• Children’s Act of 2010 (S. 3968) – Status: Introduced. Sponsor(s): Sen. Christopher Dodd (D-CT). Establishes a National Council on Children, with the purpose of improving preventive services and enhancing the well-being of young people. Reducing infant mortality and the number of babies born at a low birth weight as an objective.
Sens. Alexander, Dodd Mark National Prematurity Awareness Day
• On November 17, National Prematurity Awareness Day, Sens. Lamar Alexander (R-TN) and Christopher Dodd (D-CT) spoke on the Senate floor to mark the occasion. Sen. Dodd also urged colleagues to cosponsor the “Prematurity Research Expansion and Education for Mothers Who Deliver Infants Early (PREEMIE) Act,” commenting, “This important bill expands research into the causes and prevention of prematurity and increases education and support services related to prematurity.”
Federal Agency News
New IOM Report Studies the Impact of Calcium and Vitamin D Intake
A new report from the Institute of Medicine (IOM) seeks to reconcile the many conflicting opinions that experts have voiced in recent years about Vitamin D and calcium intake. Some researchers have urged people to increase intake of these minerals as a way of preventing conditions like preeclampsia, whereas others have questioned their utility. Overall, the committee found “that the evidence supported a role for these nutrients in bone health but not in other health conditions.”
HHS Seeks Evaluation of the Text4Baby Program
The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is currently seeking comments from stakeholders about the Text4Baby program. The agency collecting information about the utility of the program and the types of women who utilize it. In November, the program announced that it is planning a significant expansion, with the goal of reaching one-million mothers.
In the News
Higher Risk of Preeclampsia Linked to Donor Eggs
A recent study conducted at a Rhode Island hospital and published in Obstetrics and Gynecology points to a potential link between the use of donor eggs during the in-vitro fertilization (IVF) process and preeclampsia. Though the study was small and researchers called for further study, the results showed that “about five percent of women who used their own eggs for IVF developed preeclampsia, compared to almost 17 percent of women who used donor eggs.”
Registration Open for Society for Maternal-Fetal Medicine 2011 Conference
Registration has now opened for the Society for Maternal-Fetal Medicine’s 2011 annual conference. The conference, which will be held in San Francisco from February 7-12, will feature several sessions that touch on the topic of preeclampsia.