The objective of this study is to obtain viable mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) from umbilical cords in uncomplicated pregnancies. Potential donors will be screened prior to donation of umbilical cords to confirm no prevalent autoimmune disease or other viruses and/or diseases. The overall goal is to obtain MSCs from healthy donors for eventual transfusion into patients for the treatment of autoimmune disease, specifically systemic lupus erythematosus.
The goal of this study is to improve racial equality for all pregnant women and their developing babies. We will study women of diverse racial/ethnic backgrounds who will receive either the current vitamin D standard of 400 IU/day (in the prenatal vitamin) or 4400 IU/day (dose found in previous study to achieve vitamin D sufficiency and optimal 1,25(OH)2D production).
This study is looking at how increased number of stressful life events and perceived racial discrimination and might affect outcomes in pregnancy for African American women. We are recruiting African American pregnant women to be in the study, which will involve answering questions about stressful events occurring in childhood and adulthood, and will measure responses to stressful events and monitor outcomes of the pregnancy.
The purpose of this study is to look at the how the use of products that contain a certain chemical compound Docusate, commonly referred to as DOSS, may have on pregnant women and their babies. DOSS is used in many commercially available products, such as pesticides, personal care products, and laxatives. This study will focus on DOSS and the use of Colace which is a commonly prescribed stool softener used in pregnancy. This study will involve pregnant women who are being admitted into MUSC?s Labor and Delivery unit.
Epidural block is the gold standard for labor analgesia. However, the onset of optimal analgesia can take 15-20 minutes. This is because the epidural medication has to cross the duramater to block the pain fibres. Puncturing the duramater and deposting of drugs directly in the cerebrospinal fluid results in a quicker onset of action, but is associated with maternal and fetal sideffects. The current study will make a dural puncture but will not deposit the medication in the cerebrospinal fluid. Instead after the dural puncture, the medication will be placed in the epidural space. However, the theoretical dural puncture will facilitate a quicker onset of action without the maternal and fetal side-effects
The human gut hosts trillions of microbes, more than any other ecosystem, making this an important reservoir for microbial mercury cycling. Genes associated with both inorganic mercury methylation and methylmercury demethylation were isolated from human feces, indicating the importance of both processes during digestion and elimination. Our primary hypothesis is that differences in the taxonomic abundance and diversity of maternal gut microbiota impact prenatal methylmercury exposure via at least two possible mechanisms: 1) alteration of the metabolic potency of gut microbes to detoxify methylmercury and enhance its fecal excretion, and/or 2) alteration of the enterohepatic cycling of methylmercury through changes in intestinal permeability and resultant uptake of methylmercury into systemic circulation, potentially impacting the central nervous system and distribution to tissues.
We will test this hypothesis within a cohort of 130 pregnant women and their offspring, who will be recruited at the at the Medical University of South Carolina, located in the coastal city of Charleston, South Carolina. This longitudinal study will establish the relationship between gut ecology and prenatal methylmercury exposure at four time points, targeting prenatal and postnatal periods when shifts in gut microbiota will likely occur, including trimesters 1 (or 2) and 3, delivery, and 18 months postpartum. Through a combination of biomarker assessment (hair, blood, meconium, stools, and urine) and gene profiling of maternal and infant stool samples, the proposed research will advance our understanding of methylmercury metabolism, including impacts to prenatal methylmercury exposure.
Fetal fibronectin (also known as fFN) is a ?glue-like? protein that bonds your developing baby to your uterus. Fetal fibronectin is detectable in vaginal secretions in the very beginning of pregnancy, when this bond is first forming, and then again at the end of pregnancy, when your body is getting ready to deliver your baby.
fFN is a special protein that literally holds your baby in place in the womb. After the 35th week of pregnancy, it begins to break down naturally, and is detectable. If your body is getting ready to give birth prematurely, fFN may be detected before week 35.
Identifying women at high risk of giving birth prematurely can be challenging. It is believed that higher levels of fFn measured in vaginal fluid suggest a woman is at a greater risk for delivering early. fFN testing is already approved for use in women from weeks 22 to 35 of pregnancy.
The goal of the study is to evaluate the benefits of collecting fFN measurements from a vaginal fluid specimen taken during early pregnancy (from 16 weeks to 22 weeks) to assess the risk of pre-term birth.
The purpose of this study is to determine if a pessary, a silicone device placed within the vagina to support the cervix, could be a good way to help pregnant women who are at risk for preterm delivery. The pessary that is used in this study, called the Arabin pessary, has not been approved by the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for the prevention of preterm delivery. It is an investigational device, which means it is still being studied to find out whether or not it is safe and effective in patients with a short cervix who are at risk for preterm delivery.
The purpose of this study is to see if using a handheld ultrasound to measure a baby?s growth is the same as using a measuring tape to measure a mother?s fundal height. A woman?s fundal height is measured from the top of her uterus (where the baby is growing) to the area below her belly button where the pubic bone begins. Both of these methods are used a lot to measure how babies are growing but doctors would like to know if both of the ways come up with the same results. The handheld ultrasound device that is used in this study has been approved for use by the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA).