Journal of Pregnancy The latest articles from Hindawi Publishing Corporation © 2014 , Hindawi Publishing Corporation . All rights reserved. Maternofoetal Complications and Their Association with Proteinuria in a Tertiary Care Hospital of a Developing Country Mon, 14 Apr 2014 00:00:00 +0000 Objective. To investigate association between maternofoetal complications and the amount of proteinuria measured by spot urine protein creatinine ratio in patients with preeclampsia. Methods. 200 consecutive patients with preeclampsia were recruited in the study. The complications like first episode of severe hypertension, renal insufficiency, raised level of aspartate transaminase, signs of neurological involvement, thrombocytopenia, eclampsia, and need to shift in intensive care units were studied. The maternal outcome was studied in terms of type of labour, outcome of pregnancy, mode of delivery, indication of cesarean section, and maternal mortality. The foetal complications and outcome parameters were birth weight, Apgar score at the time of birth and at five minutes, need of high dependency unit care, and perinatal mortality. Result. The frequency of various maternal and foetal complications was between 14–53% and 22–92%, respectively. Maternal mortality was 3%, whereas perinatal mortality was 23%. Statistically significant association was found between the frequencies of various complications in mother and newborn and spot UPCR. Conclusion. The rate of various maternofoetal complications in preeclampsia is higher in developing countries than in developed world. Maternofoetal complications and outcome correlate with maternal spot UPCR. Archana Kumari, Avinash Chakrawarty, Abha Singh, and Ritu Singh Copyright © 2014 Archana Kumari et al. All rights reserved. Manual Removal of the Placenta after Vaginal Delivery: An Unsolved Problem in Obstetrics Wed, 09 Apr 2014 11:57:25 +0000 The third stage of labor is associated with considerable maternal morbidity and mortality. The major complication is postpartum hemorrhage (PPH), which is the leading cause of maternal morbidity and mortality worldwide. Whereas in the event of PPH due to atony of the uterus there exist numerous treatment guidelines; for the management of retained placenta the general consensus is more difficult to establish. Active management of the third stage of labour is generally accepted as standard of care as already its duration is contributing to the risk of PPH. Despite scant evidence it is commonly advised that if the placenta has not been expelled 30 minutes after delivery, manual removal of the placenta should be carried out under anaesthesia. Pathologic adhesion of the placenta in the low risk situation usually is diagnosed at the time of delivery; therefore a pre- or intrapartum screening opportunity for placenta accreta would be desirable. But diagnosis of abnormalities of placentation other than placenta previa remains a challenge. Nevertheless the use of ultrasound and doppler sonography might be helpful in the third stage of labor. An improvement might be the implementation of standardized operating procedures for retained placenta which could contribute to a reduction of maternal morbidity. Fiona Urner, Roland Zimmermann, and Alexander Krafft Copyright © 2014 Fiona Urner et al. All rights reserved. Induced Abortion and Associated Factors in Health Facilities of Guraghe Zone, Southern Ethiopia Sun, 30 Mar 2014 17:11:25 +0000 Unsafe abortion is one of the major medical and public health problems in developing countries including Ethiopia. However, there is a lack of up-to-date and reliable information on induced abortion distribution and its determinant factors in the country. This study was intended to assess induced abortion and associated factors in health facilities of Guraghe zone, Southern Ethiopia. Institution based cross-sectional study was conducted in eight health facilities in Guraghe zone. Client exit interview was conducted on 400 patients using a structured questionnaire. Bivariate and multivariate logistic regression analysis was performed to identify factors associated with induced abortion. Out of 400 women, 75.5% responded that the current pregnancy that ended in abortion is unwanted. However, only 12.3% of the respondents have admitted interference to the current pregnancy. Having more than four pregnancies (AOR = 4.28, CI: (1.24–14.71)), age of 30–34 years (AOR = 0.15, CI: (0.04–0.55)), primary education (AOR = 0.26, CI: (0.13–0.88)), and wanted pregnancy (AOR = 0.44, CI: (0.14–0.65)) were found to have association with induced abortion. The study revealed high level of induced abortion which is underpinned by high magnitude of unwanted pregnancy. There is requirement for widespread expansion of increased access to high quality family planning service and post-abortion care. Gezahegn Tesfaye, Mitiku Teshome Hambisa, and Agumasie Semahegn Copyright © 2014 Gezahegn Tesfaye et al. All rights reserved. Influence of Second-Trimester Ultrasound Markers for Down Syndrome in Pregnant Women of Advanced Maternal Age Tue, 25 Mar 2014 09:24:29 +0000 The objective of the present study was to evaluate the influence of second-trimester ultrasound markers on the incidence of Down syndrome among pregnant women of advanced maternal age. This was a retrospective cohort study on 889 singleton pregnancies between the 14th and 30th weeks, with maternal age ≥ 35 years, which would undergo genetic amniocentesis. The second-trimester ultrasound assessed the following markers: increased nuchal fold thickness, cardiac