This section feature 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.

Docs: Wait - or get out of Utah’s bad air - to conceive.

A growing body of research is linking air pollution to negative birth outcomes, most often prematurity, low birth weight and restricted growth in the womb…That study, published in the peer-reviewed journal Environmental Health Perspectives, used data from 3 million births in nine countries. Low birth weight is linked to problems in later childhood, including impaired intellectual ability, elevated blood pressure, diabetes and obesity. [Feb. 15, 2013; Salt Lake Tribune:]

'Laborist' Obstetrical Care Improves Pregnancy Outcomes.

The "laborist" concept has been around for nearly a decade. In this model, obstetricians provide 24-hour a day on-site staffing of labor units…The study showed that using the laborist model resulted in 15 percent fewer labor inductions, reduced maternal length of stay (0.09 days), and a significant reduction in preterm delivery (17 percent). [Feb. 11, 2013; ScienceDaily:]

Abnormal Brain Development in Fetuses of Obese Women.

In a study presented in February at the Society for Maternal-Fetal Medicine's meeting in San Francisco, researchers from Tufts Medical Center presented findings showing the effects of maternal obesity on a fetus, specifically in the development of the brain. The study…found that fetuses of obese women had differences in gene expression as early as the second trimester, compared to fetuses of women who were a healthy weight. [ScienceDaily; Feb. 11, 2013:]

Air pollution linked to low birth weight.

Mothers who breathe the kind of pollution emitted by vehicles, coal power plants and factories are significantly likelier to give birth to underweight children than mothers living in less polluted areas…The study is believed to be the largest to examine how newborns' bodies are affected by air quality, an issue that has raised particular concern in China and other developing nations. [6 Feb. 2013; San Francisco Chronicle:

California Intends to Declare BPA a Reproductive Health Hazard.

Under state law, items that contain a certain level of the chemical bisphenol A would need warning signs for consumers. [Scientific American; Jan. 25, 2013:]

Fathers' Leave, Fathers' Involvement and Child Development - Are They Related? Evidence from Four OECD Countries.

Previous research has shown that fathers taking some time off work around childbirth, especially periods of leave of 2 or more weeks, are more likely to be involved in childcare related activities than fathers who do not do so. Furthermore, evidence suggests that children with fathers who are ‗more involved‘ perform better during the early years than their peers with less involved fathers. These results suggest that what matters is the quality and not the quantity of father-child interactions. [Jan. 14, 2013; OECDiLibrary:]

Mode of birth and women’s psychological and physical wellbeing in the postnatal period.

Physical and psychological problems after childbirth are common, and may have a significant negative and long-term impact on women‘s wellbeing and daily functioning. The method of birth may be a particularly important factor influencing women‘s health and wellbeing following birth, however, population-wide evidence is limited. This study uses data from 5,332 women who responded to a national survey of women‘s experiences of maternity care in England. We examined women‘s postnatal wellbeing in the first three months after birth, and whether these varied by mode of birth. [BMC Pregnancy and Childbirth; Nov. 28, 2012:]

Maternity Program Results in Fewer Cesarean Sections, Shorter Hospital Stays for Mothers.

A program delivering collaborative maternity care resulted in fewer Caesarean deliveries, shorter average hospital stays and higher breast-feeding rates for mothers, according to a study in the Canadian Medical Association Journal. [ScienceDaily; Sept. 10, 2012:]