Opioids in Early Pregnancy Doubles Risk of Birth Defects, Says Study

Babies born to women who take opioid pain killers such as codeine, oxycodone or hydrocodone just before or in early pregnancy are at increased but modest risk of birth defects, according to a study conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The study, published in the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology, found 2-3 percent of mothers interviewed were treated with prescription opioid pain killers, or analgesics, just before or during early pregnancy. The study did not examine illicit use of these medications. [Read more…]

Spina Bifida Complications Reduced by Surgery on Fetus

A surgical procedure to repair a common birth defect of the spine, if undertaken while a baby is still in the uterus, greatly reduces the need to divert, or shunt, fluid away from the brain, according to a recent study. The surgical procedure consists of closing an opening at the back of the fetal spine. The fetal surgery is a departure from the traditional approach, which involves repairing the defect in the spinal column after an infant has been born.
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