Don't Postpone Pregnancy After Miscarriage
If at first you don't succeed, it may be best to try again soon. Women who get pregnant within six months of a miscarriage are more likely to have a healthy, successful pregnancy than if they wait longer, suggests a new study published online in the British Medical Journal. The study, which involved more than 30,000 women, found that women conceiving again within six months instead of waiting the traditional six to 12 months were 34 percent less likely to have another miscarriage than women were who waited the traditional six to 12 months. They also had about a 10 percent lower chance of a caesarean section and about a 15 percent lower risk of a low-birth-weight baby—and were more than 55 percent less likely to have a second miscarriage than those who conceived again after 24 months.
Teen Depression Linked to Internet Overuse
Teenagers who have an unhealthy dependence on the Internet are almost twice as likely to become depressed as other teens, giving parents yet another good reason to limit kids' screen time. That's the news from a study in Pediatrics, which tracked the Internet use of teenagers in China, where "Internet addiction" is considered a serious and growing problem, U.S. News contributor Nancy Shute writes.
The researchers tracked 1,041 teenagers, finding out how much they used the Internet and whether that use was unhealthy. They used surveys similar to those used with pathological gamblers. A typical question asked: "How often do you feel depressed, moody, or nervous when you are offline, which goes away once you are back online?" The vast majority of the teens, 94 percent, weren't pathological Internet users. But 6 percent were considered moderately at risk. Nine months later, those students were 50 percent more likely to have symptoms of clinical depression than teens who were less dependent on the Internet, though they had not been depressed before. [Read more: Teen Depression Linked to Internet Overuse.]
How to Avoid Excess Weight Gain During Pregnancy
To keep from becoming an obese adult, let your mom know before you're born not to gain too much weight. Expectant mothers who gain too much weight during pregnancy tend to give birth to heavier babies, who are more likely to become obese later in life, according to a study published this week in the Lancet. Those infants may also be more prone to developing asthma, allergies, heart disease, diabetes, and cancer, U.S. News's Angela Haupt writes. "Excess weight gain isn't only bad for the mother—it has an adverse effect on unborn fetuses, too," says study coauthor David Ludwig, director of the Optimal Weight for Life program at Children's Hospital Boston. "The nine months before birth are the most important in determining a child's long-term health risks."
Optimal weight gain depends on starting weight, activity level, and metabolism. But the Institute of Medicine, which advises the federal government, recommends maximum weight gain during pregnancy of 25 pounds for women who are already overweight or obese, 35 pounds for women in the normal range, and 40 pounds for those who are underweight. To avoid gaining excess weight when you're expecting, consider these strategies:
First, forget about "eating for two." That notion is "inappropriate and needs to be dispelled," says Anna Maria Siega-Riz, a professor of nutrition and an expert in public health at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill. From the second trimester on, pregnant women should consume an additional 350 to 450 calories per day; an extra sandwich, glass of milk, and piece of fruit will typically suffice, she says. [Read more: How to Avoid Excess Weight Gain During Pregnancy.]
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