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Archive for February, 2009

Planning a C-section? It may pay to wait.

Saturday, February 21st, 2009 by:

I wish this had been published before I scheduled my C-section at 38 weeks. Although the outcome may not have been any different (my son was in NICU for 11 days for respiratory distress), there’s a chance that waiting an extra week to deliver could have nixed my baby’s NICU stay.

Thirty-seven weeks is considered a full-term pregnancy. But if you need to schedule a planned cesearean section delivery, new information has found it’s best to way until your baby is at least 39 gestational weeks of age.

A study published in the The New England Journal of Medicine tracked almost 25,000 repeat and singleton C-sections. Compared to births at 39 weeks, births at 37 and 38 weeks were associated with an increased risk of adverse respiratory outcomes, mechanical ventilation, newborn sepsis, hypoglycemia, and admission to the neonatal unit. Your risk increased by a factor of 1.8 to 4.2 for births at 37 weeks and 1.3 to 2.1 for births at 38 weeks.

Can a humidifier help prevent the flu?

Friday, February 13th, 2009 by:
A humidifer can reduce your flu risk.

A humidifier can reduce your flu risk.

A humidifier or vaporizer is one of the few ways to ease congestion in babies and toddlers. (They moisten the air and can help clear your child’s nasal passages.) Now, a new study shows that increasing humidity levels in your home may even help prevent the flu.

A recent study in Proceedings of National Academy of Science found that flu spreads better in dry air. So, when absolute humidity is low, influenza virus survival is prolonged and transmission rates go up. That’s why we see seasonal spikes in flu.

Although a humidifier can help, don’t over do it–too much humidity can lead to mold. The Mayo Clinic suggests 40 to 50 percent home humidity. To find out where you’re at, buy an inexpensive hygrometer to measure your home’s humidity levels.