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Chapter 3 rewrites two cases that deal with pregnancy discrimination: International Union, UAW v. Johnson Controls, and Young v. United Parcel Service, Inc. The original Johnson Controls case struck down a broad fetal protection policy forbidding women of childbearing age from working in jobs with lead exposure, but the Court failed to acknowledge the hardships of the individual women excluded, ignored evidence that men’s offspring also suffer harm from excess lead exposure, and failed to suggest cleaning up workplaces with toxic substances, rather than excluding employees from valuable jobs. The rewritten opinion cures these omissions and disavows the stereotypes of a policy assuming that all women are potentially mothers. The feminist judgment in Young holds that an employer providing accommodations for employees with physical restrictions similar to those of pregnancy must provide the same accommodations to a pregnant employee. It highlights the history of discrimination against pregnant women – a significant cause of women’s subordination in the workplace, with many women forced to quit as a consequence of employers’ shortcomings.
Preeclampsia (PE) and gestational hypertension (GH) are pregnancy-specific diseases that occur in around 10% of pregnancies worldwide. Increasing evidence suggests that women whose pregnancies were complicated by PE or GH, and their offspring, are at increased risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD) later in life. We hypothesised that PE and GH would associate with CVD risk factors 8–10 years after the first pregnancy in the mother and child and that differences in cardiovascular risk profile would be seen between 8- and 10-year-old male and female children. This is a follow-up study of the Adelaide SCOPE pregnancy cohort where 1164 nulliparous women and their babies were recruited between 2005 and 2008. Haemodynamic function was assessed using non-invasive USCOMBP+ and USCOM1A devices. Microvascular function was assessed by post-occlusive reactive hyperaemia. Of the 273 mother–child pairs followed up, 38 women had PE and 20 had GH during pregnancy. Augmentation index (Aix) and suprasystolic pulse pressure (ssPP) were increased, whereas measures of microvascular function were decreased in children who were born to PE compared to uncomplicated pregnancies. Female children had decreased Aix and ssPP compared to male children after in utero exposure to PE. Women who developed GH during their first pregnancy had increased systolic, diastolic and mean arterial pressures compared to women who had uncomplicated pregnancy. Our data suggest that GH is associated with increased cardiovascular risk in women 8–10 years after first pregnancy and PE is associated with increased offspring risk at 8–10 years of age, highlighting differences between these two hypertensive disorders of pregnancy.
Estimation of pre-pregnancy weight is difficult because measurements taken before pregnancy are rarely available. No studies have compared various ‘proxy’ measures using recalled weight or based on early pregnancy weight with actual measurements of pre-pregnancy weight. The Southampton Women’s Survey recruited women during 1998–2002 who were not pregnant. Data on 198 women with an estimated date of conception within 3 months of recruitment were analysed. Three proxy measures were considered: (1) recalled pre-pregnancy weight obtained during early pregnancy, (2) measured weight in early pregnancy and (3) estimated pre-pregnancy weight using a published model. Mean (standard deviation) recalled weight was 1.65 (3.03) kg lighter than measured pre-pregnancy weight, while early pregnancy weight and weights from the published model were 0.88 (2.34) and 0.88 (2.33) kg heavier, respectively. The Bland–Altman limits of agreement for recalled weight were −7.59 to 4.29 kg, wider than those for the early pregnancy weight: −3.71 to 5.47 kg and the published model: −3.68 to 5.45 kg. For estimating pre-pregnancy weight, we recommend subtraction of 0.88 kg from early pregnancy weight or the published model, or addition of 1.65 kg to recalled weight. Estimates of pre-pregnancy body mass index and gestational weight gain categories were very similar when using early pregnancy and published model weights, but they differed from those using recalled weight. Our findings indicate that calculations of first trimester weight gain using recalled weight must be treated cautiously, and a measured weight in early pregnancy provides a more precise assessment of pre-pregnancy weight than recalled weight.
To evaluate the hypothesis that a perinatal educational dietary intervention focused on ‘eating for the gut microbiota’ improves diet quality of pregnant women pre- and postnatally.
The Healthy Parents, Healthy Kids study is a prospectively registered randomised controlled trial designed to evaluate the efficacy of a dietary intervention in altering the maternal and infant gut microbiota and improving perinatal diet quality. Eligible pregnant women were randomised to receive dietary advice from their healthcare provider or to additionally receive a three session dietary intervention. Dietary data were collected at gestation weeks 26, 31, 36 and postnatal week 4. Outcome measures were diet quality, dietary variety, prebiotic and probiotic food intakes, energy, fibre, saturated fat and discretionary food intakes. Between-group differential changes from baseline before and after birth in these dietary measures were assessed using generalised estimating equations.
Healthy pregnant women from gestation week 26.
Forty-five women were randomised (twenty-two control, twenty-three intervention). Compared with the control group, the intervention group improved diet quality prior to birth (5·66 (95 % CI 1·65, 9·67), Cohen’s d: 0·82 (se 0·33)). The intervention improved dietary variety (1·05 (95 % CI 0·17, 1·94), d: 0·66 (se 0·32)) and increased intakes of prebiotic (0·8 (95 % CI 0·27, 1·33), d: 0·91 (se 0·33)) and probiotic foods (1·05 (95 % CI 0·57, 1·53), d: 1·3(se 0·35)) over the whole study period compared with the control group.
A dietary intervention focused on ‘eating for the gut microbiota’ can improve aspects of perinatal diet quality during and after pregnancy.
In 1823, Bessy Chambers filed a complaint in the St. George’s slave court in Jamaica. Chambers, along with twenty-four unnamed enslaved people from the New Layton estate, charged that the overseer had forced her to work despite her pregnancy, causing her to miscarry. While her story contests notions of a benign system of slavery in its twilight years, the multidimensionality of Chambers’ gendered freedom claims also disputed the limiting vision of abolition reform for the enslaved, and for women in particular. Chambers and other enslaved women who had a long history of engaging in distinctly gendered struggles against slavery refused to accept the new subordinate roles abolitionist envisioned for them, although they could not always escape its oppressive reach. In going to court, Chambers revealed a right to self-determination as essential to her conceptualization of womanhood. Her pursuit of legal personhood must therefore be viewed as a dual fight against slavery and the restricted freedom abolitionists proposed.
The WHO and UNICEF recommend home visits to improve health outcomes for mothers and newborns. We evaluated the effect of home visits by community volunteers during pregnancy and postpartum on breastfeeding practices, women´s knowledge about benefits, beliefs and myths of breastfeeding, obstetric and neonatal warning signs, preparation for childbirth and initial care for newborns, and diarrhea and respiratory diseases in children.
Community quasi-experimental design. We estimated difference-in-difference models with fixed effects at the community level weighted by propensity score and investigated implementation barriers through focus groups and semi-structured interviews.
Poor rural communities in Mexico; 48 intervention and 29 control.
Baseline and follow-up information were reported from two independent cross-sectional samples of women with babies aged between six and 18 months (baseline: 292 control, 320 intervention, follow-up: 292 control, 294 intervention).
The intervention increased reports of exclusive breastfeeding in the first six months by 24.4 percentage points (pp) (95% CI 13.4, 35.4), mothers’ knowledge of obstetric warning signs by 23.4 pp (95% CI 9.2, 37.5), and neonatal warning signs by 26.2 pp (95% CI 15.2, 37.2) compared to the control group. A non-linear dose-response relation with the number of home visits was found. Diarrhea and respiratory diseases among children decreased in the intervention vs control group, but were not statistically significant.
Home visits should be implemented as a complementary strategy to the provision of prenatal and postnatal care in rural communities due to their potential positive effects on the health of mothers and their children.
There is a pattern to how pregnancy is theatrically represented in Ireland: It is a taboo, a silence, an open secret. This is symptomatic of the Irish social and cultural stigmatization of women’s bodies and part of a larger discourse in which women’s bodies are carefully policed to be visible but inarticulate and assumed to be usable but unintelligible. This chapter considers new performances of pregnancy, maternity, and non-maternity on the Irish stage as a way of troubling the assumption that women’s bodies are invisible or inappropriate in contemporary theatre, in plays by ANU Productions, Bump & Grind, Stacey Gregg, Elaine Murphy, Frank McGuinness, Christian O’Reilly, and THEATREClub.
Cow’s milk allergy (CMA) is the most common food allergy in young children and it is often the first manifestation of atopic diseases. Accordingly, very early environmental factors, such as maternal diet during pregnancy, may play a role in the development of CMA, but the evidence is limited. The aim of this study was to investigate the association between maternal intake of antioxidant nutrients during pregnancy and the subsequent development of CMA in the offspring in a prospective, population-based birth cohort within the Finnish Type 1 Diabetes Prediction and Prevention Study. Maternal dietary information during pregnancy was collected with a detailed, validated food frequency questionnaire. The maternal dietary information and the information on putative confounding factors was available for 4403 children. Information on diagnosed CMA (n=448), was obtained from a medical registry and queried from the parents up to child’s age of 3 years. The Finnish food composition database was used to calculate the average daily intake of nutrients. Logistic regression was applied for statistical analyses, and the nutrient intakes were adjusted for energy intake. Odds ratios are presented per one standard deviation increment of the particular nutrient intake. Maternal total and dietary intake of beta-carotene was associated with an increased risk of CMA in the offspring when adjusted for the putative confounding factors (total: OR 1.10 95% CI 1.02-1.20, dietary: OR 1.10 95% CI 1.01-1.19). Using dietary supplements containing antioxidants in addition to a balanced diet may not confer any additional benefits.
