopause if they had their last baby after age 35, used hormonal contraceptives for more than 10 years or began their menstrual cycle before turning 13.