ZERO TO THREE – 26th National Training Institute

ZERO TO THREE’s National Training Institute (NTI) is the premier conference for professionals dedicated to promoting the health and well-being of infants and toddlers. Don’t miss this comprehensive and multidisciplinary conference that focuses on cutting-edge research, best practices, and policy issues for infants, toddlers, and families. Make plans now to join your colleagues for a truly innovative educational experience that will enhance your professional career.


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Test a Mother’s Blood To Learn Her Baby’s Sex Early On : Shots


Boy or girl? Expectant parents are often dying to know. Some mothers are even trying to influence it with their diet. But the tests used to determine a baby’s sex before birth leave a lot to be desired.

Blood tests that look for fetal DNA in a mother’s blood would be a big improvement, according to a new study. But those tests aren’t yet licensed for use in the United States, even though they’re available in Europe. So parents who want an early peek into their baby’s sex are stuck with dubious tests sold on the Web.

Source: NPR

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Magnetic field exposure linked to asthma risk


Children whose mothers had high exposure to electromagnetic fields while pregnant may have an increased risk of developing asthma, U.S. researchers said on Monday in a study that adds to an ongoing debate.

Many prior studies have failed to consistently show that chronic exposure to electromagnetic fields — from power lines and appliances such as microwaves ovens, hair dryers and vacuum cleaners — are harmful to human health.

Source: Reuters

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Mouthwashing moms less likely to have a preemie – TODAY Health –


Expectant mothers who have gum disease are less likely to deliver their babies prematurely if they use mouthwash throughout their pregnancy, a new study suggests.

Pregnant women with gum disease, also called periodontal disease, are known to have more preemies than women with healthy gums.

But it’s unclear whether that link is causal, and so whether better oral hygiene would make a difference.

Source: Today

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Kids From Unplanned Pregnancies Tend to Lag Behind Intellectually – US News and World Report


Young children born after unplanned pregnancies tend to have a smaller vocabulary and poorer non-verbal and spatial abilities than other children, but these problems are actually due to socioeconomic factors, a new study suggests.

Researchers led by Claire Carson of the University of Oxford looked at data from about 12,000 children who took part in a large U.K. study of infants born from 2000 to 2002. Their parents were interviewed when the children were 9 months old, 3 years old and 5 years old. The children’s verbal, non-verbal and spatial abilities

Source: US News and World Report

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Why Pregnant Women Shouldn’t Smoke


It’s not healthy to smoke during pregnancy but an estimated 12% to 24% of pregnant women continue to use tobacco, according to national data [PDF]. So if the existing evidence hasn’t convinced them to quit, perhaps this new study will: a researcher from the Loma Linda University School of Medicine reports that fetal exposure to nicotine may be associated with increased blood pressure among children once they grow up.

Source: TIME Healthland

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Mum’s stress is passed to baby in the womb


A mother’s stress can spread to her baby in the womb and may cause a lasting effect, German researchers propose.

They have seen that a receptor for stress hormones appears to undergo a biological change in the unborn child if the mother is highly stressed, for example, because of a violent partner.

And this change may leave the child less able to handle stress themselves.

Source: BBC News

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A Closer Look at the Early Head Start Home-Based Program Option

Thursday, August 4, 2011, 2:00 – 3:30 p.m. (EDT)

This live webcast is designed to help viewers develop an increased understanding of how the Early Head Start home-based program option can help programs expand opportunities for low-income families with very young children, increase access to services, and enhance program quality.

Topics for the Webcast Include:

  • An overview of the home-based program option – what it is and how it works
  • How home visitors help families create rich learning opportunities out of everyday routines and support their child’s development
  • How Early Head Start programs can support home visitors in providing the highest quality services to pregnant women, infants, toddlers, and families
  • Live Q&A

Who Should Watch?
Early Head Start and Migrant and Seasonal Head Start program staff, directors, managers, administrators, T/TA managers and T/TA providers, federal and Regional Office staff, State Collaboration Offices, and others interested in learning more about the Early Head Start home-based program option.

Viewing the Webcast
To view the webcast, please visit the EHS NRC page on the Early Childhood Learning and Knowledge Center (ECLKC) on August 4.

You may start sending all questions now to Please enter “Home-Based Program Option” in the subject line.

Smoking during pregnancy increases the risk of birth defects

July 12, 2011

Smoking during pregnancy increases the risk of a wide range of birth defects, including skull defects, missing or deformed limbs, clubfoot, cleft palate, protrusion of the gastrointestinal system through the skin and heart problems, according to the first major study to examine the incidence of such risks.

Source: LA Times

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Doctors To Pregnant Women: Wait At Least 39 Weeks : NPR

July 18, 2011

In her living room, Caroline Nagy introduces the newest member of her family — the 6-week-old infant in a striped onesie cradled in her arms. “This is Alex Joseph. He was born May 24th — my birthday,” she says.

Their shared birthday wasn’t entirely a coincidence. Two weeks before her due date, Nagy was swollen, and uncomfortable. So she asked her doctor for relief.

“I was just miserable. It was like uncomfortable to walk; I couldn’t sit on the floor and play; I felt like I was neglecting my first kid because I just couldn’t move and I couldn’t do anything,” says Nagy. “So I asked, ‘Is there any way I can speed this up and have a baby earlier?’ ”

Source: NPR

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