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News: Bandaged Bear Appeal, c-sections linked to allergy risk, new prenatal genetic tests and IVF hope

bandagedbear_featSo, what’s making news in the world of pregnancy and parenting this week?

Why is this gorgeous young girl eating her breakfast with a bear? What is the link between c-sections and allergies? What announcement could mean many women won’t need an amniocentesis? And what has one fertility clinic discovered that is set to improve IVF success rates? Read on to find out …

Organise a Bandaged Bear Breakfast to support sick children

The Children’s Hospital at Westmead is asking the community to hold a Bandaged Bear Breakfast at school, at home or at work to support the Hospital’s largest fundraising appeal, making a huge difference to the lives of sick children.

The Bandaged Bear Appeal will launch with Bandaged Bear Day on Friday, March 1, with staff and volunteers selling merchandise and collecting donations all around Sydney.

To help raise money you can register to hold a Bandaged Bear Breakfast during March, make a donation or buy merchandise. Visit, call 02 9845 3367 or join Bandaged Bear on Facebook or Twitter @BandagedBear.

New pre-natal screening test arrives in Australia

Australian listed healthcare company, Primary Health Care Limited, has signed a distribution agreement for the iGeneScreenTM Prenatal Test in Australia.

The test is a non-invasive prenatal blood test that detects Trisomy 21 (Down Syndrome) and Trisomy 18 (Edwards Syndrome) with 99% accuracy. It is a non-invasive screening test requiring just a 10ml blood sample from pregnant women from 12 weeks gestation.

Currently ‘at risk’ pregnant mothers can take invasive amniocentesis or chorionic villus sampling tests.

The test is already available in Western Australia, and will be available nationally in Australia by March 2013.

C-sections linked to allergies

A US study has found that babies born by C-section are five times more likely to develop allergies than babies born naturally when exposed to high levels of common allergens in the home such as those from dogs, cats and dust mites.

Researchers at the Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit say the study advances the “hygiene hypothesis” that exposure to microorganisms in early childhood affects the development of the immune system and the onset of allergies.

Lead author Christine Cole Johnson, Ph.D. says they “believe a baby’s exposure to bacteria in the birth canal is a major influencer on their immune system”. She says C-section babies have a pattern of “at risk” microorganisms in their gastrointestinal tract that may make them more susceptible to developing the antibody linked to the development of allergies and asthma.

Check out what our forum members think of the link between c-sections and allergies

Embryo culture innovation to improve IVF rates

Fertility Clinic Genea has developed a new, more effective embryo culture media for use in its Australian clinics.

Embryo culture media are the solutions that support egg, sperm and embryo development outside the body.

Genea scientific director Steven McArthur says the new culture media offers patients a 26 per cent greater chance of pregnancy per embryo transfered than media currently available.

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