Expectant women who use marijuana for morning sickness affect baby’s brain – study

Using marijuana during pregnancy to treat morning sickness could damage an unborn baby’s brain, a new study says.

Research conducted on rats found that expecting mothers who used cannabis affected the section of the brain involved in memory and learning.

The rate of pregnant women using pot for severe nausea and vomiting has increased by 11.3 percent over the last decade and by more than 62 percent for general overall use.

Previous studies have shown that children born to women who used marijuana during pregnancy are more likely to develop cognitive and behavioral problems.

The team, from Auburn University in Alabama, says its findings confirm pot’s harmful effects on developing brains and advise that there are no safe levels when it comes to expectant mothers.

‘Marijuana is becoming one of the most consumed drugs in pregnancy, but we know from past studies that it has harmful effects on developing brains,’ co-author Priyanka Das Pinky, a graduate student at Auburn University, told DailyMail.com.

For the new study, the team wanted to examine the effects cannabis use could have on a fetus’s hippocampus, which is responsible for processing memory and emotional responses.

They raised pregnant female rats and exposed one group to a synthetic chemical that acts similarly to marijuana.

The dose was equivalent to a pregnant human mother using moderate to heavy amounts of cannabis.

When the baby rats were born, the researchers examined their brains and found that the nerve connections in the ‘brain’s memory bank’ were reduced in rats exposed to synthetic pot in the womb compared to those that weren’t exposed.

Researchers found that this was due to a reduction in a protein known as Neural Cell Adhesion Molecule (NCAM), which helps maintain neural connections and strength.

‘When we examined what was causing this, we found this molecule in brain was not maintaining proper connection in neurons,’ Pinky said. ‘There has not been much data on this molecule before, so that was exciting to see.’

The results suggest that increasing NCAM may reduce the effects of pot, but the authors say further studies are needed.

‘Right now, we’re looking for compounds that increase [production of] this molecule,’ Pinky said.

‘However, we’ve only done research in animal models and there’s always a translational gap between animal models and human models.’

Pinky says that there are many things to consider when it comes to a pregnant woman’s marijuana use including during which trimester she uses it and whether she smokes or vapes it.

‘The first trimester may not have as many effects, and it’s been pre-established that the severity is worse when marijuana is smoked [compared to vaped],’ said Pinky.

‘The effect might vary, but how it might vary and if there is a possible safe use of marijuana during pregnancy is too early to say.’

She added that as many states legalize recreational marijuana, many women might believe that cannabis is safe to use, but she says this is a dangerous mindset.’

‘The research is preliminary, but we will stress that marijuana is bad to use during pregnancy and we don’t encourage women to take it,’ Pinky said.

Research will be presented at the annual meeting of the American Society for Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics between April 6 and April 9 in Orlando, Florida.

-Daily Mail

Pregnant women who take fish oil supplements each day are ‘less likely to have a premature baby’

Taking daily fish oil supplements during pregnancy can slash chances of a premature birth by up to 42 per cent, a major review has found.

Mothers-to-be have long been warned to limit oily fish and avoid certain fish altogether because of concerns over pollutants and mercury exposure.

Now researchers have found those who consume the highest levels of omega-3 fatty acids are significantly less likely to give birth early.

The findings are so strong they suggest pregnant women should start taking cod liver oil tablets every day from 12 weeks onwards.

A review of 70 studies found increasing a type of fatty acids found in oily fish like salmon and mackerel lowers the risk of having a baby born before 37 weeks by 11 per cent.

The risk of giving birth before 34 weeks drops by 42 per cent and the chances of having a small baby – weighing less than 5lbs 5oz – falls by a tenth (10 per cent).

Around 60,000 babies are born prematurely in the UK each year, while the figure is around 380,000 in the US.

Recent rankings put the UK 134th out of 184 countries in the world, higher than many countries in Europe and higher than Cuba, Ecuador and Iraq.

There are currently few options for preventing premature birth, yet it is the leading cause of death in children under-5 worldwide.

Those who survive facing a range of long-term conditions including visual impairment, developmental delay and learning difficulties.

But scientists suggest taking a daily pill – containing between 500 and 1000mg of long-chain omega-3 fats – from 12 weeks onwards could help to cut the risk.

-Dailymail

New mum dishes VERY intimate details about her labour and admits developing weird obsession with sponges

She welcomed her first child into the world, a daughter named Sunday, last month.

And Ferne McCann has revealed yet more details about her pregnancy experience, admitting she developed a weird obsession with sponges, before spilling intimate details about her time in labour.

While it’s totally normal for expectant mothers to find themselves craving the bizarre while pregnant, Ferne admitted hers was more unusual than most.

She told heat magazine: ‘The only thing that was super-weird is that I had an obsession with sponges. And damp smells. Honestly, this is a thing – I Googled it. Women love the texture. I was burying my nose in sponge.’

The reality star confessed that she also ate chocolate close to every night of her pregnancy – a habit she is still trying to shake.

The former TOWIE star – who will document her journey into motherhood in her new programme Ferne: First time Mum – also divulged personal details about her time in labour.

She explained: ‘Well, they describe it as the ring of fire – it’s a the crowning of the head. I’ve never experienced a pain like it. The pain kind of just fizzles away as soon as you’ve given birth.’

Asked how she felt about raising her daughter alone, she remarked:

‘I’ve got used to the idea, to be honest. I’d done the whole pregnancy on my own and I kind of knew it was coming, so yeah.’

The interview also saw Ferne disparage the term ‘single mum’, a comment that recently saw her criticised by fellow single parent and former Celebrity Big Brother star Jessica Cunningham.

Ferne shares daughter Sunday with ex-boyfriend Arthur Collins – who was recently convicted for his part in a horrific nightclub acid attack that took place in east London earlier this year.

Arthur was convicted of five counts of grievous bodily harm with intent and nine of actual bodily harm two weeks ago. He had committed the offence while out celebrating the news of Ferne’s pregnancy.

He has been warned he could face life behind bars when he is sentenced on December 19.

According to The Sun, Ferne is understood to have told the father of her newborn daughter that she won’t ever see him again after visiting him in prison.

-Daily Mail

Expectant women were discriminated against in police recruitment

The Independent Policing Oversight Authority (IPOA) has filed a case in the High Court seeking to have recent police recruitment exercise conducted on 14th July 2014 nullified.

In their statement, IPOA chairman Macharia Njeru, said the exercise was “marred by maleficent irregularities, was conducted in a manner that was not in compliance with the constitution and hence led to the great hue and cry from members of the public and aggrieved participants.”

Pregnant women and people with brown teeth were among those discriminated against in the exercise A Laywer representing IPOA said some women excelled in all stages, only to be turned away after pregnancy tests.