Individual differences in temperament have been well-described, but individual differences in temperament trajectories require elaboration. Specifically, it is unknown if subgroups of infants display different developmental patterns and if these patterns relate to later behavioral problems. The aims were to identify distinct developmental patterns in broad dimensions of temperament among typically developing infants, to determine whether these developmental patterns differ by sex, to evaluate how developmental patterns within each dimension of temperament relate to developmental patterns within other dimensions of temperament, and to determine whether developmental patterns of infant temperament are associated with internalizing and externalizing behavior at 2 years of age. Data from the longitudinal Alberta Pregnancy Outcomes and Nutrition study (n = 1,819) were used to model latent class trajectories of parent-reported infant temperament at 3, 6, and 12 months. Four to five unique latent trajectories were identified within each temperament dimension. Sex was not associated with trajectory groups. Developmental coordination was observed between trajectories of negative emotionality and regulatory capacity, and between regulatory capacity and positive affect, but not between positive affect and negative emotionality. Negative emotionality and regulatory capacity predicted internalizing and externalizing behavior. Patterns of development in infant temperament, and not just intensity of temperament, contribute toward later problem behavior.
Skilled delivery care has been targeted in the Sustainable Development Goals to reduce preventable maternal and newborn deaths, which mostly occur because of birthing complications. Birthing complications are more frequent in women with unintended than intended pregnancies, and around 43% of total pregnancies in low- and middle-income countries are unintended. This study quantified the impact of unintended pregnancy on skilled birth attendance and delivery in health care facilities in Bangladesh. Data from 4493 women participating in the cross-sectional 2014 Bangladesh Demographic and Health Survey were analysed. Multilevel logistic regression models were used to assess the association of unintended pregnancy with skilled birth attendance and delivery in a health care facility through skilled providers while adjusting for individual-, household- and community-level factors identified using a directed acyclic graph. Around 26% of women reported that their last pregnancy (occurring within the previous 3 years) that ended with a live birth was unintended at conception. Only 42% reported having a skilled birth attendant present at their last birth and 38% gave birth in a health care facility. Significant differences were found across pregnancy intention. Lower odds of skilled birth attendance (OR, 0.70, 95% CI, 0.52–0.93) and delivery in a health care facility through skilled providers (OR, 0.65, 95% CI, 0.48–0.89) were found among women who had an unwanted pregnancy relative to women who had a wanted pregnancy. However, a mistimed pregnancy was not found to be associated with skilled birth attendance or delivery in health care facility through skilled providers. Increased availability of health care facilities at the community level is required in Bangladesh to ensure skilled delivery care for women with an unwanted pregnancy. Policies are also required to integrate women with an unwanted pregnancy into mainstream health care services through earlier detection and increased awareness in order to reduce the adverse maternal and fetal outcomes associated with lack of quality birthing care.
Psychosocial factors have been implicated as both a cause and consequence of hypertension in the general population but are less understood in relation to hypertensive disorders of pregnancy (HDP). The aims of this review were to (1) synthesize the existing literature examining associations between depression and/or anxiety in pregnancy and HDP and (2) assess if depression and/or anxiety in early pregnancy was a risk factor for HDP.
A comprehensive search of Medline, Embase, CINAHL, and PsycINFO was conducted from inception to March 2020 using terms related to ‘pregnancy’, ‘anxiety’, ‘depression’, and ‘hypertensive disorders’. English-language cohort and case-control studies were included if they reported: (a) the presence or absence of clinically significant symptoms of depression/anxiety, or a medical record diagnosis of depression or an anxiety disorder in pregnancy; (b) diagnosis of HDP; and/or (c) data comparing the depressed/anxious group to the non-depressed/anxious group on HDP. Data related to depression/anxiety, HDP, study characteristics, and aspects related to study quality were extracted independently by two reviewers. Random-effects meta-analyses of estimated pooled relative risks (RRs) were conducted for depression/anxiety in pregnancy and HDP.
In total, 6291 citations were retrieved, and 44 studies were included across 61.2 million pregnancies. Depression and/or anxiety were associated with HDP [RR = 1.39; 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.25–1.54].