hyperechogenic focus, mild ventriculomegaly, choroid plexus cysts, uni- or bilateral renal pyelectasis, intestinal hyperechogenicity, single umbilical artery, short femur and humerus length, hand/foot alterations, structural fetal malformation, and congenital heart disease. To investigate differences between the groups with and without markers, nonparametric tests consisting of the chi-square test or Fisher’s exact test were used. Moreover, odds ratios with their respective 95% confidence intervals were calculated. Out of the 889 pregnant women, 131 (17.3%) presented markers and 758 (82.7%) did not present markers on the second-trimester ultrasound. Increased nuchal fold () and structural malformation () were the markers most associated with Down syndrome. The presence of one marker increased the relative risk 10.5-fold, while the presence of two or more markers increased the risk 13.5-fold. The presence of markers on the second-trimester ultrasound, especially thickened nuchal fold and structural malformation, increased the risk of Down syndrome among pregnant women with advanced maternal age. Mariza Rumi Kataguiri, Edward Araujo Júnior, Luiz Claudio Silva Bussamra, Luciano Marcondes Machado Nardozza, and Antonio Fernandes Moron Copyright © 2014 Mariza Rumi Kataguiri et al. All rights reserved. Significance of Maternal and Cord Blood Nucleated Red Blood Cell Count in Pregnancies Complicated by Preeclampsia Thu, 06 Mar 2014 07:54:36 +0000 Objectives. To evaluate the effect of preeclampsia on the cord blood and maternal NRBC count and to correlate NRBC count and neonatal outcome in preeclampsia and control groups. Study Design. This is a prospective case control observational study. Patients and Methods. Maternal and cord blood NRBC counts were studied in 50 preeclamptic women and 50 healthy pregnant women. Using automated cell counter total leucocyte count was obtained and peripheral smear was prepared to obtain NRBC count. Corrected WBC count and NRBC count/100 leucocytes in maternal venous blood and in cord blood were compared between the 2 groups. Results. No significant differences were found in corrected WBC count in maternal and cord blood in cases and controls. Significant differences were found in mean cord blood NRBC count in preeclampsia and control groups ( and , ). The mean maternal NRBC count in two groups was and , respectively (). Cord blood NRBC count cut off value ≤13 could rule out adverse neonatal outcome with a sensitivity of 63% and specificity of 89%. Conclusion. Cord blood NRBC are significantly raised in preeclampsia. Neonates with elevated cord blood NRBC counts are more likely to have IUGR, low birth weight, neonatal ICU admission, respiratory distress syndrome, and assisted ventilation. Below the count of 13/100 leucocytes, adverse neonatal outcome is quite less likely. Shripad Hebbar, Mehak Misha, and Lavanya Rai Copyright © 2014 Shripad Hebbar et al. All rights reserved. Safety and Efficacy of Misoprostol versus Oxytocin for the Prevention of Postpartum Hemorrhage Wed, 05 Mar 2014 09:08:09 +0000 Postpartum hemorrhage (PPH) is the commonest cause of maternal death worldwide. Studies suggest that the use of misoprostol may be beneficial in clinical settings where oxytocin is unavailable. The aim of this study was to compare the safety and efficacy of oxytocin and misoprostol when used in the prevention of PPH. In a double-blind randomized controlled trial, 400 pregnant women who had a vaginal delivery were assigned into two groups: to receive either 20 IU of oxytocin in 1000 mL Ringer’s solution and two placebo tablets or 400 mcg oral misoprostol (as two tablets) and 2 mL normal saline in 1000 mL Ringer’s solution. The quantity of blood loss was higher in the oxytocin group in comparison to the misoprostol group. There was no significant difference in the decrease in hematocrit and hemoglobin between the two groups. Although there was no significant difference in the need for transfusions between the two groups, the patients in the oxytocin group had greater need for additional oxytocin. Results from this study indicate that it may be considered as an alternative for oxytocin in low resource clinical settings. This study is registered with NCT01863706. Minoo Rajaei, Samieh Karimi, Zohreh Shahboodaghi, Hamidreza Mahboobi, Tahereh Khorgoei, and Farzam Rajaei Copyright © 2014 Minoo Rajaei et al. All rights reserved. Prenatal Detection of Cardiac Anomalies in Fetuses with Single Umbilical Artery: Diagnostic Accuracy Comparison of Maternal-Fetal-Medicine and Pediatric Cardiologist Sun, 02 Mar 2014 00:00:00 +0000 Aim. To determine agreement of cardiac anomalies between maternal fetal medicine (MFM) physicians and pediatric cardiologists (PC) in fetuses with single umbilical artery (SUA). Methods. A retrospective review of all fetuses with SUA between 1999 and 2008. Subjects were studied by MFM and PC, delivered at our institution, and had confirmation of SUA and cardiac anomaly by antenatal and neonatal PC follow-up. Subjects were divided into four groups: isolated SUA, SUA and isolated cardiac anomaly, SUA and multiple anomalies without heart anomalies, and SUA and multiple malformations including cardiac anomaly. Results. 