Posts Tagged ‘carrier’

Do you need carrier screening?

Friday, March 10th, 2017

preconception healthRecently the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology (ACOG) updated their recommendations for carrier screening.

A gene is a part of your body’s cells that stores instructions for the way your body grows and works. Genes come in pairs—you get one of each pair from each parent.

Sometimes the instructions in genes change. This is called a gene change or a mutation. Parents can pass gene changes to their children. Sometimes a gene change can cause a gene to not work correctly. Sometimes it can cause birth defects or other health conditions.

For certain conditions, if you inherit a gene change from just one parent, you have the gene change but not the disease. When this happens, you’re called a carrier. A carrier of a genetic mutation does not have any symptoms of the disease or condition. But, if their partner carries a change in the same gene, then they are at risk to have a baby with the condition.

If you and your partner both carry the gene change for a condition, your baby may get two gene changes (one from each of you) and have the disease. If both you and your partner are carriers (you both have the gene change), there is:

A 1-in-4 chance (25 percent) that your baby can have the disease

A 1-in-4 chance (25 percent) that your baby won’t have the disease and won’t be a carrier

A 1-in-2 chance (50 percent) that your baby won’t have the disease but will be a carrier

Who should get carrier screening?

Carrier screening is simply a blood test. The updated recommendations for carrier screening include:

  • All pregnant women should be offered information about carrier screening. They may then choose to have some screening or none at all.
  • Ideally, carrier screening should be done before pregnancy.
  • If a woman is a carrier for a specific condition, her partner should be offered carrier screening as well.
  • If both parents are found to be carriers of a specific disorder, they should meet with a genetic counselor. This will allow them to better understand the condition, the possible risks to their children, and how other family members may be affected.

What conditions should be tested for?

ACOG now recommends ALL WOMEN be offered carrier screening for the following conditions:

  • Spinal Muscular Atrophy (SMA): SMA is a disease that attacks nerve cells in the spinal cord. These cells communicate with your muscles. As the neurons die, the muscles weaken. This can affect walking, crawling, breathing, swallowing, and head and neck control.
  • Cystic fibrosis (CF): CF is a condition that affects breathing and digestion. It’s caused by very thick mucus that builds up in the body. This thick and sticky mucus builds up in the lungs and digestive system and can cause problems with how you breathe and digest food.
  • Hemoglobinopathies: These are blood conditions that are caused by problems with hemoglobin. Hemoglobin is a protein in the blood that carries oxygen. There are different kinds of hemoglobin in the blood, and there are many kinds of hemoglobin disorders. Some are caused when hemoglobin doesn’t form correctly or when your body doesn’t make enough hemoglobin.

Additional carrier screening should be offered for other conditions based on family history. If you are planning a pregnancy or are pregnant already, make sure you talk to your health care provider about the new guidelines and discuss any questions or concerns you may have.

Have questions? Text or email us at AskUs@marchofdimes.org.

Academy of Breastfeeding Medicine disagrees with CPSC about carrier slings

Monday, March 22nd, 2010

The Academy of Breastfeeding Medicine (ABM) disagrees with the recent statement from the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) about the suffocation risks posed by baby slings. According to ABM, ring slings, which carry infants in an upright position snug against the parent’s chest, protect the baby’s airway. The organization criticizes CPSC for its “blanket warning about all types of carrier slings.”

ABM also disagrees with CPSC’s advice on how to carry a baby safely. CPSC recommends positioning the infant so that the baby’s head is facing up and clear of the sling and the parent’s body. ABM says this position can be risky for a premature infant because it would not support his neck.

Dr. Arthur Eidelman of ABM recommends this position:

* Baby’s face sideways with cheek against the chest

* Baby’s head slightly extended

* Baby’s body, shoulders and face snug so that the baby can’t move

The ABM Web site has the organization’s full statement about the CPSC warning. ABM is a global organization of physicians dedicated to the promotion, protection and support of breastfeeding.

If you are using a sling to carry your baby or are interested in using one, please talk to your child’s health care provider about what is best for your baby.

Warning about sling carriers for babies: Suffocation risk

Monday, March 15th, 2010

Slings have become really popular. You get to hold your baby really close, and baby seems to love them, too. But the Consumer Product Safety Commission has issued a warning about how slings can pose a suffocation risk. There are two types of risks.

Risk 1: In the first few months of life, babies cannot control their heads because their neck muscles are weak. The sling’s fabric can press against the baby’s nose and mouth and block his breathing. If this happens, the baby can suffocate within a minute or two.

Risk 2: If the sling keeps the baby in a curled position, her chin can bend toward her chest. This too can lead to suffocation.

Without enough oxygen, the baby won’t be able to cry for help.

The risk seems to be the greatest for low birthweight babies, babies born prematurely, and babies born with breathing problems. Parents of these babies should ask their baby’s health care provider about whether to use a sling.

If you do use a sling for your baby, keep these safety tips in mind. Be sure the baby’s face isn’t covered and that you can see it at all times. If you nurse your baby in a sling, change the baby’s position after feeding so his head is facing up and is clear of the sling and your body. Check your baby often when she’s in the sling.

Update: The Academy for Breastfeeding Medicine disagrees with CPSC’s recommendation. Go to the March 22 post for more info.

Dorel car seats/carriers recalled

Monday, December 21st, 2009

dorel-carrierOver 400,000 Dorel car seats/carriers have been recalled because the child-restraint handle can loosen and come off. As a result, the infant may fall.

A repair kit is available. The handle of the seat/carrier should not be used until it has been repaired.

The car seats/carriers have been sold by Costco, Eddie Bauer, Disney and others.

For more about the recall, see the news release from the Consumer Product Safety Commission.

Our baby registry

Tuesday, November 4th, 2008

We spent almost three hours in Buy Buy Baby on Sunday afternoon. My head is still spinning from all of the excitement and decisions we had to make. This was not like registering for my bridal shower. That was easy. Even though the store provided a registry checklist as a guide, I felt like I was guessing. I have no idea if my baby will want or need half the stuff I picked out (i.e. playpen, bouncy seat, exer-saucer, slings & swing). And if there isn’t already, there should be an accelerated college course on car seats and strollers.  There were literally 100 different models to choose from.

Are there any items that were a personal favorite or absolute must when you had your baby?