Sex of the baby may play important role in would-be mother’s immunity

Sex of the baby may play important role in would-be mother's immunitySex of the baby may play important role in would-be mother’s immunity
A study reveals would-be mothers, carrying female fetuses may exhibit a heightened inflammatory response that can contribute to sickness-related symptoms, such as achiness and fatigue.

According to researchers, women, over the years, have claimed that body of a mother, carrying male and female baby, react differently.

The study, published in journal Brain, Behavior and Immunity, shows the sex of a baby is associated with pregnant women’s immune responses.

Inflammation is a critical part of the immune response involved in wound healing and responses to viruses, bacteria and chronic illnesses and excessive inflammation is stressful to the body and can contribute to sickness-related symptoms, such as achiness and fatigue.

Researchers from the Ohio State University’s wexner medical center in the US followed 80 pregnant women across the course of their pregnancy and examined whether women exhibited different levels of immune markers called cytokines based on fetal sex.

The analyses were conducted on levels of cytokines in the blood and levels produced by a sample of immune cells that were exposed to bacteria in the lab.

“While women didn’t exhibit differences in blood cytokine levels based on fetal sex, we did find that the immune cells of women carrying female fetuses produced more pro-inflammatory cytokines when exposed to bacteria,” said principal investigator of the study Amanda Mitchell.

“This means that women carrying female fetuses exhibited a heightened inflammatory response when their immune system was challenged, compared to women carrying male fetuses,” Mitchell explained.

Adding, “This research helps women and their obstetricians recognise that fetal sex is one factor that may impact how a woman’s body responds to everyday immune challenges and can lead to further research into how differences in immune function may affect how a women responds to different viruses, infections or chronic health conditions (such as asthma).”


Guide to Buying a Baby Play Yard

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Play yard is a portable play pen where you can put your baby when you have no time to watch him. For example, you can put your baby in the play yard while you are preparing his meal. In this way, you don’t have to worry about him crawling to around home and accidentally doing something dangerous. It is convenient to bring a play yard with you if there is no cot available for you to put your baby at the place where you are going to stay in your travel destination.

Today’s play yards come with entertainment extras such as mobiles or lullaby music. With just push, you can quickly set up the play yard within a few minutes. There is a manual which you can refer to the manufacturer’s instructions when assembling it. The manual will state the maximum weight and age limit the play yard can support. Basically, you should stop putting your child in the play yard when your child reaches the age limit recommended by the manufacturer or when he is big enough to climb out on his own.

The cheap pack play yard for babies is light and you can easily carry it to different room whenever you want. Even though the play yard is light, it is very sturdy and won’t collapse when your baby is jumping and moving around in it. When you don’t want to use the play yard, you can fold it away and store in the travel bag. It only takes one pull to fold the play yard.

The padding in the attached bassinet is soft and serves as a cushion for your baby. Because of the soft cushion, your baby won’t easily get hurt when he falls onto the padding. It can also be used as a bed for your infant. Many play yard comes with a changing table insert that allows you to change your baby’s diaper conveniently.

The bassinet can support baby that weigh up to 15 pounds. When the bassinet attachment is removed, it will function as a play yard for a child that weight up to 30 pounds. You can remove the bassinet when your baby becomes heavier than 15 pounds. Usually, at this time, the baby will be able to sit up or crawl.

There are meshes on all four sides to provide adequate ventilation while the baby is inside. The durable frame is made from metal tubing. You should find a play yard that is equipped with caster wheels if you are going to move it around a lot. There may be pockets that allow you to store your baby items such as diapers and blankets.

If you want to use it as a travel cot, make sure it comes with a sturdy travel bag. The travel bag must be comfortable to carry and won’t easily break when you frequently use it to carry the play yard. Play yards that have been tested for safety will feature the JPMA certification seal. Therefore, you must remember to check for this seal no matter you are buying it at an online or offline store.

Having last baby after 35 makes women sharper in old age

IANS | Nov 18, 2016, 05.20 PM IST

Having last baby after 35 makes women sharper in old age (Representative image)Having last baby after 35 makes women sharper in old age (Representative image)
Women have better brainpower after menopause if they had their last baby after age 35, says a study.

“Based on the findings, we would certainly not recommend that women wait until they’re 35 to close their family, but the study provides strong evidence that there is a positive association between later age at last pregnancy and late-life cognition,” said lead author Roksana Karim, Assistant Professor at Keck School of Medicine of the University of Southern California in the US.

This is the first study to investigate the association between age at last pregnancy, which can be a marker of a later surge of pregnancy-related hormones, and cognitive function in later life, Karim added.

The main hormones at play are estrogen and progesterone. In animal studies, estrogen has a beneficial impact on brain chemistry, function and structure; progesterone is linked with growth and development of brain tissue, Karim said.

An outpouring of estrogen and progesterone, especially in later life, appears to be beneficial, Karim noted.

The study, published in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society, included 830 women who, on average, were 60 years old.

Participants were given a series of tests that included assessments of verbal memory, psychomotor speed, attention and concentration, planning, visual perception, and memory.

The researchers found that postmenopausal women who had their last pregnancy after 35 had better verbal memory — remembering a list of words or retelling a story after some distraction.

The study found that other reproductive events were also important to later life cognition. More time between first and last period — longer reproductive life — proved valuable for executive function.

“Starting your period early means you have higher levels of the female sex hormone being produced by the ovaries,” Karim said.

“Girls are receiving the optimal levels early, so it’s possible that their brain structures are better developed compared to those who are exposed to estrogen levels associated with menstrual cycles at a later age,” Karim noted.

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