39,942 cases were studied between 1999 and 2008. In 376 of 39,942 cases (0.94%), SUA was diagnosed. Only 182 (48.4%) met inclusion criteria. Cardiac anomalies were found in 21% (38/182). Agreement between MFM physicians and PC in all groups combined was 94% (171/182) (95% CI [89.2, 96.8]). MFM physicians overdiagnosed cardiac anomalies in 4.4% (8/182). MFM physicians and PC failed to antenatally diagnose cardiac anomaly in the same two cases. Conclusions. Good agreement was noted between MFM physicians and PC in our institution. Studies performed antenatally by MFM physicians and PC are less likely to uncover the entire spectrum of cardiac abnormalities and thus neonatal follow-up is suggested. Ilir Tasha, Rachel Brook, Heidi Frasure, and Noam Lazebnik Copyright © 2014 Ilir Tasha et al. All rights reserved. Use of Postpartum Care: Predictors and Barriers Thu, 20 Feb 2014 07:20:58 +0000 This study aimed to identify actual and perceived barriers to postpartum care among a probability sample of women who gave birth in Los Angeles County, California in 2007. Survey data from the 2007 Los Angeles Mommy and Baby (LAMB) study (N = 4,075) were used to identify predictors and barriers to postpartum care use. The LAMB study was a cross-sectional, population-based study that examined maternal and child health outcomes during the preconception, prenatal, and postpartum periods. Multivariable analyses identified low income, being separated/divorced and never married, trying hard to get pregnant or trying to prevent pregnancy, Medi-Cal insurance holders, and lack of prenatal care to be risk factors of postpartum care nonuse, while Hispanic ethnicity was protective. The most commonly reported barriers to postpartum care use were feeling fine, being too busy with the baby, having other things going on, and a lack of need. Findings from this study can inform the development of interventions targeting subgroups at risk for not obtaining postpartum care. Community education and improved access to care can further increase the acceptability of postpartum visits and contribute to improvements in women’s health. Postpartum care can serve as a gateway to engage underserved populations in the continuum of women’s health care. Jessica N. DiBari, Stella M. Yu, Shin M. Chao, and Michael C. Lu Copyright © 2014 Jessica N. DiBari et al. All rights reserved. Severe Postpartum Hemorrhage from Uterine Atony: A Multicentric Study Mon, 02 Dec 2013 09:23:33 +0000 Objective. Postpartum hemorrhage (PPH) is an important cause of maternal mortality (MM) around the world. Seventy percent of the PPH corresponds to uterine atony. The objective of our study was to evaluate multicenter PPH cases during a 10-month period, and evaluate severe postpartum hemorrhage management. Study Design. The study population is a cohort of vaginal delivery and cesarean section patients with severe postpartum hemorrhage secondary to uterine atony. The study was designed as a descriptive, prospective, longitudinal, and multicenter study, during 10 months in 13 teaching hospitals. Results. Total live births during the study period were 124,019 with 218 patients (0.17%) with severe postpartum hemorrhage (SPHH). Total maternal deaths were 8, for mortality rate of 3.6% and a MM rate of 6.45/100,000 live births (LB). Maternal deaths were associated with inadequate transfusion therapy. Conclusions. In all patients with severe hemorrhage and subsequent hypovolemic shock, the most important therapy is intravascular volume resuscitation, to reduce the possibility of target organ damage and death. Similarly, the current proposals of transfusion therapy in severe or massive hemorrhage point to early transfusion of blood products and use of fresh frozen plasma, in addition to packed red blood cells, to prevent maternal deaths. Carlos Montufar-Rueda, Laritza Rodriguez, José Douglas Jarquin, Alejandra Barboza, Maura Carolina Bustillo, Flor Marin, Guillermo Ortiz, and Francisco Estrada Copyright © 2013 Carlos Montufar-Rueda et al. All rights reserved. Effects of Maternal Factors on Birth Weight in Japan Thu, 21 Nov 2013 13:01:11 +0000 Objective. We investigated the possible factors related to the birth weight (BW) using the Japanese perinatal database. Methods. The live infants born at 37 to 41 weeks of gestation were enrolled in this study. Cases with diabetic pregnancy, preeclampsia, an anomalous fetus, and a fetus with chromosomal abnormalities were excluded. A multiple regression analysis for confounding factors and an analysis of covariance (ANCOVA) for comparing the BW in 2006 and 2010 were used for the statistical analysis. Results. The BW significantly decreased from 2950.8 g in 2006 () to 2937.5 g in 2010 () in the overall population, and this decrease was similar for male and female neonates. All confounding factors, except for the mode of delivery, affected the BW. Primiparity, smoking, and a female gender were related to the decrease in BW, whereas maternal age, maternal height, weight gain during pregnancy, BMI, the use of in vitro fertilization, induction of labor, and gestational duration were related to an increased BW. The ANCOVA showed that no significant change of the BW was seen between 2006 and 2010 (the difference was 2.164 g, ). Conclusion. The gestational duration is the most important factor affecting the BW in singleton term infants. Misato Terada, Yoshio Matsuda, Masaki Ogawa, Hideo Matsui, and Shoji Satoh Copyright © 2013 Misato Terada et al. All rights reserved. The Effect of Cesarean Delivery Skin Incision Approach in Morbidly Obese Women on the Rate of Classical Hysterotomy Wed, 20 Nov 2013 14:59:58 +0000 Objective. To assess the risk of classical hysterotomy and surgical morbidity among women with a body mass index (BMI) greater than 40 kg/m2 who underwent a supraumbilical incision at the time of cesarean delivery. Methods. We conducted a retrospective cohort