Gestational diabetes can be sneaky. After studying more than 25,000 pregnant women, researchers from Northwestern University recommend lowering the diagnostic threshold for the condition doubling the share of pregnant women who meet the criteria from 8% to 16%. Why the change? Because the blood sugar of some women previously considered healthy was still high enough to put the baby at risk for excessively high birth weight and the mother at risk for pre-eclampsia, or high maternal blood pressure.
Newly released 2007 data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention show that nearly one-third of all U.S. babies were born by cesarean. That year about 1.4 million babies entered the world by C-section, a 53% rise over the course of a decade. A contributing factor: the boost in multiple births resulting from reproductive technologies.
Just 23% of pregnant women get enough exercise, according to a new study. Guidelines call for 2½ hours of moderate exercise anything that leads to a light sweat per week. This can reduce aches, ease constipation and lower the risk of high birth weight for the baby.