This section of the APPPAH Newsletter is intended to draw attention to items in the news that are pertinent to prenatal and perinatal psychology. APPPAH does not necessarily agree with, or vouch for, the scientific worthiness of any of the news items mentioned here. We mean merely to take note of what is going on, so that you may.
BREATHING PATTERNS OF NEWBORNS IN CAR SEATS
A study in the September edition of Pediatrics examined the breathing patterns of health term newborns placed in infant car safety seats and beds. 200 newborns were recruited for the study when they were two days old. Each infant was studied while placed in a hospital crib (30 minutes), car bed (60 minutes) and car seat (60 minutes). The researchers analyzed physiologic data, including oxygen saturation, and frequency and type of apnea, hypopnea and bradycardia.
Hypopnea involves episodes of overly shallow breathing or an abnormally low respiratory rate; for infants, bradycardia is defined as a heart rate of less than 100 beats per minute (whereas normal is around 120-160 beats per minute.) In healthy term newborns, significant oxygen desaturations were observed in both car beds and car seats as compared with hospital cribs. The study authors conclude by recommending that car safety seats and beds "should only be used for protection during travel and not as replace- ments for cribs." http://pediatrics.aappublications.org/cgi/content/abstract/124/3/e396 [Ed. note: Would be interesting to add a skin-to-skin variable. Also, it's interesting/puzzling to note 100% longer interval of exposure to the car-seats than to the crib!]
TREATMENT RECOMMENDATIONS FOR DEPRESSION DURING PREGNANCY
The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) and the American Psychiatric Association (APA) have issued a joint report offering a concise list of recommendations for the treatment of women with depression during pregnancy. Published in the September 2009 Obstetrics and Gynecology and the September/October 2009 General Hospital Psychiatry, the report attempts to help doctors and patients weigh the risks and benefits of various treatment options. Depression is common during pregnancy, with 14 to 23 percent of pregnant women experiencing depressive symptoms. In 2003, approximately 13 percent of women took an antidepressant at some time during their pregnancy. Pregnant women with depression face complicated treatment decisions because of the risks associated with both untreated depression and the use of antidepressants. Read the report, at http://www.acog.org/from_home/publications/press_releases/nr08-21-09-1.cfm.
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- Elie Wiesel