study in women having a BMI greater than 40 kg/m2 who underwent a cesarean delivery of a live, singleton pregnancy from 2007 to 2011 at a single tertiary care institution. Intraoperative and postoperative outcomes were compared between patients undergoing supraumbilical vertical (cohort, ) or Pfannenstiel (controls, ) skin incisions. Results. Women undergoing supraumbilical incisions had a higher risk of classical hysterotomy (OR, 24.6; 95% CI, 9.0–66.8), surgical drain placement (OR, 6.5; 95% CI, 2.6–16.2), estimated blood loss greater than 1 liter (OR, 3.4; 95% CI, 1.4–8.4), and longer operative time (97 ± 38 minutes versus 68 ± 30 minutes; ) when compared to subjects with Pfannenstiel incisions (controls). There was no difference in the risk of wound complication between women undergoing supraumbilical or Pfannenstiel incisions (OR, 2.7; 95% CI, 0.9–8.0). Conclusion. In women with a BMI above 40 kg/m2, supraumbilical incision at the time of cesarean delivery is associated with a greater risk of classical hysterotomy and operative morbidity. Brian E. Brocato, Edwin M. Thorpe Jr., Luis M. Gomez, Jim Y. Wan, and Giancarlo Mari Copyright © 2013 Brian E. Brocato et al. All rights reserved. Effect of Folic Acid Supplementation in Pregnancy on Preeclampsia: The Folic Acid Clinical Trial Study Mon, 18 Nov 2013 15:20:03 +0000 Preeclampsia (PE) is hypertension with proteinuria that develops during pregnancy and affects at least 5% of pregnancies. The Effect of Folic Acid Supplementation in Pregnancy on Preeclampsia: the Folic Acid Clinical Trial (FACT) aims to recruit 3,656 high risk women to evaluate a new prevention strategy for PE: supplementation of folic acid throughout pregnancy. Pregnant women with increased risk of developing PE presenting to a trial participating center between 80/7 and 166/7 weeks of gestation are randomized in a 1 : 1 ratio to folic acid 4.0 mg or placebo after written consent is obtained. Intent-to-treat population will be analyzed. The FACT study was funded by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research in 2009, and regulatory approval from Health Canada was obtained in 2010. A web-based randomization system and electronic data collection system provide the platform for participating centers to randomize their eligible participants and enter data in real time. To date we have twenty participating Canadian centers, of which eighteen are actively recruiting, and seven participating Australian centers, of which two are actively recruiting. Recruitment in Argentina, UK, Netherlands, Brazil, West Indies, and United States is expected to begin by the second or third quarter of 2013. This trial is registered with NCT01355159. Shi Wu Wen, Josee Champagne, Ruth Rennicks White, Doug Coyle, William Fraser, Graeme Smith, Dean Fergusson, and Mark C. Walker Copyright © 2013 Shi Wu Wen et al. All rights reserved. Retracted: The Effects of Fetal Gender on Serum Human Chorionic Gonadotropin and Testosterone in Normotensive and Preeclamptic Pregnancies Sat, 02 Nov 2013 10:34:29 +0000 Journal of Pregnancy Copyright © 2013 Journal of Pregnancy. All rights reserved. Maternal Thyroid Dysfunction and Risk of Seizure in the Child: A Danish Nationwide Cohort Study Sun, 28 Jul 2013 08:29:09 +0000 Thyroid hormones are essential for brain development, and maternal thyroid disease may affect child neurocognitive development. Some types of seizures may also depend upon early exposure of the developing central nervous system, and we hypothesized that maternal thyroid dysfunction could increase the risk of seizure in the child. In a Danish population-based study we included 1,699,693 liveborn singletons, and from the Danish National Hospital Register we obtained information on maternal diagnosis of hyper- or hypothyroidism and neonatal seizure, febrile seizure, and epilepsy in the child. Maternal diagnosis of thyroid dysfunction before or after birth of the child was registered in two percent of the singleton births. In adjusted analyses, maternal hyperthyroidism and hypothyroidism first time diagnosed after birth of the child were associated with a significant increased risk of epilepsy in the child. Moreover, hypothyroidism diagnosed after birth of the child was associated with a significant increased risk of neonatal and febrile seizures. No significant association was seen for maternal diagnosis prior to birth of the child. We speculate if some degree of maternal thyroid dysfunction was already present during the pregnancy in mothers diagnosed after birth of the child and if this untreated condition may present a neurodevelopmental risk. Stine Linding Andersen, Peter Laurberg, Chun Sen Wu, and Jørn Olsen Copyright © 2013 Stine Linding Andersen et al. All rights reserved. Body Mass Index, Gestational Weight Gain, and Obstetric Complications in Moroccan Population Sun, 07 Jul 2013 11:17:50 +0000 Objectives. To evaluate the impact of the body mass index (BMI) before pregnancy and the weight gain during pregnancy, on the occurrence of maternal and neonatal morbidity in the Moroccan population, as well as to analyze the quality of the weight gain depending on the BMI. Methods. A study was carried out over a period of one year from October 1, 2010 to October 1, 2011, using data collected from a descriptive-transversal study. We recruited nondiabetic women without several HTAs, delivering singletons from 37 completed weeks up to 42 weeks gestation. Results. Total of 1408 were analyzed. The risks of moderate hypertension, macrosomia, dystocia, and resort to cesarean section