Attitudes towards labour care and women’s choices for their preferred mode of delivery are documented in studies from the around the world, however less is known about women’s birth choices in the Middle East. This study was designed with the aim of exploring beliefs and attitudes in this region.
Voluntary participation in an ethics-approved survey was offered to pregnant women attending the antenatal clinic at Sidra Medicine from August 2018 to January 2019 with no exclusion criteria.
Of the 346 respondents, 58.1% were Arabic and the remainder expatriates. This group composition allowed comparison between women native and non-native to the Gulf region. Arabic and non-Arabic women differed significantly in previous birth experiences: the Arabs had had more doctor-led deliveries (45 vs. 34%), epidurals (56.6 vs. 45%) and episiotomies (65.7 vs. 54%). 70.2% of the respondents chose a normal delivery as their preferred birth mode though a smaller majority of the Arabic subgroup did (63.2 %). 60.4% preferred delivery by doctors and longer hospital stays (47.6), more so Arabic participants (64.7 and 68.6 %). Significantly less Arabs, would choose husbands as birth partners (51.2 vs. 86.2%) and more expressed a gender preference for doctors. Other group choices are presented.
Though women in this region made comparable choices about mode of delivery as their Western counterparts, they demonstrated an expectation of a culturally distinct and more medicalized approach to care in labour. The findings highlight the need for further studies to inform regional obstetric care and health education interventions as well as tailoring maternity care services.
Congenital adrenal hyperplasia (CAH) due to 21-hydroxylase deficiency (21-OHD) is a common autosomal recessive disorder caused by defects in the CYP21A2 gene. We aimed to determine the prevalence of the most commonly reported mutations among 21-OHD Egyptian patients and correlate genotype with phenotype.
Molecular analysis of the CYP21A2 gene was performed for the detection of the six most common point mutations (p.P30L, p.I172N, p.V281L, p.Q318X, the splice site mutation Int2 [IVS2–13A/C>G], and the cluster of three mutations [p.I236N, p.V237E, and p.M239K] designed as CL6). Polymerase chain reaction–restriction fragment length polymorphism (PCR-RFLP) method was performed on 47 unrelated Egyptian 21α-OH deficiency patients and their available parents to detect the presence of the six most common point mutations.
Screening for the six most common point mutations in CYP21A2 gene, revealed mutations in 87.2% (82/94) of the studied alleles corresponding to 47 Egyptian patients. The most common mutation among the studied cases was IVS2-13C/A>G that was found to be presented in a frequency of 46.8% (44/94). The genotype/phenotype correlations related to null, A, and B groups were with PPV of 100, 55.5, and 83.3%, respectively.
The described method diagnosed CAH in 80.8% of the studied patients. Good correlation between genotype and phenotype in salt wasting and simple virilizing forms is determined, whereas little concordance is seen in nonclassical one. Furthermore, studying the carrier frequency of 21-OHD among the normal population is of great importance.
Exercise during pregnancy may be beneficial provided that there are no contraindications. The aim of this study was to summarize and compare recommendations regarding exercise in pregnancy. Thus, a comparative descriptive review was conducted and included guidelines by the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, the Society of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists of Canada and the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists. All compared guidelines recommend that pregnant women without contraindications should undertake physical activities regularly, however, the type of workout performed should be adjusted based on the previous exercise experience and the physical condition of each pregnant woman. A variation among the reviewed guidelines was identified on appropriate and inappropriate activities and on indications to interrupt exercise. To summarize, the adoption of an international up-to-date consensus regarding appropriate exercise during pregnancy may be beneficial in ensuring the safety of the pregnant women while promoting their physical and mental health.
Coronavirus (COVID-19) is a new respiratory disease that is spreading widely throughout the world. The aim of this study was to evaluate the psychological impact of COVID-19 pandemic on pregnant women in Italy.
We considered 200 pregnancies attending our antenatal clinic. A questionnaire was sent to each woman in the days of maximum spread of COVID-19. Sectional was finalized to acquire in 18 items maternal characteristics and to test the women’s perception of infection. Section included the State–trait anxiety inventory (STAI) 40 items validated test for scoring trait anxiety (basal anxiety, STAI-T) and state anxiety (related to the ongoing pandemic, STAI-S). An abnormal value of STAI was considered when ≥40.
The questionnaire was completed by 178 women (89%). Fear that COVID-19 could induce fetal structural anomalies was present in 47%, fetal growth restriction in 65% and preterm birth in 51% of the women. The median value of STAI-T was 37 and in 38.2% of the study group STAI-T score ≥40 was evidenced. STAI-S values were significantly higher with an increase of median values of 12 points (p≤0.0001). There was a positive linear correlation between STAI-T and STAI-S (Pearson=0.59; p≤0.0001). A higher educational status was associated with increased prevalence of STAI-S ≥ 40(p=0.004). Subgrouping women by the other variables considered did not show any further difference.
COVID-19 pandemic induces a doubling of the number of women who reached abnormal level of anxiety. These findings validate the role of the remote use of questionnaire for identifying women at higher risk of anxiety disorders allowing the activation of support procedures.