When measurement of anxiety or depression preceded diagnosis of hypertension, the association remained (RR = 1.27; 95% CI 1.07–1.50). Women experiencing depression or anxiety in pregnancy have an increased prevalence of HDP compared to their non-depressed or non-anxious counterparts.
Consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages (SSBs) during pregnancy has been associated with childhood obesity. Research in which rodent dams have been given high-fat/high-sugar diets has consistently found metabolic alterations in their offspring. However, what remains unclear is the potential impact on the developing fetus of giving sugar in isolation at concentrations similar to SSBs to the mothers. Therefore, we conducted a systematic review and meta-analysis (Protocol No: 127115 on Prospero) to identify potential relationships between maternal sucrose consumption and metabolic outcomes in offspring of rodent (rat or mouse) models. We analysed studies that provided rodent mothers dams with access to sucrose solutions (8–20% w/v) prior to conception, during pregnancy and/or lactation and that reported offspring outcomes of body weight (BW), body composition and glycaemic control. Following a systematic search of four databases (PubMed, EMBASE, Web of Science and Scopus) performed on 15 January 2019, maternal and offspring data from 15 papers were identified for inclusion. Only rat studies were identified. Meta-analyses were performed on standardised mean differences for maternal and offspring BW and fasting glucose levels, with subgroup analyses of strain, sucrose concentration, exposure period and sex of offspring. A bias towards the inclusion of only data from male offspring was identified and this limited interpretation of potential sexually dimorphic outcomes. Maternal sucrose exposure was associated with an increased risk of obesity and poor glucose disposal in adult and aged offspring.
This chapter investigates the medical arrangements made for servicewomen as well as their general health. This includes a discussion of such matters as foot deformities, head infestation, menstrual disorders, venereal disease and pregnancy. Unmarried pregnant personnel were a particular concern for the military authorities and much thought was given to their welfare.
Non-invasive prenatal testing (NIPT) is increasingly being adopted as a screening test in the UK and is currently accessed through certain National Health Service healthcare systems or by private provision. This audit aims to describe reasons for and results of cytogenomic investigations carried out within UK genetic laboratories following an NIPT result indicating increased chance of cytogenomic abnormality (‘high-chance NIPT result’).
A questionnaire was sent out to 24 genetics laboratories in the UK and completed by 18/24 (75%).
Data were returned representing 1831 singleton pregnancies. A total of 1329 (73%) invasive samples were taken following NIPT results showing a high chance of trisomy 21; this was confirmed in 1305 (98%) of these by invasive sampling. Trisomy 21 was confirmed in >99% of patients who also had high-screen risk results or abnormal scan findings. Amongst invasive samples taken due to NIPT results indicating a high chance of trisomy 18, 84% yielded a compatible result, and this number dropped to 49% for trisomy 13 and 51% for sex chromosomes.
In the UK, the majority of patients having invasive sampling for high-chance NIPT results are doing so following an NIPT result indicating an increased chance of common trisomies (92%). In this population, NIPT performs particularly well for trisomy 21, but less well for other indications.
Research in schizophrenia and pregnancy has traditionally been conducted in small samples. More recently, secondary analysis of routine healthcare data has facilitated access to data on large numbers of women with schizophrenia.
To discuss four scientific advances using data from Canada, Denmark and the UK from population-level health registers and clinical data sources.
Narrative review of research from these three countries to illustrate key advances in the area of schizophrenia and pregnancy.
Health administrative and clinical data from electronic medical records have been used to identify population-level and clinical cohorts of women with schizophrenia, and follow them longitudinally along with their children. These data have demonstrated that fertility rates in women with schizophrenia have increased over time and have enabled documentation of the course of illness in relation with pregnancy, showing the early postpartum as the time of highest risk. As a result of large sample sizes, we have been able to understand the prevalence of and risk factors for rare outcomes that would be difficult to study in clinical research. Advanced pharmaco-epidemiological methods have been used to address confounding in studies of antipsychotic medications in pregnancy, to provide data about the benefits and risks of treatment for women and their care providers.
Use of these data has advanced the field of research in schizophrenia and pregnancy. Future developments in use of electronic health records include access to richer data sources and use of modern technical advances such as machine learning and supporting team science.
To explore if there is association between vitamin D supplementation through cod liver oil ingestion around the periconceptional period and the risk of developing severe CHD in offspring. Furthermore, we would examine the interaction between vitamin D and folic acid supplementation in the association.
A case–control study was conducted in Shanghai Children’s Medical Center, in which, a total of 262 severe CHD cases versus 262 controls were recruited through June 2016 to December 2017. All children were younger than 2 years. To reduce potential selection bias and to minimise confounding effects, propensity score matching was applied.