were higher among overweight or obese women, as well as among women whose weight gain was >16 kg. The differences were significant <0.05. Conclusion. This study demonstrates that overweight women before pregnancy and weight gain during pregnancy are associated with higher risks of maternal and neonatal complications. These data provide ideas on prevention opportunities. Latifa Mochhoury, Rachid Razine, Jalal Kasouati, Mariam Kabiri, and Amina Barkat Copyright © 2013 Latifa Mochhoury et al. All rights reserved. “Near Miss” Obstetric Events and Maternal Deaths in a Tertiary Care Hospital: An Audit Wed, 26 Jun 2013 11:20:27 +0000 Objectives. (1) To determine the frequency of maternal near miss, maternal near miss incidence ratio (MNMR), maternal near miss to mortality ratio and mortality index. (2) To compare the nature of near miss events with that of maternal mortality. (3) To see the trend of near miss events. Design. Audit. Setting. Kasturba Hospital, Manipal University, Manipal, India. Population. Near miss cases & maternal deaths. Methods. Cases were defined based on WHO criteria 2009. Main Outcome Measures. Severe acute maternal morbidity and maternal deaths. Results. There were 7390 deliveries and 131 “near miss” cases during the study period. The Maternal near miss incidence ratio was 17.8/1000 live births, maternal near miss to mortality ratio was 5.6 : 1, and mortality index was 14.9%. A total of 126 cases were referred, while 5 cases were booked at our hospital. Hemorrhage was the leading cause (44.2%), followed by hypertensive disorders (23.6%) and sepsis (16.3%). Maternal mortality ratio (MMR) was 313/100000 live births. Conclusion. Hemorrhage and hypertensive disorders are the leading causes of near miss events. New-onset viral infections have emerged as the leading cause of maternal mortality. As near miss analysis indicates the quality of health care, it is worth presenting in national indices. Roopa PS, Shailja Verma, Lavanya Rai, Pratap Kumar, Murlidhar V. Pai, and Jyothi Shetty Copyright © 2013 Roopa PS et al. All rights reserved. Assessment of Myometrial Concentrations of Oestrogen and Progesterone Receptors in the Lower Uterine Segment of Full-Term Pregnancies in Presence or Absence of Labour Sun, 02 Jun 2013 13:18:04 +0000 Objective. To assess the concentration of progesterone (PRs) and oestrogen (ORs) receptors of myometrium of full-term pregnant women in the myometrium of lower segment of the uterus in relationship with presence or absence of labour. Methods. This was a cross-sectional prospective study with 21 pregnant women, being 6 in labour (Group I) and 15 without labour (Group II). The biopsy of myometrium was realized during caesarian section, and the excised tissue was stained using immunohistochemical techniques for the quantification of the receptors, and with the aid of image-analysis software, the numbers of receptors for each hormone were determined spectrophotometrically. The Mann-Whitney test was used to compare the pregnant women in each study group with respect to the numbers of ORs and PRs. The Wilcoxon test was used to compare the concentration of ORs and PRs in each group separately. Results. The mean of gestational age was 39 weeks, (range, 37 to 41 weeks). The medians of PRs and ORs in pregnant women in labour (Group I) were 29.3 (range, 24.6–30.2) and 32.3 (range, 22.9–49.0), respectively. The medians of PRs and ORs in pregnant women without labour (Group II) were 43.6 (range, 23.6–70) and 43.9 (range, 18.3–62.6), respectively. We did not observe significant differences of the number of ORs and PRs in both groups ( and 0.37, resp.). The number of ORs was statistically more than that of PRs in Group II (Z calculated = 16.00). Conclusion. The concentrations of PRs and ORs were similar in the myometrium of the lower uterine segment of pregnant women during and without labour, but the concentration of ORs was more than that of PRs in the myometrium of the lower uterine segment of pregnant women without labour. Joana Soares de Arruda, Edward Araujo Júnior, Manuel de Jesus Simões, and Luiz Kulay Júnior Copyright © 2013 Joana Soares de Arruda et al. All rights reserved. Pregnancy and Lifestyle: Short- and Long-Term Effects on Mother's and Her Children's Health Tue, 28 May 2013 11:08:37 +0000 Riitta Luoto, Michelle F. Mottola, and Leena Hilakivi-Clarke Copyright © 2013 Riitta Luoto et al. All rights reserved. The Heart-Placenta Axis in the First Month of Pregnancy: Induction and Prevention of Cardiovascular Birth Defects Wed, 17 Apr 2013 17:45:33 +0000 Extrapolating from animal studies to human pregnancy, our studies showed that folate (FA) deficiency as well as one-time exposure to environmental factors in the first two to three weeks of human gestation can result in severe congenital heart defects (CHDs). Considering that approximately 49% of pregnancies are unplanned, this period of pregnancy can be considered high-risk for cardiac, as well as for neural, birth defects, as the woman usually is not aware of her pregnancy and may not yet be taking precautionary actions to protect the developing embryo. Using avian and mouse vertebrate models, we demonstrated that FA supplementation prevents CHD induced by alcohol, lithium, or elevation of the metabolite homocysteine, a marker for FA deficiency. All three factors affected the important Wnt signaling pathway by suppressing Wnt-mediated gene expression in the heart fields, resulting in a delay of cardiomyocyte migration, cardiomyogenesis, and CHD. Optimal protection of cardiogenesis was observed