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expert-perspectives

New study suggests prenatal vitamins are not worth the money

For years, pregnant women have been advised to take prenatal vitamins in order to ensure proper growth and nutrition of the fetus.

However, a recent report by the Drug and Therapeutics Bulletin says that prenatal vitamins are an unnecessary expense and are not as effective as doctors have made them seem.  

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expert-perspectives

UMN Expert: Antidepressant use later in pregnancy linked to autism

A recent Star Tribune article highlighted a study published in JAMA Pediatrics that found, “Women who took a class of widely used antidepressants during their second and third trimesters of pregnancy were roughly twice as likely as those who did not to have a child who would later receive a diagnosis of autism spectrum disorder, says a new study.”

Health Talk spoke with Jean Moon, associate professor in the College of Pharmacy, to find out what this means for pregnant women who are taking antidepressants, specifically SSRIs that include medications like Prozac, Zoloft and Lexapro.

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research-and-clinical-trials

Research snapshot: Rural women with higher risk pregnancies likely to give birth at non-local hospitals

Approximately half a million women living in rural areas give birth in U.S. hospitals each year, making ready access to high quality services a priority for both low-risk and high-risk pregnant patients. A recent study from the University of Minnesota’s School of Public Health investigated where rural patients give birth, including whether or not they give birth locally.

“We conducted this study to better understand current patterns of local or non-local childbirth for rural patients and to lay a groundwork for operationalizing maternal levels of care in rural areas,” said lead author, Katy Kozhimannil, Ph.D., associate professor in the School of Public Health.

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research-and-clinical-trials

Research Snapshot: Vulvodynia has minimal effect on decision to conceive

In a recent study at the University of Minnesota, researchers found that despite painful symptoms associated with vulvodynia, the disorder ultimately had little effect on a woman’s decision to conceive.

Vulvodynia is a chronic disorder that causes pain to the vulvar area and is often difficult to diagnose. Considering the methods of treatment and effectiveness vary from woman to woman, researchers expected this arduous treatment process would significantly alter childbearing decisions.

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news-and-notes

Legislative advisory committee pushes more support for incarcerated pregnant women

It is estimated that four percent of incarcerated women are pregnant when they enter custody. Most of the corrections facilities in Minnesota are not equipped to house pregnant women, and given their high likelihood of medical and social risk factors, many incarcerated pregnant women may be at high risk for poor health outcomes.

After passing a bill to address this disparity last spring, an advisory committee created by the legislature recommends lawmakers consider providing additional support to incarcerated pregnant and postpartum women. The initial bill established regulations on the use of restraints and mandated pregnancy tests for inmates, among other policy changes. It was a major improvement in standard of care, but more can be done, said committee lead Rebecca Shlafer, Ph.D., assistant professor at the University of Minnesota Medical School.

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news-and-notes

Top Five UMN Health Stories in 2014

2014 will be remembered for the largest, most complex outbreak of Ebola and our first experience fighting the disease within the United States. University of Minnesota infectious disease experts were frequently sought out as international teams mobilized to contain the deadly virus. But Ebola wasn’t the only significant health story in 2014.

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