After propensity score matching, vitamin D supplementation seemed to be associated with decreased odds ratio of severe CHD (odds ratio = 0.666; 95% confidence intervals: 0.449–0.990) in the multivariable conditional logistic analysis. Furthermore, we found an additive interaction between vitamin D and folic acid supplementation (relative excess risk due to interaction = 0.810, 95% confidence intervals: 0.386–1.235) in the association.
The results suggested that maternal vitamin D supplementation could decrease the risk of offspring severe CHD; moreover, it could strengthen the protective effect of folic acid. The significance of this study lies in providing epidemiological evidence that vitamin D supplementation around the periconceptional period could be a potential nutritional intervention strategy to meet the challenge of increasing CHD.
Maternal protein restriction and physical activity can affect the interaction mother–placenta–fetus. This study quantified the gene expression of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), neurothrophin 4, tyrosine kinase receptor B (TrkB/NTRK2), insulin-like growth factor (IGF-1), and insulin-like growth factor receptor (IGF-1r) in the different areas of mother’s brain (hypothalamus, hippocampus, and cortex), placenta, and fetus’ brain of rats. Female Wistar rats (n = 20) were housed in cages containing a running wheel for 4 weeks before gestation. According to the distance spontaneously traveled daily, rats were classified as inactive or active. During gestation, on continued access to the running wheel, active and inactive groups were randomized to receive normoprotein diet (18% protein) or a low-protein (LP) diet (8% protein). At day 20 of gestation, gene expression of neurotrophic factors was analyzed by quantitative polymerase chain reaction in different brain areas and the placenta. Dams submitted to a LP diet during gestation showed upregulation of IGF-1r and BDNF messenger RNA in the hypothalamus, IGF-1r and NTRK2 in the hippocampus, and BDNF, NTRK2, IGF-1 and IGF-1r in the cortex. In the placenta, there was a downregulation of IGF-1. In the brain of pups from mothers on LP diet, IGF-1r and NTRK2 were downregulated. Voluntary physical activity attenuated the effects of LP diet on IGF-1r in the hypothalamus, IGF-1r and NTRK2 in the hippocampus, IGF-1 in the placenta, and NTRK2 in the fetus’ brain. In conclusion, both maternal protein restriction and spontaneous physical activity influence the gene expression of BDNF, NTRK2, IGF-1, and IGF-1r, with spontaneous physical activity being able to normalize in part the defects caused by protein restriction during pregnancy.
Major historical shifts in the field of fertility, childbirth, and parenting have implications for feminist psychologists working on these topics. These shifts include approaches to sexuality and reproduction: a population control emphasis in the late 1940s, a reproductive rights paradigm in the 1990s, and progression from reproductive rights to reproductive justice. Feminist psychologists have to traverse the political landscape created by these broad approaches. In this chapter, we suggest ways in which such engagement may be facilitated through examination of mainstream assumptions and outcomes and the use of nuanced feminist research. Drawing from transnational feminisms, the principles of reproductive justice, and examples of research and interventions in reproductive decision-making, abortion, obstetric violence, "deviant" (m)others, early reproduction, and contraception, we argue that feminist psychology should attend to both global and cross-cutting power relations concerning fertility and reproduction, as well as localized dynamics.
To assess the burden of iodine deficiency in pregnancy in Africa using estimated pregnancy median urinary iodine concentration (pMUIC).
pMUIC for each African country was estimated using a regression equation derived by correlating the school-age children (SAC) median UIC (mUIC) and pMUIC from countries around the globe, and the SAC mUIC data for African countries obtained from the Iodine Global Network (IGN) 2017 and 2019 Score cards.
Iodine deficiency was endemic in many African countries before the introduction of iodine fortification, mainly through universal salt iodisation programmes about 25 years ago. There is a scarcity of data on the level of iodine nutrition in pregnancy in Africa. Women living in settings with pMUIC below 150 µg/l are at risk of iodine deficiency-related pregnancy complications.
Fifty of the fifty-five African countries that had data on iodine nutrition status.
A cut-off school age mUIC ≤ 175 µg/l is correlated with insufficient iodine intake in pregnancy (pregnancy mUIC ≤ 150 μg/l). Twenty-two African countries had SAC mUIC < 175 μg/l, which correlated with insufficient iodine intake during pregnancy (pMUIC < 150 μg/l). However, nine of these twenty-two countries had adequate iodine intake based on SAC mUIC.
There is likely a high prevalence of insufficient iodine intake in pregnancy, including in some African countries classified as having adequate iodine intake in the general population. A SAC mUIC ≤ 175 µg/l predicts insufficient iodine intake among pregnant women in these settings.