to occur with FA supplementation provided upon morning after conception and at higher doses than the presently available in prenatal vitamin supplementation. Our studies demonstrate pathways and cell processes that are involved with protection of one-carbon metabolism during heart development. Kersti K. Linask Copyright © 2013 Kersti K. Linask. All rights reserved. Eclampsia Characteristics and Outcomes: A Comparison of Two Eras Sun, 07 Apr 2013 15:26:52 +0000 Objective. To describe the trends in incidence, characteristics, and outcomes of women with eclampsia. Methods. We reviewed and abstracted data from medical records of all women diagnosed with eclampsia in our institution from August 1998 to April 2011. In addition to overall characteristics and outcomes, the cases were stratified by onset: antenatal versus postnatal and early (<32 weeks of gestation) versus late antenatal cases (≥32 weeks of gestation). Comparisons were made using chi-square, Fisher's exact, Mann-Whitney U, and t-tests. A two-sided was considered statistically significant. Results. We identified 87 eclampsia cases out of 59,388 deliveries; 62 cases were diagnosed before delivery, and 25 had a postnatal onset. Among the 62 antenatal cases, 41 were diagnosed before 32 weeks and 21 at or after 32 weeks of gestation. Antenatal cases had higher systolic () and diastolic () blood pressures, more abnormal dipstick-test proteinuria (), and lower platelet counts () than postnatal cases. Early eclampsia cases were complicated more often with HELLP syndrome than late eclampsia cases (). Conclusion. The occurrence of eclampsia has decreased over time. The earlier the onset is, the worse the outcome appears to be. Mauro H. Schenone, Dorothy Miller, Jacques E. Samson, and Giancarlo Mari Copyright © 2013 Mauro H. Schenone et al. All rights reserved. Risk-Based Screening for Thyroid Dysfunction during Pregnancy Wed, 27 Mar 2013 13:43:08 +0000 Objective. We conducted the study to see the incidence of thyroid dysfunction in women with obstetrical high-risk factors. Methods. We retrospectively reviewed medical charts of high-risk pregnant women who had examination for thyroid function during pregnancy. Women were divided according to clinical presentation, symptoms of thyroid disease and those with a personal history of thyroid disease (thyroid disease, ), intrauterine growth restriction (IUGR, ), diabetes mellitus (diabetes, ), hypertension (), intrauterine fetal death (IUFD, ), and placental abruption (abruption, ). The incidence of thyroid dysfunctions including hyperthyroidism or hypothyroidism was compared. Results. The overall prevalence of thyroid dysfunction was 24.7%. The incidence of thyroid dysfunction in each group was as follows: 31% in thyroid disease, 25% in IUGR, 30% in diabetes, 27% in hypertension, 12% in IUFD, and 7% in abruption. Except IUFD, the incidence was not statistically significant from the group of thyroid disease (thyroid disease versus IUFD, by test). Thyroid disease represented for only 10% of all thyroid dysfunctions. Conclusion. Testing of women with a personal history or current symptoms of thyroid disease during pregnancy may be insufficient to detect women with thyroid dysfunction, who will become at high-risk pregnancy. Masanao Ohashi, Seishi Furukawa, Kaori Michikata, Katsuhide Kai, Hiroshi Sameshima, and Tsuyomu Ikenoue Copyright © 2013 Masanao Ohashi et al. All rights reserved. Prevalence of Metabolic Syndrome One Year after Delivery in Finnish Women at Increased Risk for Gestational Diabetes Mellitus during Pregnancy Wed, 20 Mar 2013 18:23:28 +0000 Background. Women with a history of gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM) are at increased risk for metabolic syndrome (MeS) after delivery. We studied the prevalence of MeS at one year postpartum among Finnish women who in early pregnancy were at increased risk of developing GDM. Methods. This follow-up study is a part of a GDM prevention trial. At one year postpartum, 150 women (mean age 33.1 years, BMI 27.2 kg/m2) were evaluated for MeS. Results. The prevalence of MeS was 18% according tothe International Diabetes Federation(IDF) criteria and 16% according toNational Cholestrol Education Program(NCEP) criteria. Of MeS components, 74% of participants had an increased waist circumference (≥80 cm). Twenty-seven percent had elevated fasting plasma glucose (≥5.6 mmol/L), and 29% had reduced HDL cholesterol (≤1.3 mmol/L). The odds ratio for the occurrence of MeS at one year postpartum was 3.0 (95% CI 1.0–9.2) in those who were overweight before pregnancy compared to normal weight women. Conclusions. Nearly one-fifth of the women with an increased risk of GDM in early pregnancy fulfilled the criteria of MeS at one year postpartum. The most important factor associated with MeS was prepregnancy overweight. Weight management before and during pregnancy is important for preventing MeS after delivery. Jatta Puhkala, Tarja I. Kinnunen, Tommi Vasankari, Katriina Kukkonen-Harjula, Jani Raitanen, and Riitta Luoto Copyright © 2013 Jatta Puhkala et al. All rights reserved. The Consequences of Chorioamnionitis: Preterm Birth and Effects on Development Thu, 07 Mar 2013 12:01:27 +0000 Preterm birth is a major cause of perinatal mortality and long-term morbidity. Chorioamnionitis is a common cause of preterm birth. Clinical chorioamnionitis, characterised by maternal fever, leukocytosis, tachycardia, uterine tenderness, and preterm rupture of membranes, is less common than subclinical/histologic chorioamnionitis, which is asymptomatic and defined by inflammation of the chorion, amnion, and placenta. Chorioamnionitis is often associated with a fetal inflammatory response. The fetal inflammatory response syndrome (FIRS) is defined by increased systemic inflammatory cytokine concentrations, funisitis, and fetal vasculitis. Clinical and epidemiological studies have demonstrated that FIRS leads to poor cardiorespiratory, neurological, and renal outcomes. These observations are further supported by experimental studies that have improved our understanding of the mechanisms responsible for these outcomes. This paper outlines clinical and experimental studies that have improved our current understanding of the mechanisms responsible for chorioamnionitis-induced preterm birth and explores the cellular and physiological mechanisms underlying poor cardiorespiratory, neural, retinal, and renal outcomes observed in preterm infants exposed to chorioamnionitis. Robert Galinsky, Graeme R. Polglase, Stuart B. Hooper, M. Jane Black, and Timothy J. M. Moss Copyright © 2013 Robert Galinsky et al. All rights reserved. Maternal Body Mass Index Does Not Affect Neonatal Umbilical Artery Blood Gas Parameters Thu, 21 Feb 2013 09:51:06 +0000 This study was undertaken to assess the impact of obesity on fetal well-being in glucose-tolerant and nonhypertensive women. Medical charts of all patients admitted to the labor and delivery department at our institution between January, 2011 and July, 2011 were retrospectively reviewed. Patients with diabetes/impaired glucose tolerance or hypertension were excluded. A total of 100 women, 50 lean and 50 obese, were included. Umbilical artery blood gas parameters (BGPs) were compared in lean (<25 kg/m2) and obese (≥30 kg/m2) women. Obese and lean women were comparable with respect to all baseline characteristics. There was no difference in any of the BGP or Apgar scores between obese and lean patients. Pearson’s correlation coefficient found no significant correlation between BMI and BGP/Apgar scores. Maternal obesity does not seem to affect BGP and fetal well-being in glucose-tolerant and nonhypertensive women. Salam E. Chalouhi, Caroline Salafia, Magdy Mikhail, and Robert Hecht Copyright © 2013 Salam E. Chalouhi et al. All rights reserved. Limiting Excess Weight Gain in Healthy Pregnant Women: Importance of Energy Intakes, Physical Activity, and Adherence to Gestational Weight Gain Guidelines Wed, 20 Feb 2013 08:38:08 +0000 Few studies have investigated if compliance with energy intakes, physical activity, and weight gain guidelines attenuate postpartum weight retention (PPWR) in mothers attending prenatal classes. We investigated whether (a) daily energy intakes within 300 kcal of estimated energy requirements (EERs), (b) walking more than 5000 steps/day, (c) targeting the recommended weight gain goals for prepregnancy BMI, and/or (d) achieving weekly or total gestational weight gain (GWG) recommendations minimized PPWR in 54 women attending prenatal classes in Montreal/Ottawa, Canada. Participants completed a validated pregnancy physical activity questionnaire (PPAQ), 3 telephone-validated 24-hr dietary recalls, and wore a pedometer for one week. PPWR was measured 6 weeks after delivery. Results showed that 72% had healthy prepregnancy BMIs. However, 52% consumed 300 kcal/day in excess of their EER, 54% exceeded recommended GWG, and more overweight (93%) than normal weight women (38%) cited nonrecommended GWG targets. Following delivery, 33% were classified as overweight, and 17% were obese. Multiple logistic regressions revealed that women targeting “recommended weight gain advice” were 3 times more likely to meet total GWG recommendations (OR: 3.2, ; women who complied with weekly GWG goals minimized PPWR (OR: 4.2, . In conclusion, appropriate GWG targets, lower energy intakes, and physical activity should be emphasized in prenatal education programs. Tamara R. Cohen and Kristine G. Koski Copyright © 2013 Tamara R. Cohen and Kristine G. Koski. All rights reserved. Current Thoughts on Maternal Nutrition and Fetal Programming of the Metabolic Syndrome Thu, 14 Feb 2013 16:47:30 +0000 Chronic diseases such as type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease are the leading cause of death and disability worldwide. Although the metabolic syndrome has been defined in various ways, the ultimate importance of recognizing this combination of disorders is that it helps identify individuals at high risk for both type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease. Evidence from observational and experimental studies links adverse exposures in early life, particularly relating to nutrition, to chronic disease susceptibility in adulthood. Such studies provide the foundation and framework for the relatively new field of developmental origins of health and disease (DOHaD). Although great strides have been made in identifying the putative concepts and mechanisms relating specific exposures in early life to the risk of developing chronic diseases in adulthood, a complete picture remains obscure. To date, the main focus of the field has been on perinatal undernutrition and specific nutrient deficiencies; however, the current global health crisis of overweight and obesity demands that perinatal overnutrition and specific nutrient excesses be examined. This paper assembles current thoughts on the concepts and mechanisms behind the DOHaD as they relate to maternal nutrition, and highlights specific contributions made by macro- and micronutrients. Bonnie Brenseke, M. Renee Prater, Javiera Bahamonde, and J. Claudio Gutierrez Copyright © 2013 Bonnie Brenseke et al. All rights reserved. Basic Experimental and Clinical Advances in the Mechanisms Underlying Abnormal Pregnancy Outcomes Mon, 11 Feb 2013 11:51:30 +0000 Timothy R. H. Regnault, Mark J. Nijland, Helen Budge, and Janna L. Morrison Copyright © 2013 Timothy R. H. Regnault et al. All rights reserved. Physical Activity during Pregnancy: Impact of Applying Different Physical Activity Guidelines Tue, 05 Feb 2013 10:53:26 +0000 Multiple guidelines and definitions of physical activity (PA) have been used to study the benefits of activity during pregnancy. The different guidelines lead to a wide range of prevalence estimates and this has led to conflicting reports about activity patterns during pregnancy. A longitudinal study was conducted to assess PA using a pattern-recognition monitor for a 7-day period at week 18 () and week 35 () of pregnancy. The amount of activity performed and the number of women meeting six different PA guidelines were evaluated. Adherence to PA guidelines ranged from 5 to 100% and 9 to 100% at weeks 18 and 35, respectively. All women achieved the 500 MET-minute guideline and nearly all women accumulated ≥150 minutes of weekly moderate-vigorous physical activity (MVPA) at both time points. Only 22% and 26% participated in ≥3 sessions of MVPA lasting ≥30 minutes at both time points and this further declined to 5% and 9% when the guideline was increased to ≥5 sessions of 30 minutes. The amount of PA during pregnancy varied drastically depending on which guideline was used. Further research is warranted to clearly identify the patterns of activity that are associated with healthy pregnancy outcomes. Katie M. Smith and Christina G. Campbell Copyright © 2013 Katie M. Smith and Christina G. Campbell. All rights reserved. Stages of Change Model for Participation in Physical Activity during Pregnancy Mon, 04 Feb 2013 15:56:32 +0000 Background. The transtheoretical model (TTM) has been successful in promoting health behavioral change in the general population. However, there is a scant knowledge about physical activity in relation to the TTM during pregnancy. Hence, the aims of the present study were (1) to assess readiness to become or stay physically active according to the TTM and (2) to compare background and health variables across the TTM. Methods. Healthy pregnant women () were allocated to the study from Oslo University Hospital, Norway. The participants filled in a validated self-administered questionnaire, physical activity pregnancy questionnaire (PAPQ) in gestation, weeks 32–36. The questionnaire contained 53 questions with one particular question addressing the TTM and the five stages: (1) precontemplation stage, (2) contemplation stage, (3) preparation stage, (4) action stage, and (5) maintenance stage. Results. More than half of the participants (53%) were involved in regular exercise (stages 4-5); however, only six specified that they had recently started an exercise program (stage 4). About 33% reported engaging in some physical activity, but not regularly (stage 3). The results showed that receiving advice from health professionals to exercise during pregnancy increased the likeliness of being in stages 4-5, while higher age, multiparity, pregravid overweight, unhealthy eating habits, pelvic girdle pain, and urinary incontinence were more prevalent with low readiness to change exercise habits (stages 1–3). Conclusion. According to the TTM, more than half of the participants reported to be physically active. Moreover, most of the participants classified as inactive showed a high motivational readiness or intention to increase their physical activity level. Hence, pregnancy may be a window of opportunity for the establishment of long-term physical activity habits. Lene Annette Hagen Haakstad, Nanna Voldner, and Kari Bø Copyright © 2013 Lene Annette Hagen Haakstad et al. All rights reserved. Kinematic Analysis of Gait in the Second and Third Trimesters of Pregnancy Thu, 31 Jan 2013 08:38:46 +0000 The kinematic analysis of gait during pregnancy provides more information about the anatomical changes and contributes to exercise and rehabilitation prescription. The purposes were to quantify the lower limb kinematics of gait and to compare it between the second and third trimesters of pregnancy and with a control group. A three-dimensional analysis was performed in twenty-two pregnant women and twelve nonpregnant. Repeated Measures and Manova tests were performed for comparisons between trimesters and between pregnant and controls. The walking speed, stride width, right-/left-step time, cycle time and time of support, and flight phases remain unchanged between trimesters and between pregnant and controls. Stride and right-/left-step lengths decreased between trimesters. Double limb support time increased between trimesters, and it increased when compared with controls. Joint kinematics showed a significant decrease of right-hip extension and adduction during stance phase between trimesters and when compared with controls. Also, an increase in left-knee flexion and a decrease in right-ankle plantarflexion were found between trimesters. The results suggested that pregnant women need to maintain greater stability of body and to become more efficient in locomotion. Further data from the beginning of pregnancy anthropometric data may contribute to the analysis. Marco Branco, Rita Santos-Rocha, Liliana Aguiar, Filomena Vieira, and António Veloso Copyright © 2013 Marco Branco et al. All rights reserved.